Employment Opportunities | Mechanics' Institute

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Employment Opportunities

About the Mechanics’ Institute

The Mechanics' Institute (Institute), was founded in 1854 and is one of San Francisco's enduring arts and culture institutions, described by the San Francisco Chronicle as a "vibrant cultural oasis." Located in a historic building in downtown San Francisco, the Institute offers a vibrant full-service library, a world-renowned chess club providing expert instruction and opportunities for competition for youth and adults, and a robust calendar of cultural events, programs, and classes. The Institute engages local, national, and international audiences with our in-person and virtual programs and services.  

Current Openings:

Chess Instructor | Lead Chess Instructor | Chess Tournament Director or Lead Chess Tournament Director


Chess Instructor

 

JOB DESCRIPTION

Reporting to the Chess Program Manager, the Chess Instructor will teach regular classes and assist Lead Chess Instructors for large classes for scholastic chess programs. Scholastic chess includes classes held at Mechanics’ Institute, on school campuses during or after school hours, online classes, seasonal camps, and weekend classes. Qualified candidates should have a foundational knowledge of chess and be familiar or be willing to be trained in chess instructional techniques. Candidates should also have a basic foundation in classroom management and conflict resolution strategies, particularly working with children. The Chess Instructor will be part of the Mechanics’ Institute team, working on building a culture of unity and quality that reflects outward to the community.

 

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Deliver dynamic lessons for students of varying levels of experience.
  • Help manage larger classes and support the Lead Chess Instructor in teaching students.
  • Promote chess tournaments, classes, camps, and other chess events to scholastic participants.
  • Communicate effectively and professionally with school administrators and parents when needed and as directed by the Lead Chess Instructor.
  • Attend professional development and staff meetings when scheduled and as needed.

 

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Basic knowledge of chess principals (pieces, checkmate, basic pins/ forks/ tactics/ strategies).
  • Prior experience working with children, with preference to specific experience in teaching or assisting with scholastic chess.
  • Familiarity with classroom management strategies.
  • Can follow lesson plan supplied by the institute and/or lead coach.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills. Computer proficient with experience with MS Office.
  • Ability to maintain privacy and confidentiality of sensitive information.
  • Strong problem-solving and time management skills.
  • Ability to work well independently and as part of a team.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills – ability to communicate with members, donors, staff, and the public in a friendly and professional manner by phone, email, and in person.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to travel from one class location to another and lift up to 20lbs.

 

Compensation and Benefits

  • This is a part-time position. Compensation is based on available and assigned classes, and instructors are paid for classes taught per week. Compensation is $45 per hour for class and preparation time. Travel time between classes on the same day, aside from unpaid break times, will be compensated at the San Francisco or local worksite minimum wage, whichever is higher. 
  • Membership to the Mechanics’ Institute.

 

To Apply

  • Send cover letter and resume to [email protected] and include “Chess Instructor” in the subject line.
  • Position will remain open until filled.
  • No phone calls please.

 


Lead Chess Instructor

 

JOB DESCRIPTION

Reporting to the Chess Program Manager, the Lead Chess Instructor will provide regular instruction and leadership in our in-person scholastic chess programs. Scholastic chess includes classes held at Mechanics’ Institute, on school campuses during or after school hours, online classes, seasonal camps, and weekend classes. Qualified candidates should have a foundational knowledge of chess and be familiar or be willing to be trained in chess instructional techniques. Candidates should also have a solid foundation in classroom management and conflict resolution strategies, particularly working with children, as well as experience in supporting and training other instructors. The Lead Chess Instructor will be part of the Mechanics’ Institute team, working on building a culture of unity and quality that reflects outward to the community.

 

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Plan, prepare, and deliver dynamic lessons for students of varying levels of experience.
  • Successfully manage classrooms including reporting accurate roll and absences, setting learning expectations, adhering to school rules and regulations, and reporting any classroom challenges.
  • Provide leadership and support to other Chess Instructors. This includes helping train Chess Instructors, supervise large classes with multiple instructors, and manage other high-level classroom and education initiatives.
  • Work with the Chess Program Manager to develop curricula, create lesson plans, and draft new exercises and worksheets for classroom and homework usage. 
  • Promote of chess tournaments, classes, camps, and other MI Chess Club events to scholastic participants.
  • Communicate effectively and professionally with school administrators and parents when needed.
  • Attend professional development and staff meetings when scheduled and as needed.

