Job Listings

Assistant/Associate Professor of Middle Grades Education

National Louis University
Job Location:
Teacher Education - Middle School


Job Overview


The MGE program at NLU believes that schools can and must do better by all young adolescents. Our program is guided by the possibility of teacher-facilitated joyful, civic-minded, and socially conscious student engagement across content areas and populations. We are seeking a faculty member whose commitments to transformative pedagogy aligns with our vision for teacher preparation.

The Assistant Professor of Middle Grades Education (MGE) is a ten-month professional practice faculty position. The primary responsibility for this role is to demonstrate excellence in teaching, service, and thought leadership borne from a combination of deep familiarity of research and scholarship as well as ongoing opportunities and challenges faced by students and educators in the 5th-8th grade band range. In addition to teaching within this grade band, this faculty member will teach Social Studies methods coursework to candidates preparing to become 5th-12th grade teachers.

The Assistant Professor of MGE is responsible for candidate success across the major and concentration including guiding students as they translate theory into practice and work toward licensure. While this is primarily a teaching position, the role will also contribute expertise in the overall coordination, design, development, and implementation of the Middle Grades Education program, which currently delivers instruction both in-person and virtually.

This position requires a high degree of collaboration and communication across programs and units. The Assistant Professor of MGE works in close collaboration with faculty across the National College of Education (NCE), the Office of Field Education (OFE), and the Secondary Education Program. This role also provides service to the institution and engages in thought leadership as required by the National College of Education (NCE) model, which asks all professional practice faculty to engage in ongoing dissemination of and participation in novel approaches to teacher preparation.


NLU’s National College of Education understands that serving PreK-22 students as teachers and school leaders is a calling, a commitment, and a career. Our unique partnership style with students at all levels—from new teacher preparation to advanced professional programs to doctoral degrees—guides all we do as we create today’s teachers and tomorrow’s leaders.

Our programs are designed with the needs of our students in mind. Graduates frequently cite the National College of Education’s top-quality professors, convenient locations, flexible course offerings, and affordability. Most of all, the commitment to “real world” progressive education is unparalleled. NCE graduates make a difference. Our educators are found in 40% of Illinois public schools and 75% of Chicago Public Schools, collectively impacting the lives of 60,000 students each year.

At NCE, our commitment to learning includes ourselves. We have recently created four new programs and evolved an additional 21 programs to more appropriately address the needs of today’s educators.


You are a lifelong learner who brings passion to teaching because you know the power of transformative learning. You see disability as a form of human diversity and not a deficit. You understand that students' identities are complex and intersectional and embody their learning. You are an accomplished educator with significant PreK-22 experience who is committed to effective and affirming education practices based on inclusion and belonging for all students. You are an experienced leader who has successfully guided classrooms, schools, districts, and/or communities through meaningful change. You have an abiding interest in research and theory related to teaching and disability that informs your practice. You believe in the power of practitioner-research and will support our candidates as they become teachers who both draw on research to inform teaching and research their practice. You are a respectful collaborator who values your students' and colleagues' races, cultures, ways of knowing and being, opinions, perspectives, and experiences. You are deeply motivated by a desire to work in a learning community that aims for academic excellence through an affirmation of human diversity.

Essential Responsibilities

  • Maintaining a teaching load of 24 semester hours of graduate courses across Fall, Winter, and Spring terms.
  • Teaching includes developing and teaching core special education and related courses and creating and fostering an inclusive learning environment for all students, as well as advising and mentoring graduate students on their academic and professional goals. 
  • Engaging in the thought leadership responsibilities of a professional practice faculty member. This includes but is not limited to collaborating with colleagues on curriculum and course development, grant proposals, and extracurricular activities as well as maintaining expertise in the areas of special education research, policy, and practice. 
  • Contributing to the university through service, including mentoring and advising responsibilities for graduate students, service to the department through program improvement and development, program recruitment, and program accreditation efforts, service to the college (e.g., through committee work), and service to the larger university, community, and profession.
  • Supporting and leading efforts at the course, department, college, and university levels to address educational justice using an intersectional lens. Efforts include curriculum improvement and development as well as departmental and university committees, initiatives, and activities related to advancing racial, disability, and social justice. 
  • Maintaining and enhancing community engagement and existing partnerships with community agencies and schools. This includes working alongside other faculty members, leadership, and students to build relationships with administrators, teachers, and community organization leaders.

Qualifications Skills and Competencies

  • A track record of teaching excellence and accomplishments in a variety of middle grades settings (at least 3 years experience teaching this age range, including social studies).
  • A well-defined vision for training teachers to teach social studies across 6th-12th grade that aligns with critical, student-centered, and interdisciplinary models of education.
  • Significant familiarity with culturally responsive and sustaining models of education, with an accordant vision of how these might be actualized in middle grades settings and secondary (6-12) social studies settings.
  • Substantial familiarity with historical and contemporary harms US schools have perpetrated against minoritized populations and a strong sense of how teacher preparation should attend to education debts.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop unique partnerships with diverse stakeholders (families, community leaders, community organizations, NPOs) to improve outcomes for students and teachers.
  • Significant professional accomplishments and strong leadership potential.
  • Ability to remain agile and flexible as the program iterates.

Preferred Skills/Expertise:

  • Strong familiarity with inclusive, community-centered, and inquiry models of teaching often employed in schools (e.g. UDL, UbD, PBL, Restorative Justice approaches, SEL) and how these models are best optimized to serve young adolescents.
  • Familiarity with content-area requirements and standards across the curriculum in 5th-8th grade settings and the Social Studies standards in particular (C3 standards).
  • An interest in engaging in self-study and formative design research to monitor and improve coursework and programmatic outcomes.

Education Requirements:

  • Doctoral Degree in Education or ABD (preferably in Curriculum and Instruction or its equivalent) with a concentration in Teacher Education, Critical Pedagogies, or Multiculturalism preferred.
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