Lead Nature Preschool Teacher

Organization icon

Mass Audubon

Location icon

Norfolk, MA, United States

Clock icon

14 days ago

Location: Norfolk, MA

Sanctuary: Stony Brook

About Mass Audubon

Mass Audubon is the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England. Founded in 1896 by two women who fought for the protection of birds, Mass Audubon carries on their legacy by focusing on the greatest challenges facing the environment today: the loss of biodiversity, inequitable access to nature, and climate change. With the help of our 140,000 members and supporters, we protect wildlife, conserve and restore resilient land, advocate for impactful environmental policies, offer nationally recognized education programs for adults and children, and provide endless opportunities to experience the outdoors at our wildlife sanctuaries. Explore, find inspiration, and take action at www.massaudubon.org.

About This Position

Located on the grounds of Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary and adjacent to the 140-acre Bristol Blake State Reservation which is cooperatively managed with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), this former 18th-century mill site now supports native wildlife. The students and staff spend their days exploring and investigating the natural world through multi-sensory, hands-on, nature-based science curriculum.

Candidates for this position must possess a love of nature and teaching outdoors with children ranging in age from 3 to 6 years. This is a full-time school-year position, with 5 hours per week through the summer months.

The Lead Preschool Teacher is the primary early childhood educator of the teaching team and holds lead responsibility for the one or more preschool classes, managing curriculum development, implementation, and family communications for students. They are responsible for designing educational experiences for nature preschool students in accordance with Mass Audubon’s Action Agenda strategic goals and Mass Audubon’s education frameworks, guidelines, and policies. Lead Preschool Teacher candidates must possess a strong respect for young children and families, a love of teaching young children and a strong desire to connect children and nature and teaching outside. Lead Teachers must possess the ability to plan daily multi-sensory, play and nature-based, anti-bias, emergent and developmentally appropriate curriculum, incorporating a variety of hands-on experiences. The Lead Teacher is the primary contact for families in the class, prepares progress reports, parent-teacher team conferences and maintains a warm, professional relationship with children, their parents and caregivers.

Duties & Responsibilities

General Responsibilities:

  • Provide a physically and emotionally safe environment for young children both indoors and outdoors.
  • Maintain clear communication with the co-teachers and share teaching amongst the co-teaching faculty team.
  • Responsible for engaging parents/caregivers in conversations about children’s challenging behaviors and teams with the Director to plan meetings with parents to explore appropriate strategies, interventions and possible collaboration with outside consultants.
  • Responsible for emotional and physical health and safety of students and completing accident reports/injury forms as needed as well as medication logs.
  • The Lead Teacher is charged with keeping current with relevant and ongoing changes in Mass Audubon, Sanctuary-based, and MA Department of Early Education and Care policies and regulations as well as the Mass Audubon mission and action agenda.
  • Assess and document student development in the 5 domains; Complete progress reports in December and May and conduct parent-teacher team conferences, as scheduled by Preschool Director.
  • Maintain the physical environment by contributing to classroom housekeeping tasks as needed and storing personal belongings away from preschool program space.
  • Enhance the physical space by thoughtfully placing child-initiated art, emergent language poems, emergent math charts and graphs, photographs of nature, students/families in class community, murals and other learning centers that reflect a nature-based curriculum.
  • Conducts fire drills, fills out accident forms and medication log as needed per MA EEC regulations.
  • Communicate with families via a written weekly newsletter about the happenings in the classroom.

Education:

  • Lead in the preparation and presentation nature-based, multi-sensory, integrated, anti-bias and emergent curriculum for multi-age groups (3-5 years) of children in collaboration with co-teaching faculty.
  • Understand early childhood development and manage reasonable expectations for young children.
  • Works with teacher colleagues and Director to develop nature-based curriculum that enhances the physical, social/emotional and cognitive growth of young children.
  • Observe, document and assess the ongoing development of each child and write narrative-based progress reports twice/year.
  • Serve as a resource for parent/caregivers, families and faculty.

Marketing/Community Relations:

  • Attend Nature Preschool Open Houses, as scheduled by Director, to describe the philosophy of the program, provide a general overview of what the preschool offers young children and their families and how to apply to the preschool.
  • Attend school-wide community socials as scheduled by Director.
  • Act as an ambassador for the Nature Preschool, recognizing that preschool classes are frequently observed by the general public, visiting professionals, prospective families and Mass Audubon staff members.

Other:

  • Attend regional staff meetings and actively participate in statewide education staff meetings, audience professional learning communities, and professional development trainings as required.
  • Assist in other sanctuary and regional education activities, as needed.

Qualifications

At Mass Audubon, our highest priority is finding the best candidate for the job. Research has shown that people of color and women are less likely to apply for jobs if they don't believe they meet every one of the qualifications described in a job description. We encourage you to apply, even if you don't believe you meet every one of our described qualifications or you have a less traditional background. We are looking for applicants with the following qualifications:

Must Have’s:

  • MA EEC Lead Teacher certification.
  • At least 3 years of experience teaching young children.
  • Excellent writing and communication skills and ability to work cooperatively and independently.
  • Interest and/or experience in nature-based, emergent and anti-bias teaching in early childhood education.
  • Successful candidates must pass multiple background record checks (i.e. CORI/DCF/SORI and Fingerprinting).
  • Three employment references.

Compensation & Benefits

This position’s base hourly range is $21.25 - $23.70; actual salary will reflect level of experience and qualifications relative to position requirements.

Benefits and Perks
Benefits eligible staff at Mass Audubon may elect to enroll in medical, dental, and vision plans. Mass Audubon also offers disability and life insurance plans, a retirement plan through MetLife, and Flexible Spending Account options. Mass Audubon employment also includes access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and the Reciprocity Agreement through the Consortium of Non-Profit Arts/Cultural/Environmental Organizations of New England. Mass Audubon employees also enjoy 12 paid holidays (holidays may shift annually due to where days fall within calendar).

Additional Information

Work Schedule:

  • September –June: Monday through Friday, 8:00am -4:00pm. 40 hours weekly.
  • July-August: 5 hours per week

This is a school-year position, with a minimum of 5-hours per week during summer months.

Staff Orientation and trainings will be held in August, 2022

Other Requirements:

Employees must successfully complete a CORI and SORI Background Check and a Motor Vehicle Record (if applicable) is required.

COVID-19 Considerations

Mass Audubon requires that all staff, regardless of their work location, disclose their vaccination status. Proof of vaccination status will be required immediately upon hire. This should also include a booster shot if it has been 5 months since you were initially vaccinated.

Mass Audubon's Commitment To Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Justice

Mass Audubon's mission is to "protect the nature of Massachusetts for people and for wildlife" by building a strong coalition of employees, volunteers, and community members. We recognize that the environmental movement and field of conservation have been affected by societal systems that have limited opportunity and access for many people. As a result, Mass Audubon is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees and applicants. We are engaged in an ongoing process of organizational assessment and change, designed to remove barriers and create a workplace where all forms of diversity are recognized and valued.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

Mass Audubon is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees and applicants. Mass Audubon prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

How To Apply

Please send resume and cover letter to:

Hilary Johansen-Silve, Preschool Director
hjohansen@massaudubon.org

Job# 3763