English Teacher, High School
University of Chicago
DepartmentLab School High School Faculty
About the Department
At the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, students in Nursery through Grade 12 experience a world-class educational journey. Founded in 1896 by John Dewey as a place for educators to develop and explore novel approaches to pedagogy and curriculum, Lab continues to provide excitement and imagination in learning to this day. Academic rigor, experiential learning, and intellectual discourse are hallmarks of a Lab education. Lab educators are recognized for excellence in teaching and pride themselves on innovation in the classroom. Students in every grade have access to unparalleled resources, and all members of the Lab community benefit by partnerships and connections with the University of Chicago. Families who choose Lab care deeply about curiosity, inquiry, and creativity.
No less than scholarship, Lab’s mission prioritizes honoring diversity and exhibiting kindness. We are committed to building and supporting a teaching and learning community where young people see aspects of their backgrounds and identities reflected around them, where they feel a deep sense of belonging, and where they discover and use their voices to full effect. Today, 53-59 percent of Lab’s student body are students of color. Families report speaking nearly 40 different languages in their homes. Approximately 60 percent of Lab families are also affiliated with the University of Chicago. Half of our families live in Hyde Park, and the rest come from across Chicago, the suburbs, and northwestern Indiana. Inclusion is a fundamental value at Lab, such that we celebrate every facet of community members’ identities, and even where we disagree, we emphasize respect, civility, and maintaining a spirit of community.
Lab seeks the finest employees to join our vibrant learning community. We employ people with a wide range of skills and training in many different disciplines, who have in common a love of learning and the wish to inspire that same love of learning in young people. We seek candidates for employment who thrive in an educational environment. We provide a great professional home for those committed to collaboration, ongoing personal and professional growth, and cultivating positive relationships. We strongly encourage applications from candidates of color, LGBTQ+ identified candidates, candidates from historically marginalized or underrepresented backgrounds, and candidates with a demonstrated commitment to a deepening diversity, equity, and inclusion practice. In turn, we strive to ensure that Lab is a joyful, welcoming, and inspiring place to work. Through our connection to the University, faculty, staff, and administrators enjoy benefits and opportunities that would be nearly impossible to match in any other environment.
Critical analysis of literature stands at the core of our English Department as we develop thoughtful, reflective, independent readers and writers. We love literature and its power to inspire, question, and change perspective, and we hope that, along with building disciplined critical skills, we pass that love on to our students to carry on in their lives and out into the world. We strive for pedagogical diversity in how we invite students to enter texts, and we prioritize cultural and socio-political diversity in the material we teach. (The department’s working statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion is available here).
Our foundational courses are not based on traditional content areas (no American lit, Brit lit, world lit, etc.), but rather are designed around the literature that best facilitates skill development. We’re more about “how” than “what,” though we know our texts very, very well. Our courses all build or reinforce a well-scaffolded, evidence-first process for developing original critical essays. We also, however, offer significant alternative assignments -- such as poetry translation, text illustration, cross-textual explorations, playwrighting or story writing -- to give students a variety of paths to think about what they read and what writers do.
We want students to step back and objectively consider the text on its own terms, and we want them to step forward and bring themselves to the text. Teachers are expected to create an environment that allows students to think critically, creatively, and independently; to foster engaging discussions in class; to help students follow a clear, structured writing process; and to adapt classroom instruction to various learning styles.
Teachers are responsible for developing curriculum, supervising students both in and out of the classroom and maintaining up-to-date teaching techniques to provide students with a quality educational experience.
Teachers are also expected to build deep relationships with students, families, other faculty and staff to communicate about student progress and to foster a culture of community. We are looking for team members who will emanate optimism, solve problems collaboratively, reflect on how your actions impact others, create an engaging and inclusive school culture, and share in the united pursuit of Lab’s mission.
The English Department is responsible for educating students in grades 9-12. The courses taught by the department are designed to teach reading, writing, and thinking skills, and the content of the courses is chosen to support those goals.
English teachers report to their respective Principals and are responsible to the English Department Chair. The high school currently supports separate History and English departments and middle school supports a combined Humanities department.
The school is developing more interdisciplinary programming and is keen to have teachers collaborate and teach across departments and divisions. Demonstrated interest and ability to do both are strongly preferred.
All teachers are expected to perform in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and are expected to work the required days as stipulated in that agreement.
Ability to quickly adapt to changing circumstances and be flexible in work with students.
Ability to interact with a diverse group of faculty, staff, students, and parents required.
Knowledge of diversity, equity and inclusion issues, and dynamics in the classroom and in developing healthy, supportive relationships with all students.
Strong knowledge of course subject matter required.
Knowledge of instructional methodologies required.
Strong knowledge of child development required.
Ability to develop curricula, lesson plans, and assessment tools required.
Analytical skills required.
Problem-solving skills required.
Decision-making skills required.
Attention to detail required.
Organizational skills required.
Computational skills required.
Verbal and written communication skills.
Interpersonal skills required.
Ability to work independently and as part of a team required.
Ability to manage stressful situations required.
Ability to maintain confidentiality required.
Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously, set priorities, and meet deadlines required.
Education, Experience, or Certifications:
Bachelor's degree in English or a related field (ie. comparative literature, humanities) required.
Master's degree in English or a related field preferred.
A minimum of three years of middle school or high school teaching experience preferred.
Ability to teach any grade level of high school English required.
Ability to teach Middle School Humanities preferred.
Experience developing curriculum strongly preferred.
Experience working with a wide range of students with diverse backgrounds, such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, learning abilities, class, language and nationality, preferred.
Technical Knowledge or Skills:
Ability to use standard productivity software (Microsoft Office, calendar/schedule software, etc.) required.
Working Conditions and Physical Requirements:
Ability to move in and around the classroom/building to interact with students, faculty, staff, parents, and other members of the community.
Ability to move class-related equipment/tools, as appropriate, around school property.
When appropriate, the ability to escort children from one classroom to another, in and out of the building during arrival and dismissal, and in an emergency situation.
Ability to demonstrate lessons, when appropriate.
Based on Experience
When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.
Requires Compliance with University Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement
Depends on Qualifications
Scheduled Weekly Hours
000- American Federation of Teachers , Local 2063
Job is Exempt
Drug Test Required
Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required
Health Screen Required
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We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.
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