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Teaching Artist

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Leap Arts Published: 07/28/2017
94110, 94612
Years of Experience
2-5 Years


About Leap | Arts in Education

Founded in 1979 in response to California school budget cuts that effectively eliminated arts from elementary education, Leap | Arts in Education provides top quality arts education programs that help students build skills to achieve their fullest potential . We believe all students should have unlimited access to education in dance, theater, music, visual arts, creative writing, and architecture. Students work with professional teaching artists in their classroom to develop artistic skills, knowledge, and mindsets that empower them to learn and succeed throughout their lives. Today Leap’s art and architecture programs serve 7,000 Bay Area students each year through in-school, artist-in-residence programs that occur during the school year.

Teaching Artist Position

At the core of our organization is the work of professional artists who are experienced educators in dance, theater, music, creative writing, visual arts, and architecture. Leap teaching artists work as independent contractors on an itinerant basis in K-8 schools throughout the Bay Area in the counties of San Francisco, Alameda, and San Mateo. In-school, artist-in-residence programs take place between August – June (following school academic calendar) on weekdays between the hours of 8am to 3pm. Average programs run 10 weeks long and span from one to eight hours a week or more depending on the needs of the school. To support Leap’s teaching artists with opportunities for continuous growth and development, 3-4 professional development workshops and mentoring by staff and peers are provided throughout the year. Workshops sessions may take place in the evenings and/or on weekends.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Work in collaboration with classroom teachers to develop and implement student-centered curricula that teaches fundamental skills in your artistic discipline and aligns with CA arts and academic standards;
  • Create a safe, learning environment that acknowledges and empowers students as they express their perspectives and ideas through the arts;
  • Attend meeting(s) with classroom teachers and Leap staff to plan and evaluate outcomes of the program;
  • Communicate in a timely and professional manner with school faculty and Leap staff to discuss progress of students and to ensure program’s goals are being met;
  • Participate in Leap’s professional development workshops and peer mentoring to enhance teaching practice and network with fellow artists;
  • Be accountable to a mutually agreeable teaching schedule and alleviate any foreseeable conflicts in advance;
  • Acquire and transport materials and equipment necessary to implementing the program to various school sites;
  • Complete and submit all paperwork required by Leap and the school(s) in a timely and professional manner;
  • Reflect Leap’s guiding principles of teaching excellence, cultural competence, and student empowerment in all school and community settings;
  • Support Leap’s marketing and outreach efforts as needed

Required Qualifications

  • At least 2 years experience creating and teaching curricula in visual, performing arts, creative writing, or architecture to students in grades K – 8 in school or community-based settings;
  • At least 1-2 years in an active, professional practice within your art form;
  • Deep knowledge of fundamental elements of your art form and ability to teach them effectively to young students;
  • Commitment to providing high quality arts instruction to all students, meeting them at their respective levels of understanding and ability;
  • Ability to work adaptively with diverse stakeholders including school faculty, Leap staff, fellow artists, and parents to ensure best outcomes for students;
  • Interest in continuous development of your teaching practice, with an openness to giving and receiving feedback;
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills;
  • Flexibility to teach between the months of August – June (following school academic calendar) on weekdays between the hours of 8am to 3pm;
  • Ability to provide own means of transportation to and from schools.

Ideal Qualifications

  • BA/MA/MFA in arts or arts education or related field;
  • Experience working within the public school system and supporting diverse groups of students
  • preferred (i.e. race and ethnicity, across gender spectrum, English language learners, low-income, students with disabilities);
  • Interest and/or experience integrating artistic curricula with other subject areas in collaboration with classroom teachers or fellow artists.

To Apply

Leap accepts applications from teaching artists in the fields of dance, music, theater, visual arts, creative writing, and architecture on a rolling basis.

To apply, send a cover letter, resume, teaching work samples, and one to three letters of recommendation. Your cover letter should include a statement expressing your desire to work with Leap and the field of arts education.

Leap is an equal opportunity employer. Application materials should be forwarded to