Special Education Teacher Job Description
Legal Prep Charter Academy seeks a Special Education Teacher to begin in August 2021. Legal Prep Charter Academy (“Legal Prep”) is Chicago’s first and only legal-themed high school, putting diverse, low-income students on the path for college success. Legal Prep opened its doors on August 20, 2012 in West Garfield Park and began offering a free, college preparatory education to students in a community with primarily low performing schools. Legal Prep is currently the highest rated high school in a two-mile radius and has over 70% of its alumni in college. Legal Prep will be in its tenth year of operation during the 2021-22 school year and enroll 300 students. As the name indicates, Legal Prep has a legal-themed curriculum and uses this unique theme to engage its diverse population of students in their learning and teach skills that will make our students successful in college and life. Legal Prep also works closely with the Chicago legal community to provide additional resources, exposure, and skills that complement our curriculum and promote analytical reasoning and critical thinking.
The Special Education Teacher (“Teacher”) has overall responsibility for instructing our special education students in either a co-taught or self-contained classroom setting, teaching critical thinking skills, providing a constructive learning environment, and developing inquisitive, lifelong learning in our students. In this role, the Teacher will co-teach or lead a classroom of students, support a caseload of special education students, manage and update IEPs for that caseload of students, and be responsible for having students meet the high school standards and PSAT and SAT growth metrics that are defined at the beginning of each school year. The Teacher will be given the resources and support that are needed to successfully meet our goals for the school and our students. The Teacher will have access to the state of the art technology and learning software, and the coaching support of the Dean of Instruction, the Special Education Case Manager, and Principal. While Legal Prep does require the use of a research-based curriculum for each department, the Teacher does have some flexibility to tailor lessons to the needs of the students and flow of the class. The Teacher will work closely with the other members of the Special Education Department, Department Heads, and the Dean of Instruction to ensure that the correct curriculum, classroom management systems, and restorative discipline practices are in place in and outside of your classroom.
Given the diversity of this role, this position requires a unique combination of student compassion and high expectations. While there will be a focus on student results and academic growth, the Teacher must be as comfortable holding the line with a student’s behavior and pushing the student to meet their potential as they are calling the student’s family with good and bad reports, showing empathy for external factors affecting the student’s learning, and developing the whole student. In addition, the Teacher should be a person of vision, high energy, initiative, creativity, and follow through. This position reports to the Special Education Case Manager and the Dean of Instruction.
The Teacher will participate in and contribute to a broad range of activities within the organization, including but not limited to the following:
Develop and implement daily lessons plans to five sections of students
Manage classrooms consistent with the Legal Prep classroom standards with the support of the administrative leadership and Deans of Culture
Advise a cohort of 15 to 18 freshman students as they adjust to high school
Be open to constructive feedback on ways in which you can improve your classroom and curriculum
Provide feedback to your peers and support them in their teaching efforts
Engage your students’ families frequently to celebrate the successes and communicate the challenges
Support the restorative practices and discipline structures inside and outside your classroom
The qualified candidate for this position should have at minimum a Bachelor’s degree and special education certification for high school. Additional qualifications include experience working in either a school, non-profit, or for-profit organization, with particular experience and interest in:
Teaching high school subjects
Writing and managing IEPs
Special Education Compliance
Curriculum development and implementation, and
Program development and management.
The qualified candidate should have superior organizational skills the ability to develop a rapport with students and families and deliver standard based, culturally relevant curriculum. Other qualifications and experience should include:
Commitment to the organization’s mission
Experience with or in high need communities similar to West Garfield Park
Excellent verbal and written communication skills
Ability to apply principles and practices of sound management and supervisory methods
Competence in a variety of computer applications, including Powerschool, word processing, databases, and spreadsheets
Attributes and Strengths:
The Teacher will be expected to display critical thinking skills and abilities consistent with high quality program management, including:
Dynamic leadership skills
The ability to manage multiple priorities
The ability to analyze information and communicate the results effectively to a widely varied audience of administration, fellow teachers, other staff, volunteers, students, families, and other community stakeholders
The creativity required to oversee the design of new programs and services
The strategic thinking required to envision long-term goals and objectives
The management skills required to move the organization forward in achieving its goals
Job Type: Full-time
Pay: $51,000.00 – $66,000.00 per year
We are currently engaged in fully remote learning, so the entire interview process will be virtual via Zoom.