Middle School Associate Principal at The American School in Japan, Tokyo in Japan
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Middle School Associate Principal
The American School in Japan, Tokyo (Japan)

Jun 21, 19
Sep 1, 19


Middle School Associate Principal

Start Date: August 2020


General Background: Founded in 1902 and located in one of the most fascinating cities and cultures in the world, The American School in Japan (ASIJ) is one of the oldest and most well-regarded international schools in the world. ASIJ offers an enriched American curriculum to students of all nationalities culminating in Advanced Placement and other advanced topics courses in its high school. ASIJ’s student body consists of approximately 1,700 students representing nearly 50 different nationalities. Beyond its rigorous academic program, ASIJ focuses on educating the whole child, which includes preparing students to lead successful lives by offering diverse extra-curricular opportunities.

At ASIJ, we believe that a school should be a safe, child-centered place where educators are idealistic about the potential of every student and tenacious in their support for each student as she learns, takes risks, makes mistakes, and grows. We believe that every student has the right to learn and that we have an obligation to know, value, and care for each child. We believe that creativity and independent thinking happen when students are highly engaged, especially when purposeful assessment drives learning and when goals are clear, focused, and personalized. We believe that students excel in a learning environment where they receive high-quality feedback, opportunities for reflection, and a culture in which they frequently self-assess their own learning. We believe that students should learn through authentic experiences that challenge them to identify, understand, and solve complex multidisciplinary problems.

Position Summary: The American School in Japan (ASIJ) is seeking an experienced, dynamic school leader to assume the position of Middle School Associate Principal. The Associate Principal will assist in providing social emotional, academic and administrative leadership to our Middle School community, which consists of 400 students. He or she will focus on improving teaching and learning in line with the school’s mission, vision and values. The ideal candidate will be a caring and thoughtful individual, experienced in meeting the needs of all children; he or she will be a learning leader committed to the service of our community.


ASIJ’s Middle School associate principal is committed to the developmental needs of middle schoolers, recognizing the particular challenges and attributes of learners at this age. This includes knowledge of brain development, adolescent coaching strategies, restorative justice and executive functioning skills.

The Associate Principal is a member of the school’s Leadership Team (LT), which consists of the Head of School; the Deputy Head of School for Learning; the ES, MS, and HS principals and associate principals; the Director of ASIJ’s Early Learning Center; the school’s CFO/COO; the Director of Technology; the Director of Advancement; and the Director of Admissions.



  • Graduate degree (MA required) in educational leadership and/or curriculum and instruction;
  • Exemplary record of teaching experience, including a minimum of 5 years of experience in middle schools offering an American standards-based education, preferably in an international setting; and
  • An extensive record of engagement and collaboration as a learning leader in strategic initiatives, professional learning, curriculum review, curriculum development, assessment design and technology integration.


Administrative Leadership:

  • Challenge and assist our students to become a community of inquisitive learners and independent thinkers, inspired to be their best selves, empowered to make a difference;
  • Ensure that all teachers and support staff have a clear understanding of their performance expectations and appraise their performance;
  • Assist in providing leadership to the process of further improvement of programs across the Middle School;
  • Assist in creating an efficient, productive and caring building atmosphere where all students, faculty, and staff have opportunities to be recognized for their best efforts;
  • Care and support all students social and emotional well-being by providing pastoral care i.e, placement, discipline, support, guidance and communication with parents;
  • Lead and participate actively in committee work specific to program development and decision making;
  • Provide leadership in creating schedules that support learning and optimize collaborative work within our faculty and staff;
  • Seek the involvement of faculty and parents in a wide variety of school activities and promote a parent volunteer program;
  • Facilitate parent information forums alongside other team members;
  • Oversee substitute arrangements including daily substitute facilitation and monitoring;
  • Assistant in creating open communication within the teacher, student, and parent community;
  • Model the importance and necessity in attending after-school student activity programs and parent events;
  • Assist in the process of further improvement of programs across the Middle School;
  • Facilitate the Student Support Team; and
  • Coordinate with our Counselors to ensure aligned and supported programs.

Strategic Leadership:

  •  Design, support, and lead initiatives and actions that operationalize ASIJ’s Strategic Design Framework, which is illustrated below.

Change Leadership:

  • Models and inspires others to challenge themselves through new professional opportunities, experiences, and learning;
  • Provides clear, actionable feedback, when appropriate, that motivates ASIJ’s MS faculty;
  • Recognizes and effectively addresses embedded tensions, apprehensions, and paradoxes in ASIJ’s MS community, programming, and culture and controls the pace of change effectively and sensitively in all areas of responsibility;
  • Recognizes and reinforces others’ contributions, accomplishments, and efforts; and
  • Recognizes, supports and develops teacher-leaders.

Personal and Professional Qualities

  •  Learner-centered Determined to ensure that all decisions, programs, and initiatives are based on the best interests of students;
  • Reflective practitioner Continually reflects on his or her own professional practice, modeling a willingness to accept accountability and the determination to develop, improve, and grow;
  • Leader by example Models ASIJ’s core values and other important qualities, including compassion, humility, sensitivity, sincerity, determination, honesty, grit, and passion;
  • Professional, diplomatic, and respectful – Able to build healthy relationships based on mutual trust and to resolve conflicts and build consensus through civil, professional discourse;
  • Self-motivated and directed – Holds exceptionally high standards for him- or herself, including a willingness to seek constructive criticism and adjust his or her ways of working;
  • Highly collaborative – Committed to developing highly collaborative, high-functioning teams and to sharing decision-making and distributing authority, when appropriate;
  • Results oriented – Follows through and completes assigned tasks at exceptionally high levels, often inventing novel solutions to challenging problems;
  • Risk-taker – Models, inspires, and encourages risk-taking, when appropriate;
  • Outstanding communication skills – Excels in communications with all ASIJ stakeholders, verbally and in writing;
  • Listens actively – Possesses excellent interpersonal skills, including the abilities to actively listen and skillfully facilitate productive focused discussions;
  • Culturally sensitive – Committed to respecting and celebrating Japanese culture, while simultaneously working to honor ASIJ’s diversity; and
  • Integrity and excellence – Leads with integrity and a determination to achieve excellence.
  • Designer of future learning - Not only focussed on the day-to-day running of the school, but able to plan for the future with a progressive, research based approach to innovation.

Salary and Benefits: Salary is highly competitive and will be dependent upon the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate. Benefits include housing, health insurance, life insurance, home leave, shipping allowance, and ongoing professional learning opportunities.

Recruiting Timeline: ASIJ hopes to appoint its new MS Associate Principal in October or November 2019. The successful candidate will assume his or her new role in August 2020. Applications will be received until September 1, 2019. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply sooner rather than later because preliminary interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis. Candidates will be shortlisted with finalists brought to ASIJ for on-site interviews in September or October.

Application: To apply for this position, please submit the following documents to <jobs@asij.ac.jp>:


(1) a letter of application clearly explaining your qualifications and interest;

(2) a current CV or resume;

(3) a list of 6-8 referees, including current and past supervisors and their contact details;

(4) a one-page philosophy of education and/or leadership; and

(5) a 2-3 minute video introduction (no more!) that shares your interest in the position and what you feel you can contribute to ASIJ. Please upload your video to YouTube, Vimeo, your Google Drive, or another external hosting site and share the link in your letter of application.


Attention: If you apply for this position, please inform the school and us (Admin@searchassociates.com) that you saw the notice on the Search Associates website.



Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Bill Turner’s international teaching career has taken him to Sudan, Italy, Qatar and the UAE as well as his home country of England. His very first teaching position was in rural Sudan.