Specials Teacher 2022-2023

The Primary School - East Palo Alto, California - Full time


The Primary School is creating a new school model that brings together all of the adults in a child’s life, including parents, educators, and medical and mental health providers, starting from a very early age. We recognize the entrenched racism that exists within our public systems and the unjust impact this has had on families of color. Our aim is that children and families most impacted by systemic poverty and racism receive the multidisciplinary support they deserve to be well, learn, and thrive.

Long-term, we hope to create a game-changing school model that can be replicated across the country. As we continue to learn and grow, we plan to share what we’ve learned and pursue policy and systems change on a local, state, and national level. We are proud to receive funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a major national philanthropy.

Our approach has three defining characteristics:

  • We start early. We start working with children as young as 8 months and provide full-time school starting at age three to reach them at a critical stage in development.
  • We partner with parents. We believe that when parents thrive, children thrive, so we support the wellness and growth of parents alongside the growth of their children.
  • We integrate services. Our unique model unites health care and education, building a multi-disciplinary team and holistic system of care around a child’s full needs.

In 2016, we opened our flagship school in East Palo Alto, California, with our first class of four year olds. We have grown to serve over 300 children and their families through a birth to three program, parent wellness program, full-day preschool, and elementary school, which will grow through eighth grade. In 2021, we opened our second site in the East Bay.


We are continuing to grow our East Palo Alto site and are excited to launch 5th grade for our 2022-2023 school year. In our school we currently serve ~300 students across two preschool grades (3 and 4 year olds), kindergarten, and first grade through fourth grade. Beyond school, core components of our model include partnering closely with parents throughout their child’s development and supporting parent wellness; coordinating early screening and developmental support; and working with existing health care providers in the community to coordinate care for children.


The Specials Teacher reports to the Manager of School Programs. Specials Teachers take a personal passion (like art, music, or yoga) and use developmentally appropriate and culturally responsive ways to share that passion with our preschool and elementary aged students. The Specials Teachers work alongside General Education Teachers to weave their specialty area into the general education curriculum in order to support a coherent learning experience for students. Specials Teachers uphold our commitment to Soul work: building strong relationships with students, allowing time and space for moments of self-regulation, and providing opportunities for reflection. While Specials Teachers spend the majority of their time directly instructing students in their specialty area, they also have whole school commitments that support our school’s functioning. As a Specials Teacher, you may not have a dedicated classroom space, and will need to be flexible with space.


  • Weekly and daily lesson planning tailored for students across elementary school (K-5)
  • Instructional delivery in a large group format (up to 50 students)
  • Ongoing collaboration with grade level teams to create enriching, positive, joyful classroom climate
  • Ability to jointly problem solve around student-specific or classroom-wide challenges
  • Participation in reflection and Soul coaching, both 1:1 with the School Principal and in group context with colleagues
  • Integrate school priorities into your specialty area, whenever appropriate (e.g. health or soul initiatives)
  • Support recess and enrichment coverage through thoughtful, child-centered activities for both preschool and elementary aged students
  • Support After School Coverage and host an after school club (at least once a week)
  • Participate in school-wide events such as Community Night, Back to School Breakfast, etc.
  • Model a learning environment that celebrates diversity, practices equity, and promotes joy
  • Build a learning environment in which every member of the community is safe, respected and can learn


  • You have an Associate’s degree or are in pursuit of a college degree
  • Two or more years teaching experience (preferably in your specialty area or within elementary school)
  • Deep knowledge and passion for your specialty area
  • Your work demonstrates a practice of creating transformative classroom culture for all kids. You are committed to social justice and take proactive steps to build an equitable classroom practice
  • You are able to facilitate instruction to a group of 50 students at the same time, as needed
  • You have a deep commitment to all students
  • You get that starting a new school and organization is no easy task and are not scared - in fact, you’re energized - by the idea of deeply committing to bringing The Primary School to life.
  • You have a parent- and family-centered mindset

A Plus If

  • You have a degree in your specialty area
  • You speak fluent Spanish or Tagalog
  • You have ties to the East Palo Alto community
  • You have a passion for building relationships with community partners to support your specialty area


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the functions. While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to talk, hear, and communicate with both adults and children. The employee frequently is required to use hands or fingers, handle or feel objects, tools, or controls. The employee is frequently required to stand, walk, sit, and reach with hands and arms. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this position include close vision, distance vision, and the ability to adjust focus. The noise level in the work environment is moderate to high.


Annual salary range begins at $63,000 per year. Compensation is commensurate with qualifications and experience, plus excellent health benefits, 401k retirement plan, flexible spending account (FSA), dependent care FSA, and generous paid time off, including a competitive paid parental leave benefit.


TPS values diversity; people of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Please complete the online application and submit your most recent resume. These short-answer questions are designed to replace a cover letter, so take your time with them and copy in your answers from a separate document. If you feel that the questions do not accurately capture what you have to offer The Primary School, you are also welcome to attach a cover letter. Applications are being reviewed on a rolling basis so we encourage you to submit yours soon. We look forward to reading your application!

The Primary School provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws.The Primary School complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

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Language Teacher

Experience Level

Entry Level

The Primary School

The Primary School is creating a new school model that brings together all of the adults in a child’s life, including parents, educators, and medical and mental health providers, starting from a very early age.
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