Common Ground is Seeking an Environmental Educator/Nature-Based Teacher in the Schoolyards Program

Job Title:  Environmental Educator/Nature-Based Teacher in the Schoolyards Program at Common Ground
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

The Schoolyards Program supports the creation and effective use of school gardens, schoolyard habitats, and outdoor classrooms in schools. We provide professional and technical support to help schools realize the full potential of teaching outside in deepening the academic and emotional learning of their students. 

Schoolyards teachers bring Common Grounds outdoor education work to schools in the New Haven area. They work at schools, either during the school day or afterschool. Schoolyards teachers design their own curriculum based on the schoolyard space, the seasons, the needs of the school, and the interests of the children. Teachers provide content based learning about science, nature, and the environment as well as facilitate and create opportunities for adventure based play. Schoolyards classes are conducted almost entirely outdoors in all weather, with indoor spaces used only in severe weather.

This position requires exceptional behavior management skills, excellent judgement, adaptability, and the ability to balance traditional school requirements with outdoor education approaches.

Program information is on our website, and pictures are on Instagram (@CommonGroundSchoolyards). Applicants should review available information, as Schoolyards is a unique teaching opportunity that is amazing for the right applicant and is different from many traditional environmental education programs.

Required Schedule

This position begins in fall 2021 and runs through mid-June 2022. 

Hours may include afterschool (approximately 3:30-6 pm) and/or school day (approximately 8:30 am – 3:30 pm). The specific days and hours can be negotiated and will be the same each week. The regular set schedule may range from 3 – 28 hours per week depending on applicant availability and requests we receive from schools.

We will also have opportunities for part time or seasonal full time work in SUMMER CAMP from June – August 2022 and may have additional opportunities with NatureYear and/or other outdoor education programs for children. 

Position requirements:
  • Experience with planning and leading activities for groups of children ages 5 – 13 in a professional setting (school, preschool, nature center, etc).
  • Demonstrated success in a leadership/head teacher role in both school and outdoor settings.
  • Ability and desire to have significant autonomy and independent responsibility for planning lessons, planning and managing the flow of a day, and communicating with partnering schools and teachers. A strong, supportive team of people doing similar work is available for collaboration and ongoing professional development, and the day to day work at schools is typically delivered independently, without a co-teacher from Common Ground.
  • A passion for Common Ground’s mission and commitment to equity, diversity and environmental sustainability.
  • Strong critical thinking and problem solving skills.
  • Ability to work independently and be self-directed as well as to compromise, communicate, be flexible, and work closely with a staff team and school teachers and administrators.
  • Commitment to working closely with a racially and economically diverse urban school community.
  • Strong communication skills, including speaking with children and adults as well as written communications.
  • Ability and desire to work outdoors in all weather, including rain and snow. We will be outside for 6 consecutive hours with children through the winter.
  • Commitment to child centered teaching and behavior management, with the ability and desire to meet the needs of individual children.

$15 – $18 per hour, depending on experience.  This is a part time position for the 2021 – 2022 school year that does not include benefits. 

To Apply

Complete the online application HERE and upload or email a resume to Robyn Stewart at


It has been the policy and will continue to be the strong commitment of the Common Ground and all contractors and subcontractors who do business with Common Ground to provide equal opportunities in employment to all qualified persons solely on the basis of job-related skills, ability and merit.  Common Ground will continue to take Affirmative Action to ensure that applicants are employed and that employees are treated during employment without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, mental disorder (present or past history thereof) age, physical disability (but not limited to blindness), marital status, mental retardation, criminal record, sexual orientation, gender identity and criminal record.  Such action includes, but is not limited to, employment, promotion, demotion or transfer; recruitment or recruitment advertising; layoff or termination; rates of pay or other forms of compensation, and selection for training, professional development, attendance at conference or other opportunities for advancement.  Common Ground, its contractors and subcontractors will continue to make good faith efforts to comply with all federal and state laws and policies which speak to equal employment opportunity.

The principles of Affirmative Action are addressed in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments of the United States Constitution, Civil Rights Act of 1866, 1870, 1871, Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VI and VII of the 1964 United States Civil Rights Act, Presidential Executive Order 11246, amended by 11375, (Non-discrimination under federal contracts)< Act 1, Section 1 and 20 of the Connecticut Constitution, Governor Grasso’s Executive Order Number 11, Governor O’Neill’s Executive Order 9, the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Law (Sec. 46a-60-69) of the Connecticut General Statutes, Connecticut Code of Fair Practices (46a-70-81), Deprivation of Civil Rights (46a-58(a)(d)), Public Accommodations Law (46a-63-64), Discrimination against Criminal Offenders (46a-80), definition of Blind (46a-51(1)), definition of Physically Disabled (46a-51(15)), definition of Mentally Retarded (46a-51(13)), cooperation with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (46a-77), Sexual Harassment (46a-60(a)-8), Connecticut Credit Discrimination Law (360436 through 439), Title I of the State and Local Fiscal Assistance Act of 1972.

This Affirmative Action Policy Statement re-affirms Common Ground’s commitment to equity in the workplace and the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity.



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