We are hiring a lower elementary teacher for 2019-2020. 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 Elementary Teacher Job Description:

  • Teach in a student-centered, democratic school community. We involve students in making decisions about curriculum and school rules, and students have significant freedom to choose learning activities throughout the day.
  • Support students in democratic resolution of conflicts using a process similar to restorative justice.
  • Communicate respectfully and non-coercively with students about school rules and learning goals. Balance supporting students in developing independence and autonomy while maintaining a safe learning environment.
  • Serve as primary teacher for a group of 15 students in grades 1 through 3. Develop personal, supportive relationships with families of those students. Teach and supervise a variety of other age groupings at various times throughout the day.
  • Teach literacy and math daily with curriculum tailored to students’ interests, skills, and readiness level. Connect literacy and math to authentic project-based, inquiry-based, and thematic learning experiences.
  • Support students with learning differences.
  • Support students’ completion of independent projects and activities. Support students’ intrinsic motivation. Teach according to a student-centered, student-driven pedagogical approach.
  • Teach elective classes based on teacher expertise and student interest in a variety of areas such as social studies, science, music, art, dance, cooking, technology, writing, etc. Elective classes include mixed aged groups such as K-4th, 3rd-8th, or K-8th, depending on subject matter.
  • Incorporate social justice as a core curricular focus according to an intersectional, anti-oppression lens.
  • Organize and lead frequent field trips approximately two-three times per month based on student input and subject-area connections.
  • Maintain a classroom space that promotes self-directed learning and provides learning resources for students at a variety of levels.
  • Use formal and informal assessment strategies to track student progress and development. We do not administer standardized tests.
  • Write narrative reports 2 times per year for students in your homeroom group and participate in student-led conferences to share with families about what students have been learning and doing.
  • Participate in a staff collective to make all day-to-day 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 additional administrative role in partnership with the school administrator, such as fundraising, volunteer coordinator, or parent communication.

Strong Candidates Will:

  • Demonstrate strong early literacy pedagogy and an ability to differentiate learning to match students’ readiness. Assess the individual strengths and abilities of each student to ensure that all students experience success.
  • Demonstrate an ability to create innovative hands-on, inquiry-based, and project-based learning experiences in partnership with students.
  • Demonstrate an ability to respectfully ensure a productive and safe classroom environment where students are working on a variety of activities and choices simultaneously.
  • Have experience leading groups of children in a traditional or non-traditional educational setting. Certification preferred but not required.
  • Be flexible, adaptable, and willing to take initiative in a startup environment.
  • Demonstrate a strong commitment to our mission and vision and a willingness to work hard to help realize our vision. Demonstrate a strong commitment to social justice and anti-oppression.
  • Have strong collaborative skills to work closely with a team of peers. Be open to give and receive honest feedback from peers.
  • Show professionalism in communicating with parents, students, and staff. Demonstrate an ability to build strong, caring relationships with all members of our school community.

Salary and Benefits

  • Starting salary of $50,000.
  • Employee health and dental benefits.


Please email your resumé and your portfolio as described below to

chicagofreeschool – at – gmail.com.

Instead of a cover letter, we ask you to submit a mini-portfolio that demonstrates your teaching work.

  • Please submit evidence of 2-3 students-centered learning activities you have led or facilitated.
  • For each learning activity, please include a brief description including information about the context of the project or unit of study, what students were doing during the activity, what skills students were developing, and how social/emotional learning and support for learning differences were incorporated.
  • For each activity, please also include 2-3 examples of student work (preferred), and/or photos of students engaged in the learning activity. Please share photos only with permission.
  • Please submit the portfolio as a PDF document.

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.