1. Teacher Applications
New teachers may complete a Teacher Application and will be contacted for an interview to discuss his/her camp proposal and availability for the Bright Lights summer program. Please be prepared to share your ideas for a camp at your interview. A teaching position will be confirmed before January.
Interviews will be held via Zoom or in person, depending on the current health mandates. The Education Coordinator and teacher will choose which method works best for them. 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 (and fulfill teaching commitment in the summer) to receive a $100 bonus. Teaching availability dates do not need to be confirmed by November 1 but should be finalized by December 15. 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. Camp 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 camp ranges between $435 and $485, dependent upon number of students registered. Teacher salary for a full-day camp ranges between $870 and $970. Teachers who co-teach a half-day or full-day camp may split the salary, depending on enrollment.
Returning teachers will receive a $100 bonus when they return to teach the following summer, submit their Teacher Application by November 1 and fulfill their teaching commitment in the summer.
International Program. Experienced returning Bright Lights teachers are typically recruited to teach the International Camps. The students in these camps 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 session for one week from 7:30 - 9:00 AM at a rate of $200 or supervise one week of Lunch Care from 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM at a rate of $200.
As a bonus, teachers are entitled to one half-priced camp for each camp they commit to teach, and two half-priced camps for each full-day camp taught. Teachers will be given a discount code prior to public registration.
3. Teacher Expectations
Camp descriptions must be finalized by December 15. Teachers will receive an email to proofread their camp 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, along with some alternate sites and dates. 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 project or presentation that is a culmination of the camp curriculum for the Friday Open House scheduled each program week at either 11:30 a.m. or 3:30 p.m.
Camp 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 camp description. New camps will receive an additional $50 for starter supplies if needed. If teachers would like to be reimbursed for supplies prior to their program week, please 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 or created in the classroom with fresh ingredients. Teachers should follow appropriate food preparation and safety 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 Camp Assistants may not bring their own child(ren) or any other child(ren) to camp except with pre-approval by Bright Lights administrators, and only in emergency situations.
4. Curriculum Expectations
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 camp working with LEGO Mindstorms might invite an engineer to visit the camp 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 STEAM (science, technology, art, engineering and math) connections should be included in every camp, regardless of the camp category.
- A vocabulary list with five to seven words to be taught during camp with definitions.
- A Resource Handout that provides additional information about the camp topic for parents. Resources may include other related Bright Lights camps, age-appropriate books, appropriate websites, a list of other supporting camps 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 camp time on the date scheduled. A field trip should be considered when it significantly enhances the curriculum. Bright Lights encourages career exploration in the camps with guest speakers.
Lesson plans are due May 1. Lesson plans become the property of Bright Lights, Inc., credited with your name.
5. Camp Assistants
Typically, two assistants are assigned to each camp, depending on camp size and age of the students. Teachers are encouraged to recruit their own camp assistants, looking especially for students who have a talent or interest in the subject area of the camp, an interest in a teaching career, college education majors, or high school students who need volunteer hours. The name(s) of the Camp 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 Camp Assistant with prior approval by the Camp Assistant Specialist.
Camp Assistant Qualifications:
- Current or rising high school students (completed 8th grade by June 1, 2021), college students, or adults may apply
- Assistants are at least two grades older than the oldest students with which they will be assisting
- First and second year assistants must attend a Camp Assistant Orientation
- Those who are 19 or older must complete a background check
Teachers will receive the list of assigned camp 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. Good communication from the teacher to the CA will result in coordinated schedules and clear expectations. Camp Assistants are expected to arrive and depart at least 15 minutes before and after students.
Family members may not serve as para-educators or camp assistants for their own child in a camp.
If you have any questions, please contact Jodi, Bright Lights Camp Assistant Specialist, at 402-420-1115 ext. 49, or email CampAssist@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.