Workplace Expectations for Faculty and Staff of the Arkansas Governor's School
The Arkansas Governor’s School is a unique experience for faculty and staff as well as for students. In addition to the details of each position’s direct responsibilities, there are more general expectations we all share with each other as well as some specific commitments in order to maximize everyone’s benefits. We believe that it is essential to the operation and value of the program that we all do our best to live up to these expectations in support of each other.
– Enthusiasm: If you are dedicated to the goals of AGS, you will naturally be enthusiastic about it--we're not looking for fake "spirit." But four weeks (five, if you count orientation) is a long time, and fatigue can make one grumpy. We fight against the grumpiness because it makes the program run more smoothly and because it makes it more likely that we will achieve our goals with the students. Of course if you're not dedicated to the goals of AGS, then you'll find the extraordinary energy and professionalism it requires to be really unpleasant. If you're thinking of applying just to make some money, you should definitely look elsewhere.
– Judgment: We're responsible for the welfare and security of each and every one of these four hundred minors. The way you interact with them and the way you characterize that interaction when you are not around them should always show your understanding of those responsibilities. Many AGS students are extremely mature--emotionally and intellectually--but they are nevertheless minors, and their welfare is always our top priority.
– Integrity: Four hundred sixteen year-olds--each of them watching you do your job at some point. Eighty or so co-workers--each of them depending on you and needing you to be in place, ready to do your job. There's no alternative here. We have to uphold the highest standards of honesty and integrity, on- and off-duty, as role-models, co-workers, and servants of the State of Arkansas.
– Respect: I'm not sure that there's much to say here. Respect for other individuals, cultures, backgrounds, educational levels, and so forth, is simply absolutely required for anyone who wants to be effective at AGS.
– Teamwork: There's no definition of what we do at AGS that does not involve working together as a team. You should be willing not just to work along side others, but to positively find ways to make your work complement and enrich that of others. Teamwork means not thinking of yourself as having one narrow set of duties. It means actively pursuing ways of working together, it means listening to each other with a willingness to adjust how you do your job, and it means not thinking that your work is done when your official duties for the day have been discharged. If you're looking for a more individualistic, laissez-faire model, you are looking for a different job.
– Service: This program, at its most essential level, is a kind of service. To work at AGS you need to have someone else's--the students'--interests at the forefront of your motivations. If you are in it for yourself, or if you are not first and foremost interested in promoting the interests of this group of young people, then this isn't for you.
– Celebration and Encouragement: AGS invokes all of your energy, talents, patience, inter-personal skills, and professionalism. When we see each other doing these things well, we ought to make sure that we note it--lots of our work will go unnoticed, but we try hard to encourage each other when we see a job well-done.
- Interaction with students outside the classroom is an important component of the learning process. Eating meals in the cafeteria, spending time in informal conversation, and participating in social and recreational activities with students develop relationships which make classroom activities more effective.
- Attending required speakers and films allows us to engage students in conversation about the topics covered which can also be integrated into classroom material.
- Leading and/or attending various 4:10/6:10 informal seminars encourages faculty, staff, and students to share similar interests and learn about new topics together.
- Attending student’s concerts, plays, and art shows supports the value of these programs and stimulates the creative atmosphere of the school.
- Accompanying groups on field trips also provides opportunities for informal interaction as well as common learning experiences.
- Driving vans on field trips and to/from local churches on Sunday mornings are ways to support the many needs of the entire program and help reduce costs.
Please recognize that working at AGS is not a “9-5 Monday-Friday” kind of job. There are many evening and weekend activities faculty and staff should attend. Commitment to participating in these activities is an essential key to success as an employee of AGS.