California Poets in the Schools (CalPoets) seeks independent contractors to work on a contract or freelance basis as Poet-Teachers throughout California.  CalPoets’ Poet-Teachers are professional writers who choose to give back to their communities as Poet-Teachers. They should have demonstrated experience in the literary arts and be passionate about teaching school-aged youth in public school settings.  New CalPoets’ Poet-Teachers are paired with experienced mentors to prepare for classroom placement.  This is a great opportunity for poets at all stages of their careers.  Most Poet-Teachers achieve 1-10 teaching contracts per school year.

Poet-Teacher Independent Contractor Duties and Responsibilities

  • Work with a Poet-Teacher mentor in preparation for classroom placement
  • Teach poetry creation in various K-12 classrooms

Poet-Teacher Independent Contractor Requirements and Qualifications

  • Demonstrated experience in the literary arts with a clear focus on poetry
  • Passionate about teaching school-aged youth in public school settings
  • Able to prioritize and manage your own schedule
  • Bi-lingual English/Spanish highly recommended
  • Significant cross-cultural experience and understanding
  • Able to do great work with minimal supervision
  • Strong time-management, communication, and organizational skills


  • Earn a competitive rate per teaching hour, once placed in a classroom, often negotiating your own rates with schools
  • Gain access to some local grant funding
  • Receive assistance to establish contracts with schools and classroom teachers
  • Join a professional network of California poets from throughout the state
  • Gain access to CalPoets’ library of lesson plans, monthly meetings, annual conferences and professional development
We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.