1. Teacher Applications
New teachers may complete a Teacher Application and will be contacted for an interview to discuss his/her class proposal and availability for the Bright Lights summer program. New teachers may teach one class, either morning or afternoon. A list of available curricula and suggested ideas for new classes is available. Please be prepared to share your ideas for a class at your interview. A teaching position will be confirmed before January.
Interviews are held at the Bright Lights office located at 5561 S 48th St, Suite 220. Interviews will begin around mid-October.
Bright Lights will conduct background checks on new teachers not currently under contract with a school district. For teachers with a current teaching contract, a full background check will not be completed; however, a reference form will be mailed to the school's principal. Notification to Bright Lights is required within 48 hours if there are any allegations of child abuse or neglect or if your current position is terminated for any reason.
Read our blog! Perspective from a First-Year Bright Lights Teacher
Returning teachers are the strength of the Bright Lights program.
Returning Bright Lights teachers may submit a Returning Teacher Application by November 1 to receive a $90 bonus. Teaching availability dates do not need to be confirmed by November 1 but should be finalized by December 31. Please check the Teacher Calendar for specific program dates. Late submissions will be accepted but options for teaching in specific sessions may be limited.
Please consider flexibility in determining your availability as some dates/times become over-requested and the session is too full resulting in lower enrollment. Class placement will be confirmed by mid-January.
For additional information, please contact the Education Coordinator, Renee Ford, at the Bright Lights office at 402-420-1115, ext 42, or email TeacherRecruit@BrightLights.org.
2. Teacher Salary
Teacher salary for a half-day class ranges between $410 and $435, dependent upon number of students registered. Teacher salary for a full-day camp ranges between $820 and $870. Teachers who co-teach a half-day class will split the salary.
Returning teachers will receive a $90 bonus when they return to teach the following summer and submit their Teacher Application by November 1.
International Program. Experienced Returning Bright Lights teachers are typically recruited to teach the International Classes held in the morning session of the last program week of June. The students in these classes are divided equally between American and Japanese students. The Japanese students are ninth graders from Senshu Middle School in Japan. Because of the increased expectations in teaching in the International Program, the teachers receive an additional $80.
Before Care and Lunch Care. New and returning teachers are encouraged to consider teaching a Before Care class for one week from 7:30 - 9:00 AM at a rate of $200 or supervise one week of Lunch Care from 11:45 AM - 12:45 PM at a rate of $135.
As a bonus, teachers are entitled to one half-priced class for each class they commit to teach and two half-priced classes for each full-day camp. Teachers will be given a discount code prior to March 24.
Teachers whose residence is further than 25 miles from the program site will receive a partial reimbursement stipend for gas/mileage. This information is submitted on the teacher pay sheet that is turned in on Friday of the program week.
3. Teacher Expectations
Class descriptions must be finalized by December 15. Teachers will receive an email to proof their class description with a short turnaround time in which to notify the Bright Lights office of any necessary changes.
Teacher Meeting. The required teacher meeting will be held in April each year at the main program site. New and returning teachers attending the spring teacher meeting receive a stipend.
Employment with Bright Lights is at will and may be terminated at any time by either Bright Lights or the teacher.
Classroom setup day. Generally, this is the Friday morning prior to the program week you are teaching. Check the Teacher Calendar for dates and times. If you have conflicts with the setup date, contact Renee before May 20 at 402-420-1115, ext. 42 or email TeacherRecruit@BrightLights.org.
Friday Open House. Students develop a class project or presentation that is a culmination of the class curriculum for the Friday Open House scheduled each program week at either 11:30 a.m. or 3:30 p.m.
Class materials. Basic supplies are available in the Supply Room at the main program site. Teachers will be reimbursed for supplies up to $75 for as many as 17 students or up to $85 with as many as 20 students, plus any assessed material fees as listed in the class description. If teachers would like to be reimbursed for supplies prior to their program week, contact the Bright Lights office. Alternately, Teachers may request a pre-paid card with which to purchase supplies. All receipts are required for reimbursement.
Food. All food served in the Bright Lights classroom from teachers or students should be store purchased and labeled, created in the classroom with fresh ingredients, or brought in from companies or restaurants. Teachers may make food at home following appropriate preparation guidelines. No nuts or nut products should be served or used in the program due to food allergies. Remember, some nut allergies are airborne.
Teachers and Classroom Assistants may not bring their own child(ren) or any other child(ren) to class except with pre-approval by Bright Lights administrators and only in emergency situations.
4. Curriculum Expectations
A Blank Lesson Plan and Lesson Plan Checklist with detailed expectations can be found on the Teacher Resources page.
Lesson plans should include:
- A career experience, such as a speaker, a field trip, or classroom activity, if applicable. For example, students in the robotics class working with Lego Mindstorms might invite an engineer to visit the class to share how their new knowledge applies to the real world. Refer to the students as architects, scientists or artists during the week.
- At least three STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) connections should be included in every class, regardless of the class category.
- A vocabulary list with five to seven words to be taught during class with definitions.
- A Resource Handout that provides additional information about the class topic for parents. Resources may include other related Bright Lights classes, age-appropriate books, appropriate websites, a list of other supporting classes offered in other programs, ideas for related activities or projects, or lists of community clubs. Distribute the list to parents/families during the Friday Open House.
Field trips must receive approval from the Education Coordinator by January 5 and generally require drop-off/pick-up at the site for the entire class time on the date scheduled. A field trip should be considered when it significantly enhances the curriculum. Bright Lights encourages career exploration in the classes with guest speakers.
Lesson plans are due May 1. Lesson plans become the property of Bright Lights, Inc., credited with your name.
5. Classroom Assistants
Typically, two assistants are assigned to each class, but teachers may request additional assistants. Teachers are encouraged to recruit their own classroom assistants, looking especially for students who have a talent or interest in the subject area of the class, an interest in a teaching career, college education majors, or high school students who need volunteer hours. The name(s) of the Classroom Assistant(s) are submitted on the Teacher Application or updated to the user account before March 1. Teachers may recruit their own high school aged child as a Classroom Assistant with prior approval by the Classroom Assistant Specialist.
Classroom Assistant Qualifications
- High school students (completed ninth grade), college students, or adults may apply
- Generally are at least three years older than the students with which they will be assisting
- First and second year Assistants must attend a Classroom Assistant Orientation
- Those who are 19 or older must complete a background check
Teachers will receive the list of assigned classroom assistant names and need to contact them prior to the program week to review expectations. Teachers should schedule them to help with classroom set-up on the Friday morning before class begins and disassembling the classroom on the last day of class. Classroom Assistants are expected to arrive and depart at least 15 minutes before and after students.
Family members may not serve as para-educators or classroom assistants for their own child in a class.
If you have any questions, please contact Jodi, Bright Lights Classroom Assistant Specialist, at 402-420-1115 ext. 49, or email ClassAssist@BrightLights.org.
6. Notification of Change in Employment
If you are a K-12 teacher and are scheduled to work for Bright Lights in any capacity during the upcoming summer, contact the Bright Lights Education Coordinator immediately if any school district takes action to recommend cancellation, non-renewal, or termination of your teaching contract, or if you resign a position after being informed of possible cancellation, non-renewal or termination of your teaching contract, regardless of the reason for the recommended or proposed action. Bright Lights must be notified within 10 days of your notification of a proposed, possible or recommended action on your contract and within 10 days of your resignation of such position. Contact Bright Lights if any action is taken to investigate a complaint about you, or any action is otherwise being taken to reprimand, discipline, suspend or revoke your teaching certificate by the State of Nebraska or any other state in which you are certified to teach.