So...I've been thinking...
According to JK Rowling, Hogwarts has a student body of around 1,000. Other estimations (at least those based on the movies) place it at more probably 250 or so. I tend to stay with the first answer, as it comes from the creator herself. North America has a population over 8 times larger than the British Isles, which (if the wizard-to-muggle population remains consistent) leads one to believe Ilvermorny would have around 8,000 students!
This is quite an unwieldy number, and would require a staff of equal magnitude. As a partial (and AU) solution, I propose that there are other major institutes of learning within the boundries of North America. These academies are all very prestigious, only slightly less so then Ilvermorny itself (though alumni of these schools would never admit to being 'lesser'). In addition, there might be a dozen or so even more regional schools, and of course perhaps tutoring and 'home schooling' is more common on this side of the Atlantic. I like the idea that in New York there's a large, 'magical high school' in Manhattan. Not a boarding school, but more like a traditional day school, but for wizards...bells ringing between classes, quidditch players wearing lettermen jackets, and nerds blowing up the potion class!
Anyway...I digress. So, this story will be centered on my interpretation of Ilvermorny and it's student body of over 1,000. The other schools will be revealed as the story progresses, and appear from time to time.
The name of the story refers to one of my first AU adjustments...the concept of a 'junior' professor.
The Secundi Magisteri...also known as 'seconds'...are younger professors who lack tenure, and are hired on a year-to-year basis. At the end of each school year, secundi who wish to remain at their position are notified if their services are to be retained, or if they are to be 'let go'. While most are retained indefinitely, it is not unheard of for some to be released due to unsatisfactory service or other circumstances.
Seven secundi are employed each year, though they are not necessarily assigned to a specific class. The tenured departmental professors have a great deal of influence on who is hired and who is retained, but the final decision lies with the Head Master. Occasionally additional secundi are employed, depending on the needs of each individual school year. Each can expect to be called upon to teach nearly any of the core classes. Tenured professors may request a specific second, and usually expect to have their request honored, but once again it's the Head Master's final decision as to where an individual second will work. Students and faculty still refer to seconds by the title 'professor'.
Seconds will often teach the majority of the 1st years and some of the 2nd years, though the tenured professors will regularly monitor and occasionally stepping in when needed. For older years, they'll act as teaching assistants, or occasionally take over as a substitute if needed. Returning seconds are often called on to lend aid to the advanced courses, and even the extracurricular activities, if they so desire.
I'm thinking of making this an SYOC, where hopefully you will provide me with some interesting seconds who are lucky enough to start their teaching careers at Ilvermorny! For the first time in two centuries, Ilvermorny will be breaking in a full seven new secundi magisteri. I would like to have six submissions, with the seventh being a character of my creation. Only PMs will be considered, as I want to the exact identity of the non-SYOC to be a secret, even to those who are chosen (story point).
Sooo...please PM me if you think you might be interested! I'm not posting an OC form yet, as I would like to send anyone interested a bunch of background info on the school and world (things like short bios of existing teachers, requirements for consideration of employment, class descriptions and the like), so as to help them craft the best secundi they can. As this is a work in progress, I'd even entertain suggestions about the world I hope to build. I'm working on a proper 'intro' chapter as well...here's a hint; how do the students actually GET to Ilvermorny? I know SYOC's are risky propositions...many launch, few survive. I even have one floundered story myself. Even so, I'm sort of jazzed about this idea, and would like to see where it goes. Hope to hear from all interested parties!