Elementary Lead Teacher – First Grade

Saint Mark's School
Altadena, CA United States

Saint Mark’s School is an independent, Episcopal coeducational day school in Altadena, California. Founded in 1960, the School serves the needs of over 300 preschool through sixth grade students from diverse ethnic, racial, religious and economic backgrounds. The School’s mission is to develop the unique intellect and character of each student in a nurturing environment committed to academic excellence, respect for diversity, responsibility and spiritual growth.

We are seeking an energetic, collaborative, and experienced first grade teacher who brings an innovative and collaborative spirit to their teaching practice and pedagogy. The Elementary Lead Teacher will be responsible for creating an engaging learning environment and planning and implementing curriculum designed to promote academic and social emotional growth for first-grade students in support of the School’s mission, philosophy, and educational objectives. The ideal candidate will be committed to creating an inclusive classroom community, differentiating instruction, and engaging children in authentic learning experiences that support, challenge, and build confidence.

Approaching the work with an anti-bias lens, qualified candidates should demonstrate a passion for teaching, a growth mindset, flexibility, and a commitment to ongoing professional development, along with strong communication and organization skills. Candidates should also have the ability to work as part of a team, the skills to engage and inspire students, and the potential and willingness to contribute beyond the classroom. This is a full-time exempt position that reports directly to the Assistant Head of School. 

Date Posted:


Position Type:

Full-time; Exempt Status 

Date Available:

August 2024

Minimum Qualifications:

  • A bachelor’s degree in education or related field and Multiple Subject teaching credential
  • Five years of classroom teaching experience as a primary grade teacher, preferably within an independent school 
  • Responsive Classroom training or a willingness to train 
  • Singapore Math experience
  • Experience with current literacy practices (Orton Gillingham or equivalent and writing workshop) 

Preferred Qualities and Skills:

  • Must love working with children and demonstrate enthusiasm for supporting students in pursuing their passions, talents, and interests
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, written, and organizational skills
  • Creative, energetic, patient, resourceful, flexible, innovative, and positive
  • Willingness to try new things
  • Open to constructive feedback
  • Project-based, interdisciplinary, and inquiry-based teaching practices 
  • Experience with differentiated instruction
  • Willingness to participate in ongoing professional training in diversity, equity, and inclusion

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Acts in a manner corresponding to the requirements of the Saint Mark’s Employee Handbook and the mission of the School.
  • Plans and implements appropriate curriculum, assessments, and activities designed to promote academic, social and emotional growth for children.
  • Actively seeks to design an engaging learning environment where children can develop their potential and experience growth, regularly assessing and updating the curriculum and methods of instruction to best meet the needs of students and the School.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to diversity and equity, fostering a culturally responsive and inclusive classroom and actively contributing to a healthy, equitable environment for all members of the community.
  • Identifies and provides for the learning needs of individual children, working collaboratively with the Director of Teaching, Learning, and Belonging, Literacy Coach, and Student Support Team, to reach a range of learners within the classroom.
  • Prepares, administers, and grades meaningful assignments and varied forms of assessments with the aim of evaluating and communicating the progress of the students.
  • Communicates effectively with children, parents, and colleagues in a professional and in a positive manner. Communicates student progress clearly and accurately in verbal and written form, including report cards, emails, parent conferences, and meetings.
  • Demonstrates professionalism through punctuality, collaboration, organization, participation in meetings and staff development opportunities. Maintains professional behavior including good judgment, integrity, diplomacy, confidentiality, and a respectful attitude in professional relationships.
  • Assists with Kindergarten Admissions Play Date, as requested.
  • Participates enthusiastically in Open House and other school events in support of and as requested by the School.
  • Plans and supervises field trips and classroom activities to extend student learning.
  • Demonstrates reflective practice and a growth mindset, setting annual goals and keeping current in contemporary and developmentally appropriate pedagogical thinking, strategies, and techniques through reading of professional journals and attendance at professional conferences, workshops, and courses.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to building and sustaining a collaborative professional learning community, serving on committees, engaging in professional group work, and contributing to a positive school climate.
  • Supervises and mentors a co-teacher or associate teacher, working collaboratively to meet the needs of the students. Serves as a role model and actively supports the growth and development of the co-teacher or associate teacher.
  • Ensures the health and safety of children through visual supervision and by appropriately responding to injuries, as well as unexpected circumstances.
  • Integrates meaningful and appropriate use of technology within the curriculum, and maintains weekly communication with families as required by the School.
  • Follows guidelines of Emergency Preparedness Plan and takes responsibility for

students’ safety in an emergency situation or drill.

  • Completes required training each year (CPR, first aid, mandatory reporting, etc.)
  • Participates in school life and other campus activities as a full and active member of the Saint Mark’s community, including assisting with duties (recess/lunch, carline, etc.) as needed and assigned, attending school dances, basketball games, Fall Fest, etc. in support of the students and School. 
  • Exhibits willingness to take on other duties, as assigned.

Physical Requirements: Job includes some lifting, carrying, pushing and/or pulling; some climbing and balancing; some stooping, kneeling, crouching and/or crawling; hearing, speaking, observing and significant fine finger dexterity. Specific abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. Generally the job requires 15% sitting, 40% walking and 45% standing and the ability to lift or move up to 50 pounds. The job is performed under minimal temperature variations, a generally hazard free environment, and in a clean atmosphere.

Salary: The salary range for this position is $60,000 – $86,000 and is commensurate with experience and education.

Benefits: A full benefits package includes medical, dental, and vision coverage and a

TIAA/CREF retirement plan.

Submissions: Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and current resume to Assistant Head of School, Kelly Mancuso at kellym@saint-marks.org

Non-Discrimination Policy: Saint Mark’s School is an equal opportunity employer, dedicated to a policy of non-discrimination in employment on any basis including race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, the presence of mental, physical, or sensory disability, sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by federal or state law.

Contact Information

Submissions: Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and current resume to Assistant Head of School, Kelly Mancuso at kellym@saint-marks.org