FILLED- Common Ground is Seeking an Assistant Teacher in Nature Based Enrichment Programs

Job Title: Assistant Teacher in nature based enrichment programs

Organization Overview

Common Ground is a center for environmental learning in New Haven, Connecticut. Farm meets forest meets city on Common Ground’s 20 acre campus at the base of West Rock Ridge. The site abuts the 1800 acre West Rock State Park, sharing hiking trails, wildlife, and diverse natural habitats with the surrounding forests. Common Ground’s urban farm produces sustainably grown food for programs and our community, and is home to our friendly farm animals. Common Ground’s Charter High School uses the site as an organizing principle of its curriculum which is guided by an ecological framework highlighting the connection and interdependence of all living and non-living things. Each year, more than 10,000 community members participate in festivals, field trips, after-school programs, and other educational opportunities on site. For more information visit

Job Description

Our nature based enrichment programs (NatureYear and Kids Unplugged) immerse small groups of children (ages 5 – 13) in outdoor learning and play.

Groups of up to 14 students are led by two teachers, supported by one assistant teacher.

The work is fully outside in all weather, including rain, snow, and cold. Applicants must be comfortable working outside from September through June (including winter weather) and must provide their own weather-appropriate clothing (we are happy to provide recommendations on affordable basics).

Regular activities include being physically active for up to 6 hours, including walking, hiking, carrying up to 20 lbs, and walking on uneven terrain and surfaces that may have ice or snow.

Assistant teacher responsibilities include:

  • Supporting teachers in running activities. This may include behavior management and social coaching of children, as well as helping to manage program materials.
  • Supporting children in positive relationships with peers. Positive conflict management, behavioral redirection, and supervising for safety in an outdoor environment.
  • Helping to care for the physical needs of children, including supervising hand washing, helping children manage their layers to be weather-appropriate, and helping young children change clothes as needed and necessary. 
  • Providing basic first aid (ice, band-aids, and other minor care)
  • Supporting children with special needs by participating in the implementation of the care plan that is developed with their family.
  • Maintenance of program supplies and areas, including daily cleaning and tidying as needed.

Covid-19 notes:

  • All staff must wear masks at all times when indoors, and when within 6 feet of others when outside
  • Children are required to have a mask available, but are not required to wear it at all times when outside. Mask wearing is encouraged, however we know that not all children will wear a mask outside all of the time.
  • We have thorough cleaning and sanitizing routines in place, including professional sanitizing of bathrooms throughout the day and regular hand washing and surface sanitizing during the program.
  • Limited paid leave is available to any staff member who needs to miss work as a result of COVID-19.
  • If our program needs to close (temporarily or longer term) due to COVID-19 concerns, hours will be reduced and Assistant Teachers will be eligible to file for unemployment. The reduction in hours will be based on available budget and program need, as well as the skills and interests of each individual to support our Distance Learning program.

Position requirements:

  • Experience with positive behavior management, social coaching, and emotional support when working with groups of children (ages 5 and up).
  • Commitment to anti-racism and working honestly and vulnerably to honor children and staff who are diverse in many ways.
  • Willingness and desire to work outdoors in all weather, including rain and snow.
  • Ability and desire to be physically active for most of a 6 hour program day.
  • References that can verify punctuality and reliability with work attendance.
  • Willingness to follow all COVID-19 precautions, including mask wearing, hand washing, and supporting children in health and safety precautions.

Applicants must be available for work starting Monday, August 31.

August 31 – Sept 4, 2020 is our staff training week.

Our program year runs from Sept 8, 2020 – June 5, 2021.

Assistant Teachers work an average of 28 hours per week

Most positions work 4 weekdays from 8:30 – 3:30. A few shifts are available from 3 – 6 PM on weekdays and 8:30 – 3:30 on Saturdays. The schedule is the same each week, for the whole program year.


358 Springside Ave, New Haven, CT, 06515


$14  per hour

To Apply

Complete the online application HERE and email a resume to Rebecca Holcombe at

Application deadline: August 5, 2020

(interviews may start sooner and positions may be filled before the application deadline)



Common Ground is committed to a policy of equal opportunity/affirmative action for all qualified persons. Common Ground High School does not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis of race, color, religious creed, sex, age, national origin, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, disability (including, but not limited to, mental retardation, past or present history of mental disability, physical disability or learning disability), genetic information, or any other basis prohibited by Connecticut state and/or federal nondiscrimination laws. Common Ground High School does not unlawfully discriminate in employment and licensing against qualified persons with a prior criminal conviction.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended, it is the policy of the New Haven Ecology Project, Inc. and Common Ground not to discriminate against protected qualified applicants and employees with disabilities in all aspects of employment.



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