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The Intern Program at CTL

Applications for the 2014-15 intern program are now available.

The deadline to apply for next year's internships is July 15, 2014.


The Center for Teaching and Learning opened its doors in 1990 as a non-profit demonstration school funded through foundation grants, tuitions, donations, and revenues raised through our seminars and program for teacher-visitors. Our student population includes eighty children of mixed abilities in classes of combined grades, K-8. The tuition is set purposely low—one-third that of other independent schools in the area. We work hard to raise sufficient tuition assistance so that our student population closely resembles that of a typical Maine public elementary school.

CTL is also a demonstration school for teachers from across the U.S. The faculty has drawn on theory and research, including our own, to show how K-8 schools might be restructured. The curriculum stresses real and original work: writing, research, computation and problem-solving, experiments, building, observation, data collection and analysis, the reading of exceptional children’s literature across the disciplines, and artistic, musical, and dramatic performance.

Instruction in writing, reading, and math is organized as a workshop, which combines whole-group instruction, via mini-lessons and conferences with individual students about their independent efforts. We believe these approaches have intrinsic value, transfer readily to life beyond school, engage students, and motivate them to sustain the hard work that learning requires. CTL’s philosophy and methods invite other educators to look with new eyes at what is possible for their schools and students.

The intern program is an opportunity for us to demonstrate research-based methods in an environment we designed to match our intentions, beliefs, knowledge, and experience. We believe key elements of the CTL program can provide a realistic alternative for teachers seeking more effective models for teaching and being with children and collaborating with colleagues. CTL faculty have worked with interning teachers from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington, D.C., Wisconsin, Wyoming, Canada, Ecuador, England, India, Uganda, and the Philippines.

The intern program serves classroom teachers of grades K-8 interested in learning more about teaching writing and reading at either the K-4 or 5-8 level, with opportunities to observe and confer with several CTL teachers about literacy instruction. Participants learn about writing and reading mini-lessons, conferences, spelling instruction, age-appropriate literature and poetry, and CTL teachers’ approaches to recordkeeping and evaluation. Visiting teachers can anticipate interning alongside other teachers from the same grade levels from schools throughout the U.S. and beyond our borders.

The internship program is structured to make it likely that visiting teachers will be able to act on what they have learned here and make substantive changes back home. We have established the following conditions for participation:

  1. Classroom teachers of K-8 only are invited to apply. We’re sorry that high school teachers, curriculum coordinators, special education teachers, teachers of the gifted and talented, literacy coaches, graduate students, librarians, Title I teachers, and administrators are not eligible. Internships are limited to classroom teachers because their firsthand experiences with children and investment in helping their own students will be most valuable in translating aspects of CTL’s program to other settings. In addition, since we operate without any of the personnel listed above, we aren't able to offer the assistance or specifics that these folks would seek.

  2. Interested teachers submit an application (see the downloadable PDF) that provides information about their teaching backgrounds. Note: Teachers from one school who are applying to travel to CTL together should submit their application forms together.

  3. Teachers spend four days, Monday-Thursday, at the school and immerse themselves in CTL’s schedule, organization, curricula, and methods and theories of teaching. Interns observe instruction, record and reflect on their observations, and work with one another and our faculty; they do not teach CTL students. The focus is on examining the structures in place here and considering implications for back home.

  4. The cost to each interning teacher is $850, payable in full no later than two weeks in advance of the first day of the internship.

CTL teachers review applications and select the intern teams together in late July. Our criteria include adherence to the guidelines established in this letter; completeness of the application; and compatibility of a teacher’s vision and sense of purpose with CTL.

Applicants are notified of our decision by or on August 8; please don’t call the school before that date.

CTL is located approximately an hour north of Portland, Maine. Teachers who live at a distance and cannot commute daily can arrange to be accommodated locally at the inn at the the Cod Cove Inn or the Sheepscot Harbour Village and Resort. Neither facility is within walking distance of the school, so interns should anticipate that they will require a car during their stay in Edgecomb. CTL will not be able to make lodging or car rental arrangements.

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