Lead Teacher, Ricks Center for Gifted Children

Apply now Job no: 493877
Work type: Staff Full-Time
Location: Denver, CO
Categories: Teacher (Pre K-8)

Ricks Center for Gifted Children at the University of Denver is an exemplary program designed for gifted children. We provide nationally recognized gifted education to approximately 230 students ranging from three years of age through eighth grade, who demonstrate exceptional, differentiated abilities and learning needs.

Position Summary

The Ricks Center for Gifted Children is a private elementary school for gifted learners within the University of Denver.  There are approximately 200 students between preschool to 8th grade.  The Lead Teacher is responsible for an assigned grade level and reports to the designated administrator in charge.  The Lead Teacher will guide and mentors an Associate Teacher who is a direct report to the Lead Teacher.   The Lead Teacher differentiates instruction, compacts curriculum, ensure a depth of conceptual understanding, and develops curriculum that is responsive to the learning needs and interests of the students. The Lead Teacher develops, and monitors student progress and uses the information to inform instructional practices. The Lead Teacher must understand developmentally appropriate practice.

Essential Functions

Curriculum Planning, Teaching, and Assessment

  • Develops integrated inquiry-based curriculum including learning provocations, essential questions, high-level thinking activities, and assessments while guiding the teaching team.
  • Implements structures and systems to boost students’ demonstrations of learning. 
  • Identifies student development using a variety of assessment techniques and means.  
  • Plans, documents, teaches, and assesses units and lessons that foster student engagement. 
  • Collaborates with teachers and administration in developing integrated units. 
  • Utilizes a variety of curriculum for student engagement and assessment. 
  • Balances skills and concept development that reflects student needs, ideas and interests.
  • Integrates gifted sensitivities and intensities into strengths-based learning experiences.
  •  Provides individual and small-group instruction to adapt the curriculum to the needs of students with varying abilities and learning profiles to promote differentiation and engagement.
  • Uses flexibility in instructional practices to reflect the differentiated needs of the students.
  • Instructs students in proper care and use of tools and equipment and to maintain an orderly workspace.
  • Evaluates each student’s performance and growth to inform instruction. 
  • Completes reflections of learning and other summative assessments as needed. 
  • Effectively leads Associate Teachers in planning for student development, parent communication, decision making and other components of the job.
  • Guides, mentors and oversees Co-Teacher development of lessons and assessments.
  • Monitors and oversees student workers.

Relationship Building, Best Practice and Communication

  • Builds and sustains positive relationships with students, parents, staff and other community members.
  • Guides, mentors and oversees Co-Teachers communication and induction to Ricks culture.
  • Collaborates with Student Support Team and specialists. 
  • Develops a supportive, cohesive classroom learning community.
  • Informs parents of student progress utilizing a narrative approach. 


  • Creates professional goals and participate in professional learning communities including coaching, mentoring and self-reflection. 
  • Participates in school-wide curriculum alignment, scope and sequence planning and yearly strategic initiatives. 
  • Participates in inquiry action cycles focused on student growth and professional learning. 
  • Attends all professional development provided.
  • Engages in our culture of high expectations and continuous personal development. 
  • Assists with Co-Teachers goal development.
  • Other duties as required. 

Maintenance and Logistics

  • Establishes and maintains routines and utilizes positive discipline, collaborative approaches to student behavior management, approaching behavior as learning opportunities. 
  • Organizes storage areas and coordinate use of materials, equipment, and tools to prevent loss or abuse, and to minimize time required for distribution and collection. 
  • Documents and communicates student learning.
  • Implements a learning management system to communicate to students, families and teachers.
  • Supports the school mission through active involvement in the school community, College of Education, and the University of Denver.  
  • Selects and requisitions books, instructional materials, tools, and instructional aids, and maintains supplies inventory. 
  • Plans and presents student work, displays and exhibitions designed to exhibit students’ learning within the school, DU, and larger community. 
  • Performs any other duties as may be assigned by administration.  

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Ability to build relationships with children and adults.
  • Ability to lead a team.
  • Ability to communicate to a variety of stakeholders.
  • Ability to plan engaging developmentally appropriate lessons.
  • Time management skills.
  • Ability to lead a small team.
  • Ability to utilize a growth mindset.
  • Knowledge of best practice pedagogy for gifted learners.
  • Ability to adapt instruction to a variety of academic levels.
  • Ability to train others or provide professional development.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in Education, EC, Elementary or Middle School or a related field. 
  • 3+ years teaching experience teaching in EC, Elementary or Middle School.
  • Experience teaching gifted children and twice exceptional students.
  • Experience teaching in a cross-curricular integrated program. 
  • Valid teaching license or the qualifications necessary to obtain one. 
  • Knowledge of social/emotional learning curriculum and special needs development.
  • Experience in co-teaching.
  • Must be able to lift, push, pull 50 llbs.  

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree or Doctorate in Education, EC, Elementary or Middle School or a related field.  
  • Gifted endorsement. 
  • Experience facilitating learning that is project-based playful inquiry. 

Work Schedule
Monday - Friday

Special Instructions
Candidates must apply online through jobs.du.edu to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted.

Salary Grade Number
The salary grade for the position is 8.

Salary Range
The salary range for this position is $48,000 - $60,000.

The University of Denver has provided a compensation range that represents its good faith estimate of what the University may pay for the position at the time of posting. The University may ultimately pay more or less than the posted compensation range. The salary offered to the selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal salary equity considerations, and available market information, but not based on a candidate’s sex or any other protected status.

The University of Denver offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO pass. The University of Denver is a private institution that empowers students who want to make a difference. Learn more about the University of Denver.

Please include the following documents with your application:
1. Resume
2. Cover Letter

The University of Denver is committed to enhancing the diversity of its faculty and staff. We are an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment regardless of age, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, military/ veteran status or any other status protected by law.

All offers of employment are based upon satisfactory completion of a criminal history background check.

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