FILLED- Lead Outdoor Educator and Outdoor Space Manager at Elm City Montessori School


Program Description

Elm City Montessori School (ECMS) is a public Montessori school in New Haven serving students ages 3-10. Common Ground and ECMS have partnered for the past 3 years around the development of Elm City’s outdoor learning lab. The space includes natural play elements, a vegetable garden and perennial native habitat plantings. The students and staff at ECMS use the space daily for learning and play. As part of our ongoing partnership, Common Ground educators have worked on-site at ECMS facilitating free play and child-driven projects in the ECMS after-school program.

During the 2016-17 school year, our partnership is expanding to include a lead educator who will work on-site at ECMS 30 hours per week to facilitate outdoor programming as well as manage the Outdoor Learning Lab.  The ideal candidate will have an understanding of Montessori methods and the value of unstructured play as well as experience in facilitating child-directed outdoor learning experiences.

This position is a member of the Environmental Education staff at Common Ground and is supervised jointly by Common Ground Program Managers and the Elm City Montessori Executive Director. Nearly all work hours and job responsibilities will be carried out at Elm City Montessori School located at 375 Quinnipiac Ave in New Haven.  Some staff training and meetings will occur at Common Ground located at 358 Springside Ave in New Haven.

This is a contract position for the 2016-17 school year only. There is a possibility for the position to continue to subsequent school years but the current contract is just for one school year.


30 hours per week during the school year

~11:30 -5:30 Monday-Friday while school is in session, though hours may vary slightly week to week

ECMS follows the New Haven Public Schools schedule

Job Description

Manage all aspects of Elm City Montessori’s Outdoor Learning Lab and outdoor programming. This includes:

  • Facilitate child-directed, play-based outdoor programming on-site at ECMS with students ages 3-10. Collaborate with part-time Common Ground environmental educators and ECMS staff on program implementation
  • Work with ECMS staff on developing effective systems for using the outdoor space both during the school day and in the after-school program. This also includes developing group management strategies and systems so that free play feels safe for all
  • Care for the gardens and perennial plantings and take the lead on planting plans, watering schedules and general maintenance.
  • Fix or replace broken outdoor toys and play elements as needed
  • Participate in Common Ground environmental education professional development and staff meetings
  • Create monthly newsletter for parents on the Outdoor Learning Lab

Qualifications and Compensation

We are seeking candidates who have:

  • A passion for Common Ground’s mission and commitment to equitable and sustainable change
  • Experience working with young children and creating developmentally and facilitating appropriate outdoor education experiences with a strong emphasis on play and child-directed activities. Knowledge and experience with Montessori methods preferred.
  • Experience working in a public school
  • Experience managing groups of children and developing systems to organize transitions, stations and materials
  • Strong critical thinking and problem solving skills and ability to work independently
  • Strong communication skills. Lead Educator will routinely communicate with teaching staff and parents of ECMS around the use of the outdoor space, including a regular parent newsletter with program highlights.
  • Skills gardening and maintaining outdoor spaces. Landscaping and/or light carpentry experience strongly preferred.
  • Experience and commitment to working closely with a racially and economically diverse urban school community
  • Bachelor degree in education, environmental education or related field

Compensation: $18 per hour, no benefits

To Apply

Application deadline: August 15

Position will begin September 2016

Send a resume and a cover letter describing your relevant experience to:

It is the policy of the New Haven Ecology Project, Inc. and Common Ground High School to provide equal employment opportunities to all qualified individuals without regard to age, color, marital status, civil union status, national origin, disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender in all personnel actions, including recruitment, evaluation, selection, daily interactions, promotion, compensation, training and termination.


Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.