Middle School Teacher, January 2020

We are hiring a middle school teacher to begin January 2020. Are you a teacher with a vision of what student-centered learning can be? Interested in joining a creative, thoughtful, collaborative team? Read below for the job description and information about how to apply.

Chicago Free School is seeking a creative, motivated middle-school teacher who is passionate about student-led learning. We seek to foster a sense of ownership and self-motivation in students and are looking for a middle-school teacher who enjoys connecting students with engaging, authentic learning experiences that help them grow as a whole person.

Chicago Free School Middle School Teacher Job Description

Homeroom Teaching, mornings and all day Fridays.

  • Advise a homeroom group of 10-15 students in 6th, 7th, and 8th
  • Develop, adapt, and teach math and literacy curricula that incorporate student interests, teacher interests, and core subject competencies. Subject matter should be geared toward middle school students and centered on project-based, interdisciplinary, service-learning, hands-on, and inquiry-based modes of learning. Teachers have significant autonomy to develop fun, purposeful, and creative learning experiences in partnership with students. We employ flexible grouping based on students’ individual development.
  • Incorporate social justice as a core curricular focus according to an intersectional, anti-oppression lens.
  • Organize and lead frequent field trips connected to learning themes. Involve students in the field trip planning process.
  • Support students’ individual development, goal-setting, and self-directed learning. Support students’ intrinsic motivation. Support students’ completion of independent projects and activities in literacy, math, and other subject areas.
  • Use formal and informal assessment strategies to track student progress and development.
  • Use community-building activities and structures to promote a positive, productive, and inclusive classroom environment.
  • Teach social and emotional skills through advisory activities and individual coaching.

Afternoon Teaching, Mondays-Thursdays

  • Teach elective subject-area classes (such as painting, chemistry, or architecture) to students at a variety of grade levels.
  • Lead clubs based on student interests.
  • Supervise students during outdoor play.

CFS Philosophy of Conflict Resolution

  • Support students in democratic resolution of conflicts using a process similar to restorative justice.
  • Communicate respectfully and non-coercively with students to enforce school rules in order to foster a safe and positive classroom culture.
  • Balance supporting students in developing independence and autonomy while maintaining a safe learning environment.

Family Communication

  • Develop personal, supportive relationships with families of homeroom students.
  • Write narrative reports 2 times per year and participate in student-led conferences to share with families about what students have been learning and doing.

Administrative Roles

  • Participate in a collectively-managed staff to make administrative and operational decisions in partnership with the board of directors. Decisions are made by consensus. We do not have a principal or director.
  • Take on an administrative role such as fundraising, parent communication, or facilities management in coordination with building landlords. Staff share administrative responsibilities with a full-time administrator.

Expected time with students per week – 30 hours, expected planning time per week – 8-10 hours/week, expected administrative time per week – 5 hours/week, expected meeting time per week – 2 hrs/week.

School session for teachers – Mid-August to mid-June.

Starting salary – $50,000 per year plus medical and dental benefits.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Experience working with middle-school/junior high students in an educational setting.
  • Experience taking initiative and bringing projects to completion.
  • Track record of creating a positive classroom/school culture among young adolescents.
  • Track record of teaching according to a student-centered, student-directed model.
  • Track record of teaching multiple subjects or taking an interdisciplinary approach to teaching.

In Place of a Cover Letter, Please Answer the Following Questions in 2 Pages or Less:

  1. Why are you interested in working at the Chicago Free School?
  2. What strengths will you bring to our work to build the Chicago Free School?
  3. Describe your approach to working with 11- to 14-year old students to support the particular needs of this age group with regard to social, emotional, and intellectual development.
  4. Talk about a math lesson or math-themed hands-on activity that you have led as an educator that you feel was particularly successful or engaging to students.
  5. Talk about a project-based, hands-on, interdisciplinary, or inquiry-based lesson or activity you have led as an educator that you feel encapsulates some part of your vision for what education should be.

In addition to your writing, please include lesson plans, photos, and/or samples of student work to accompany your answers to questions 4 and 5. Please submit your answers and portfolio documents as an MS Word or PDF document.

Send your resume and application materials via email to lauren.beitler@chicagofreeschool.org.

Non-discrimination Statement:

  • The Chicago Free School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identification, or family income in the administration of its educational policies, tuition assessments, admissions and other school-administered programs.
  • People of color are especially encouraged to apply.