 

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:

  • A minimum of one year of chess instruction in a classroom and/or at three years of teaching elementary or middle school students in academic or general enrichment classes.
  • Strong knowledge of chess principals (pieces, checkmate, basic pins/ forks/ tactics/ strategies).
  • Prior experience working with children, with preference to specific experience in teaching or assisting with scholastic chess.
  • Familiarity with classroom management strategies.
  • Ability to manage a class size of 15+ students: assess, group and assign students into different groups, supervise other instructors, and manage rosters, attendance, performance.
  • Communicate with parents about students’ progress.
  • Address any classroom issues as needed and report situations to supervisor about class status: challenges, problems, achievements, and potential leads.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills. Computer proficient with experience with MS Office.
  • Ability to maintain privacy and confidentiality of sensitive information.
  • Strong problem-solving and time management skills.
  • Ability to work well independently and as part of a team.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills – ability to communicate with members, donors, staff, and the public in a friendly and professional manner by phone, email, and in person.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to travel from one class location to another and lift up to 20lbs.
  • Chess instructor title or chess player title (USCF of FIDE) is a plus.
  • Preferred Experience: Experience in teaching chess or similar enrichment classes and bachelor’s or higher degree in education or similar area of study. 

 

Compensation and Benefits

  • This is a part-time position in local schools and other sites. Compensation is based on available and assigned classes at $50 per hour for class and preparation time. Any travel time between classes on the same day, aside from unpaid break times, will be compensated at the San Francisco or local worksite minimum wage, whichever is higher. 
  • Membership to the Mechanics’ Institute.

 

To Apply

  • Send cover letter and resume to [email protected] and include “Lead Chess Instructor” in the subject line.
  • Position will remain open until filled.
  • No phone calls please.

 


Chess Tournament Director or Lead Chess Tournament Director

 

  • Department: Programming
  • Reports to: Sr. Director of Programs & Community Engagement
  • FLSA Classification: Non-Exempt
  • Status: Part-time, On Call

POSITION SUMMARY

The Chess Tournament Director (TD) or Lead Chess Tournament Director (Lead TD) provides onsite tournament directing for in-person events at the Mechanics' Institute. There may also be opportunities to direct tournaments virtually and at other venues, depending on Institute approval. The TD and Lead TD may also participate in arranging matches, tracking scores, and assisting with player sign-ups for events. The TD must have a current certification from US Chess and be eligible to direct tournaments, and the Lead TD must also be FIDE-certified.

 

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS

  • Organizes and directs chess tournaments for the Institute at the historic Mechanics’ Institute Chess Room. Other tournaments may be scheduled in the community or online with prior approval from the supervisor.
  • Participates in arranging matches, tracking scores, and assisting with player engagement as needed. Processes and submits tournaments for rating in US Chess as needed.
  • Works with the programming team to ensure scheduling of tournaments works with the broader Institute calendar and is coordinated to complement other chess events so that the
  • Institute maintains a collaborative approach in the chess community.
  • Makes suggestions for technology advances and equipment to support the facilitation of chess tournaments.
  • Assists with trouble shooting onsite concerns during tournaments and represents Mechanics’ Institute to attendees.
  • Other tournament-related duties as assigned and approved by the supervisor.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

  • At least two years (2) years of experience as a chess tournament director.
  • Certification as a US Chess Federation Tournament Director for TD level.
  • For Lead TD level, US Chess along with FIDE National Arbiter or higher license required.
  • Experience in organizing events and availability to work some evenings and weekend days.
  • Excellent research, organizational, and verbal and written communication skills.
  • Technology savvy, with experience in Microsoft Office required. Familiarity with chess software a strong plus.
  • A thorough understanding of the importance of collaboration, emotional intelligence, and diversity, equity, and inclusion values.
  • Ability to maintain privacy and confidentiality of sensitive information.
  • Strong problem solving and time management skills. Ability to work well independently and collaboratively with a team.

 

PHYSICAL DEMANDS

  • Requires the ability to walk, stand, carry materials, stoop, kneel, bend at the waist, reach overhead, and climb stairs.
  • May require sitting and/or standing for long periods of time.
  • May be required to lift up to 25 pounds on a regular basis.

WORKING ENVIRONMENT

  • Onsite work is performed in the chess room.
  • Will be required to operate basic office equipment including but not limited to computer, printers, telephone, etc.
  • The noise level in the work environment is usually at low to moderate.

Compensation and Benefits

  • This is a non-exempt, part-time position. Compensation is based on TD or Lead TD requirements and is at an hourly rate established for the role. Any other work outside of tournament directing must be pre-approved by the supervisor and will be compensated at the established rate for each function, such as tournament preparation work, broadcasting, writing, and administrative work.
  • Benefits include sick time and membership to the Mechanics’ Institute.

To Apply

  • Send cover letter and resume to [email protected] and include “Chess Tournament Director" or "Lead Chess Tournament Director" in the subject line.
  • Position will remain open until filled.
  • No phone calls please.

 


Mechanics' Institute promotes a culture of inclusion and seeks talented staff from diverse backgrounds. The Institute does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex (including the actual gender or perception of sex identity, appearance or behavior), sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristics legally protected by federal, state, or local laws and regulations.