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Prospect Sierra

Overview of School

Prospect Sierra is an independent, coed TK–8 school located on two campuses in El Cerrito, California, serving 470 students. Prospect Sierra gives students the tools to build a better world by integrating rigorous academics with a deep understanding of human emotions. Every day our exceptional teachers connect students’ academic experiences to ethics, empathy, and social and emotional intelligence. The result is deeper intellectual engagement, greater self-knowledge, and compassionate relationships. Prospect Sierra students develop the courage to become more than great students, but great people. Please visit our website,, for more information.

Overview of Position

Our elementary campus has several Associate Teacher openings (TK-4th grade) for the 2024-25 school year. Associate teachers report to the Elementary Division Head and will work in close collaboration with their lead teacher, as well as the Associate Teacher Program Team Leader. This is a full-time teaching position.The associate teacher is responsible for providing support to the lead teacher in assisting students both academically and socially. This staff will need to be prepared to teach both on campus and remotely, depending on county and state directives.

At Prospect Sierra School, associate teacher positions are full-time, and these positions exist in grades TK-4. The school recognizes that the scope of an associate’s work will depend in part on that associate’s particular schedule and grade level, as well as particular teacher training program expectations which vary depending on the program. Prospect Sierra is committed to supporting associate teachers who are considering or are already in credential programs; our associate teacher program typically supports associates for two to four years as they complete their credential program and/or gain the necessary skills to move into lead teaching roles.

We have created the following system to help define goals within the two to four year experience of the program.

Stage One:  Limited time and background in teaching and learning – possibly year one in a teacher credential or ECE program. Might be considering a program but not yet enrolled in classes.

Stage One Expectations: 

  • Able to share ideas and contribute to planning units
  • Able to lead morning meetings
  • Able to provide small-group instruction with guidance
  • Able to support emergent curriculum units
  • Takes helpful observation notes on students that may be used for assessment
  • Able to write conference notes and support progress report process by providing observations and peer edits for lead teacher
  • Observes lead teacher assessing students, but does not administer any assessments until the 2nd half of the year, with training

Stage Two:  Second-year in a credential program or holds a masters degree with limited student teaching experience.

Stage Two Expectations: 

  • Deepen all of the above
  • Participate actively in all forms of communication about teaching and learning
  • Take the lead in a certain area of depth or interest (with targeted feedback from the lead teacher)
  • Write one area of the progress report in the 2nd half of the year, and also provide observations and peer edits for lead teacher
  • Complete teacher takeover week
    Take over one part of the curriculum (math or an aspect of writing)
  • Present one area of academics to parents during second semester parent conferences

Daily Responsibilities of an Associate Teacher

  • Support the Lead Teacher in creating a positive learning environment
  • Assist in the preparation of classroom materials
  • Share in the planning of the weekly curriculum
  • Assist in maintaining a clean, well-organized learning environment
  • Maintain ongoing communication with the lead teacher on classroom issues and individual students
  • Model patience, flexibility, kindness, responsibility, a sense of humor, and a respect for others

Required Qualifications

  • Appreciation for and desire to work with four to ten year olds
  • Demonstrated desire to learn best practices in early childhood/elementary education
  • Knowledge of the essential role social emotional literacy plays in the workplace and interest in application of SEL within the educational setting
  • Recognition of the importance of creating an inclusive classroom community that allows for a multitude of perspectives to be heard and respected, potentially including knowledge of identity safe and anti-bias educational practices
  • Ability to take initiative, work passionately and joyfully, and collaborate effectively with diverse constituencies
  • Willingness to be a team player, show initiative, and take on leadership roles as needed
  • A passionate commitment to creating an innovative, joyful environment for students
  • Bachelor of Arts or Science degree and/or professional coursework or certification

In addition to required qualifications, desirable additional skills include:

  • Strong communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Flexibility
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Organizational skills and the ability to multitask
  • Willingness to engage in learning how best to use current technology tools to support teaching and learning
  • Nuanced understanding of DEI/social justice knowledge from a personal or programmatic perspective

School-wide Duties

  • Participation on committees as needed and appropriate
  • Attend Back to School Night and Open House
  • Ancillary duties include responsibilities that are part of elementary school life, e.g., team and staff meetings, attendance at school functions, and recess duties weeklyOversight of a “family” of mixed-grade students once a month

Pearson Fellowship

The Pearson Fellowship intends to support Prospect Sierra in creating the most diverse faculty possible, by providing resources to teachers entering our Associate Teaching program who identify as members of historically or currently underrepresented populations in independent schools. The fellowship will provide a significant financial contribution to a master’s degree in education while the fellow is an associate teacher at Prospect Sierra.

To apply for the Pearson Fellowship, please fill out this form. A committee will review all applications and award the fellowship to those applicants that most closely meet our equity focus at the time.


The salary is competitive. Benefits included.

How to Apply

Send a résumé (including contact information for three references) and one-page cover letter to:

Quise Rodriguez, Elementary School Division Head

Prospect Sierra School is an equal opportunity employer. Our community is diverse in many ways, inclusive of race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender spectrum, age, ability, and more. We welcome and value the same in our faculty and staff.

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