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High School Photography Teacher

The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools
Chicago, Illinois
Based on Experience

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Job Category
Grade Level
High School
Job Type

Job Details


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.

Job Summary:

Reporting to their respective Principals, the Fine Arts teacher establishes a safe and supportive creative work environment and develops appropriate classroom culture and standards for student artists. 

The Fine Arts teaching candidate will embrace the role of MS/HS Fine Arts teacher, HS advisor, collegial colleague, and collaborator, with enthusiasm and professionalism.

The Fine Arts department has modern studio facilities, including a wet darkroom, digital photo/film studio, sound recording studio, kilns, spray paint booth, screen printing booth, ceramics studio with wheels, large studio classrooms, maker spaces (clean & “dirty”), and the Corvus gallery that hosts both student and professional art shows. 

The Fine Arts classes are taught both on the semester and year-long schedule. Teachers in the Fine Arts department are expected to develop their own curriculum and are encouraged to think creatively and critically about relevant learning experiences for their students.



  • Confidently and creatively teach Beginning Photography (darkroom and digital), AP 2D Design (AP Photo), and Filmmaking, among other courses as determined by department Chairs.

  • Creatively and effectively teach knowledge and skills in artmaking, including analog and digital photography skills with different formats (e.g., 35 mm, pinhole, medium, and large format).

  • Wet Darkroom and digital lab teaching experience (using Creative Cloud apps).

  • Creatively and effectively teach knowledge and skills in filmmaking, including a variety of filmmaking processes (narrative, experimental, documentary, and animation if possible), using a variety of software (including, but not limited to: Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Animate, After Effects).

  • Possesses knowledge of Photo and Film history, early and contemporary.

  • Provide instruction by which students develop aesthetic concepts and appreciations and the ability to make qualitative judgments about art.

  • Knows and can apply elements of design and modern principles of art.

  • Provide individual and small-group instruction to adapt the curriculum to the needs of students with varying intellectual and artistic abilities, and to accommodate a variety of instructional activities.

  • Instruct students in proper care and use of tools and equipment.

  • Organize storage areas and control use of materials, equipment and tools to prevent loss or abuse, and to minimize time required for distribution and collection.

  • Evaluate each student’s performance and growth in knowledge and aesthetic understandings, maintain accurate and transparent records, and prepare narrative progress reports.

  • Select books, instructional materials, tools, instructional aids, and maintain required inventory records.

  • Consistently plan and present art displays and exhibitions designed to exhibit students’ work for the school and the community.

  • Maintain professional competence through in-service education activities provided by the school and/or in self-selected professional growth activities.

  • Communicate with parents and school counselors on student progress.

  • Participate in curriculum and other developmental programs.

  • Perform any other duties as may be assigned by Administration.

  • Teach 4 sections of photography and film courses, and one advisory.

  • Maintain (keep all tools and materials in working order) a traditional, wet darkroom.

  • Maintain cameras and related equipment for both film and digital photography.

  • Maintain cameras and related equipment for filmmaking.



  • 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 is 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.

  • Creativity 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 the deadlines required.


Education, Experience, or Certifications:


  • Bachelor's degree in art education or BFA required.

  • Master's of Fine Arts degree preferred.



  • Minimum 2 years HS teaching experience in Photography (analog and digital) and Film required.

  • 3-5 years HS teaching experience preferred.

  • Practicing artist preferred.


Technical Knowledge or Skills:

  • Ability to use standard productivity software (Microsoft Office, calendar/scheduling 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.


Required Documents:

  • Resume

  • Cover letter

  • Professional Art teaching portfolio

  • Professional References


When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.


Company info
United States

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