K-5 Teaching Kitchen Instructor (Spanish Bilingual)

Website Life Lab

Cultivating children's love of learning through garden based ed.

Full-time, year-round, 40 hours per week, with occasional weekends and evenings for school, community, and Life Lab events

We strive to employ a staff that represents the students we serve –  All Genders, LGBTQ+, BIack, Latina/o/x/e, Indigenous and People of Color are strongly encouraged to apply.

Compensation: $59,450 with 25 days of accrued paid time-off in the first year, up to 12 days of accrued medical time-off and 13 paid holidays. Life Lab pays 100% of health plan premiums for employees and their eligible dependents, up to $1,300 per month, with generous medical, dental and vision coverage. In addition, Life Lab will make a monthly contribution equal to 5% of your salary into a tax-advantaged 403(b) retirement plan. This is a year-round 40 hour per week position with responsibilities varying seasonally.

Our Teaching Kitchen Instructor is a dedicated culinary educator who is passionate about teaching nutrition, cooking, and literacy to elementary-age children. This is a full-time, year-round position responsible for teaching hands-on, culinary classes during the school day, after school and summer school programs to grades Tk-5th. In addition to teaching, the Kitchen Instructor supports classes by procuring produce, caretaking the Culinary classroom, and developing supportive instructional materials. Instruction takes place in a dedicated, state of the art culinary teaching classroom on the Starlight Elementary School campus adjacent to the Starlight Culinary Garden and Orchard. Typical work schedule is 9:00am- 5:30pm.


Plan, teach, and document, hour-long, edible education lessons for Tk-5th grade students during the school day. Collaborate with Life Lab’s Partner Schools Training & Curriculum Specialist to implement a year-long scope and sequence.
During the school year, teach or co-teach after school cooking classes to Tk-5th grade students in the Teaching Kitchen. This will include hosting after school field trips for visiting students from other schools throughout the District.
During four weeks of the summer, plan and teach weekly culinary nutrition classes in the Expanded Learning Summer School program.
Maintain a safe, organized and sanitary kitchen classroom space and food storage area, including laundry, janitorial and maintenance communications.
Facilitate the planning and procurement of consumables needed for culinary classes,  integrating seasonal produce from the Starlight Culinary Garden, local producers and community partners.
Communicate and coordinate with Starlight Garden Instructor, Life Lab’s Partner Schools Garden Sites Leader and Life Lab’s Partner Schools Gardeners, to design a year-round edible crop plan, coordinate timely harvests, and develop effective composting systems that support Teaching Kitchen instruction.
Create a welcoming space and maintain strong communication channels to collaborate with and support community programming, media relations, donor events and other special events.
Occasional evenings and weekends for school site events, such as Back to School Night, Open House, Family Engagement Nights etc.
Actively contribute to the Life Lab Partner Schools PVUSD Team:
Participate in regular individual check-ins with supervisor and monthly Life Lab Instructor team meetings.
Complete weekly reporting logs and annual student surveys to help track program deliverables.
Participate in regular Life Lab all-staff meetings and staff-wide JEDIS (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Solidarity) meetings as scheduled throughout the year.
Gather and share photos and quotes with Life Lab and the Starlight School Community Programs Liaison to help track impacts, refine programs, and share stories with the community.

Required Qualifications

Associates or bachelor’s degree from an accredited community college or university.
Strong culinary skills and experience.
Experience teaching elementary-age students, ideally in a cooking or edible education program.
Bilingual in Spanish and English. Mixteco is also helpful.
Experience prioritizing and problem solving in a dynamic, evolving program environment, both independently and in collaboration with others.
A love of collaborating with diverse audiences, colleagues, teachers and students.
A passion for sharing knowledge, skills and mentorship related to nutrition and culinary education.
Able to commit to work the entire 2023-24 PVUSD academic school year and summer school.
Comfortable engaging with a diverse audience of community members, partners, and stakeholders.
A passion for Life Lab’s mission to cultivate children’s love of learning, nourishing food and nature through garden-based education.
A personal commitment to equity and inclusion so that all cultures and identities are respected and celebrated in our work.
Ability to get to and from Starlight Elementary on time each day.
Ability to work legally in the U.S.
Pass criminal background check
Negative tuberculosis report dated within the past 3 months.

Desired Qualifications/Characteristics

Bicultural understanding of the Watsonville community and its children’s experiences.
Experience in the communities of the Pajaro Valley, or a similar rural farmworker community.
Willingness to learn and practice Positive Discipline in working with children.
Proficiency in Microsoft and Google Suites.

Application Process

Please send a cover letter and resumé to jobs@lifelab.org. Applications are welcome until the positions are filled.

Life Lab is committed to a policy of non-discrimination as an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment candidates and employees will be considered and managed without regard to race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other basis in accordance with applicable law.

To apply for this job email your details to amys@lifelab.org

Nonprofit Connection Santa Cruz County is a 501(c)3 corporation, Federal Tax ID# 87-2130376

PO Box 1894
Soquel, CA 95073

Nonprofit Connection SCC © 2021