Performing Arts Teacher (Theater or Dance)

School: Learning Director Staff · St. Louis, Missouri
Department School: Learning Director Staff
Employment Type Full-Time


Design, launch, and run a performing arts program at Kairos. Teach theater (and maybe dance? other performing arts?) and coordinate student shows.

We strongly prefer bright and hungry to learn over experienced but complacent.


This is a super brief outline, intended to be neither comprehensive nor binding. Kairos is always evolving, so our roles do too. In this role, you'd report directly into the Art Department Chair and...

  • Design theater curriculum and run theater classes
  • Plan, coordinate, and execute student play/musical productions
  • Run dance classes or contract out for dance teachers
  • Anything else a theater director/performing arts instructor might do

Would also consider applicants for a separate, non-theater dance instructor for role.

In addition to role-specific responsibilities, all staff at Kairos "coach" a "pod" of students. Coaching involves checking-in with students 2-3 times throughout the week for 10-15 minutes and updating parents regularly on student progress. Coaches mentor students on executive functioning and social-emotional skills such as setting achievable goals, keeping a to-do list, and navigating the highs and lows of middle school.

This Job ISN'T For You If You Won't...

  • figure things out yourself (don't wait for others to teach you, make yourself better)
  • adapt to frequent change (rapidly iterate; every level of every team improves every cycle)
  • happily give and take disagreement, debate, or constructive feedback (be analytical and skeptical like Leslie Knope: "calzones are dumb, and so was that idea")
  • keep an organized to do list and calendar (follow through on tasks, details, and goals)
  • type 60-70 words per minute (or any other heuristic for tech savvy beyond "proficient in Microsoft Office")
  • write with proper grammar (possibly our most important prerequisite)

For people who match our Team DNA, coming to Kairos can be like joining a team that finally plays at your level. For everyone else, it's probably pretty annoying. We don't really know—they either don't apply, don't get hired, or don't last long.

Work Life Harmony

Nobody at Kairos thinks of this job as a paycheck so we can go live our life on the weekends. For us, this work is one of our life's core pursuits. In a world where everything was free, we would STILL come to work in order to ignite the infinite potential of young minds, share the bountiful wonders of human knowledge, heal this country's socioeconomic and racial inequities, and cultivate the next generation of free thinking and free acting Americans. For us, coming to work every day gives us energy, doesn't take it away.

That's the most important part of our culture, so it needs to be true for you too. If you see your time here as a chore; if you're gossipy or negative; if you suck the joy out of being on this team, then you're poison. Poison makes environments toxic, and Kairos is not and will never be a toxic environment.

Another thing that can make an environment toxic is too much pressure. (High pressure > oxygen toxicity > hyperoxia...okay, metaphor's gone too far.) Kairos is ambitious and dynamic, but we treat people like people, not robots. There's no clocking in/out. Nobody's going to send you passive aggressive "accountability" emails. At Kairos, we believe self-direction isn't just for students. You'll have maximal autonomy. Unless you have an in-person meeting (e.g., a class with kids), you can work when you want (early mornings, late nights, weekends) and from where you want (Kairos 24/7/365, your home, the next door coffee shop). Does that mean you may get emails or Slack messages at odd hours? Yes. But are you expected to read or respond to them outside of normal work hours? Of course not.

School usually runs 7:45ish to 3:45ish—an hour longer on Wednesdays for staff-only restorative justice circle. Most staff work around 45-50 hrs/wk; leadership roles probably closer to 60 hrs. We run year-round in about two-month cycles (calendar here): 6 weeks of school, a week of inservice (staff, no kids), and a week of break.

Kairos is not easy, although who expected changing the world would be? Our teammates stay because—and they'll tell you this if you ask them—they've never felt more professionally challenged or fulfilled. We set a high bar for our kids, then grow ourselves as a team until we can reach it. For us, that's fun, which means our work makes us happier in our personal life (in the same way a healthy, fun personal life makes us better at work).

Compensation + Benefits

Competitive. Let's talk.

Who We Are

Don't know what we're trying to build? How did you get this deep in the job description? Below are some materials to help you out. Come back and apply if you want "to be better far than you are."

Will We Hire You?

"I will only hire someone to work directly for me if I would work for that person...If Facebook just disappeared and I had to go find something else to go do, then I’d be happy to go work for that person."—Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)

"Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don't have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it's true. If you hire somebody without [integrity], you really want them to be dumb and lazy."—Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway)

"We’ve actually passed on a lot of smart, talented people that we know can make an immediate impact on our top or bottom line. If they’re not good for our culture, then we won’t hire them for that reason alone."—Tony Hsieh (Zappos)

"Are they happy? Ask them about their family. If their family couldn’t give them a positive attitude, there’s nothing I can do that’s going to change it."—Barbara Corcoran (The Corcoran Group)

"Most skills can be learned, but it is difficult to train people on their personality. If you can find people who are fun, friendly, caring, and love helping others, you are on to a winner."—Richard Branson (Virgin Group)

"If you can hire people whose passion intersects with the job, they won't require any supervision at all. They will manage themselves better than anyone could ever manage them. Their fire comes from within, not from without. Their motivation is internal, not external."—Stephen Covey (7 Habits of Highly Effective People)

"Executives owe it to the organization and to their fellow workers not to tolerate nonperforming individuals in important jobs."—Peter Drucker (professor)

Thank You

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  • Location
    St. Louis, Missouri
  • Department
    School: Learning Director Staff
  • Employment Type