FILLED- 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

Is this job a great fit for you?

We are looking for Assistant Teachers who truly love children – who want to support them in their play and joy, and who understand that social challenges and big emotions are also normal parts of being a growing child. Our Assistant Teachers are guides, coaches, and helpers for the big and small moments of each day as children play and learn.

Our work is also fully outside! This is a great job for people who are up for being physically active all day, and can have a sunny attitude in the pouring rain. 

As a community, we are committed to anti-bias and anti-racism in our work, our actions, and in our values. We seek team members who believe that all children and families should have safe, welcoming access to nature and that all children deserve to be celebrated and supported on their path of development and growth. Our staff and children that we serve are diverse in many ways and we welcome applicants and new team members of all identities.

Our INSTAGRAM account provides a good picture of what our day to day work looks like!

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 students are led by teachers, supported by assistant teachers with each group.

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 and have limited loaner gear in some adult sizes).

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:

  • Staff are required to be fully vaccinated for Covid-19 and to provide proof of vaccination
  • All staff and children must wear masks at all times when indoors, regardless of vaccination status
  • Masks are not required outside
  • Children and staff may not be on campus with any symptoms of contagious illness

Position requirements:

  • Experience with positive behavior management and meeting routine physical and emotional needs 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.


Assistant Teacher schedules vary. They may be approximately 7 – 28 hours per week.

Current openings are Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM. 

Once a schedule is agreed upon, it remains the same each week. We welcome applicants who can work two, three, or four days. Immediate openings for qualified applicants who can commit to a regular schedule from January through early June, 2022. 

Additional part time and seasonal full time opportunities will likely be available for work in summer camp in July and August.


358 Springside Ave, New Haven, CT, 06515


$15 per hour, not eligible for benefits

To Apply

Email a resume and letter of interest to Rebecca Holcombe at


Common Ground is particularly eager for candidates who can help us to fulfill our commitment to building a racially and culturally diverse faculty and staff. Common Ground has a commitment to examining the intersection of social, environmental, and food justice issues; how systems of oppression, including white privilege, impact the organization’s work; and how resistance to those systems can offer windows into a more sustainable society.

Common Ground is committed to the recruitment and retention of staff that is reflective of the communities we work with. We strongly encourage applicants from people of color, immigrants, women, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community, people whose native language is something other than English, and other underrepresented and historically marginalized groups.

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, intellectual disability, 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 conferences 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)

Discrimination against Criminal Offenders (46a-80), definition of Blind (46a-51(1)), definition of Physically Disabled (46a-51(15)), definition of Intellectual Disability (46a51(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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