STEAM Specialist

Chicago, IL, US
Jun 12, 2019
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is the third largest school district in the United States, serving over 360,000 students in 600+ schools and employing nearly 36,000 people, most of them teachers. CPS has set ambitious goals to ensure that every student, in every school and every neighborhood, has access to a world-class learning experience that prepares each for success in college, career and civic life. In order to fulfill this mission we make three commitments to our students, their families and all Chicagoans: academic progress, financial stability and integrity. Five core principles are embedded within these commitments - high quality, rigorous instruction, talented and empowered educators, safety and support, financial stability and collective impact.

STEAM Schools serve as an additional school model to offer a pathway for students to be better prepared for college, career and life. Progressively, more jobs across various fields and levels will require some knowledge of STEAM. A STEAM-literate workforce will attract investment and jobs to Illinois, while good jobs and economic opportunity will attract world-class talent to the city of Chicago.

The STEAM Specialist will be expected to enrich and support teaching and learning while strengthening the technology skills of students, teachers and staff and assist classroom teachers in the incorporation of cooperative learning strategies, authentic assessments, technology integration, and problem-based learning into lesson and unit plans.

The faculty within the STEAM schools will be expected to be members of multiple school-based Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) that will focus on sharing practices, analyzing data, targeting interventions and creating a culture of collaboration to ensure professional growth and student learning.

The STEAM Specialist will be housed in a STEAM School and act as a member of the school's STEAM Leadership Team. This is a 39.6 week teacher position, which will report to and be evaluated by the School Principal and the Office of Teaching and Learning.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities of the STEAM Specialist

Professional Development and Instructional Coaching

  • Assess the skill level and work products (e.g., plans, assessments) of teachers in areas related to STEAM instructional approach priorities: cooperative learning strategies, authentic assessments, technology integration, and problem-based learning

  • Work with school leadership and Instructional Leadership Team to design a comprehensive professional development and support plan based on teacher needs

  • Plan, design, and lead differentiated PD sessions aligned to the CPS STEAM Standards for Success

  • Conduct non-evaluative observations of teachers and provide high-quality coaching to teachers using strategies that align to their development needs

  • Coordinate external professional development opportunities for teachers, including CPS-required PD, as well as other self-arranged partnerships, as needed

  • Participate in monthly STEAM Specialist Professional Learning Community, focusing on sharing practices, analyzing data, targeting interventions, and creating a culture of collaboration across STEAM Schools

Curriculum Support and Development

  • Collaborate with teachers and teacher teams in curriculum development to plan problem based units, performance assessments, opportunities for authentic technology integration, and meaningful cross-curricular connections

  • Coordinate the development and execution of design challenges or interdisciplinary units and performance tasks

  • Participate in grade-level and department meetings to coordinate curricular projects and provide targeted support towards STEAM instructional approaches

  • Facilitate involvement of external partners in classrooms across the curriculum (i.e., authentic experiences, audiences, and assessments)

  • Support non-STEAM subject teachers in understanding and infusing STEAM-related experiences, NGSS and CCSS practices, and the Engineering Design Cycle in meaningful and appropriate ways

Academic Support, Enrichment, and Community Engagement

  • Identify gaps in student performance to plan strategic academic interventions for targeted students, to increase participation in advanced STEAM coursework

  • Provide engaging STEAM related enrichment to increase interest, experience, and develop STEAM habits of mind (e.g., robotics, science club, etc.)

  • Promote STEAM awareness and engagement through targeted partnerships and activities (STEAM Exploration Nights, Student Competitions, etc.) that enhance academic achievement across the curriculum

In order to be successful and achieve the above responsibilities, a STEAM Specialist must possess the following qualifications:


Education and Experience . Minimum of three to five years teaching experience with knowledge and experience in curriculum mapping and integration of educational technology. Experience working with adult learners and knowledge of various coaching models is a plus.

License Requirements: Specialists must possess at least one of the following valid teaching license issued by the Illinois State Board of Education: Professional Educator License (PEL) or Educator License with Stipulations (ELS) plus ISBE-issued endorsements as appropriate to the position.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities :

  • Willingness to participate in PLCs and plan with colleagues around new and innovative approaches for implementing instructional activities

  • Willingness to collaborate with area universities and organizations on instructionally linked student activities and projects

  • Demonstrated ability and/or willingness to work collaboratively with a diverse school community to promote STEAM awareness and engagement through targeted partnerships and activities

  • Demonstrated excellence in interpersonal skills which include both oral and written communication

  • Predisposition to be proactive and a self-starter; comfort with ambiguity and ability to troubleshoot and to devise targeted, ad hoc solutions

  • Willingness to be a life-long learner; faculty will be expected to participate in summer, before, during and after school professional development activities throughout the year

  • Willingness to complete additional tasks assigned by the principal

Other: Available for occasional evenings and weekends

Residency Requirement: As a condition of employment with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), employees are required to live within the geographic boundaries of the City of Chicago within six months of his or her CPS hire date and maintain residency throughout their employment with the district.

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