Job Title: Environmental Educator
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 www.commongroundct.org.
School Year: From September through mid-June this position is primarily dedicated to teaching in any combination of programs for children and families that are offered by Common Ground.
For the 2022 – 2023 school year we are seeking staff for our:
SCHOOL FIELD TRIPS PROGRAM and KIDS UNPLUGGED AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM.
Summer: From mid-June through mid-August this position is eligible to work in summer camp (part time staff can opt into or out of summer camp work)
Our SCHOOL FIELD TRIPS welcome classes of children from local schools to Common Ground to connect with nature! We serve preK through 8th grade. Trip topics include hikes, farm to table pizza making, campfire cooking, farm tours, wetland science, nature based play, sheep and wool, maple sugaring, and other seasonal specialty topics. An outline and learning concepts are provided for each trip and field trip teachers also draw on their own knowledge of the natural world to enrich the participant experience. Field Trip staff set their availability and may be scheduled within their availability for 1 – 5 days per week. Most trips are 60 – 90 minutes, with staff typically working between 9:30 AM – 12 PM. Occasional work in afternoon trips (between 12:30 – 2:30) may be available. Field trips are typically canceled in very cold or very wet weather.
The KIDS UNPLUGGED AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM gets children in grades K – 8 playing and learning outside after school! This is primarily a play based program that includes both unstructured playtime and teacher directed activities and experiences as part of the program. Teachers might supervise a campfire in the winter woods, lead a flashlight hike after sunset, cook with foods from the farm, facilitate imaginative play and fort building in the forest, work with children to walk goats and care for chickens, and many other kinds of nature based experiences! We are seeking a teacher who can join our staff team (of 5 staff total) Monday – Friday, September through early June, from 2:30 – 6 PM each day. Kids Unplugged takes place in all weather (unless programs are closed due to unsafe travel conditions), so we are seeking a teacher who is excited to embrace rain and snow as well as blue sky days.
Position requirements and responsibilities:
- Prior experience working with groups of children in formal or informal education and/or childcare settings
- Strong behavior management skills, using student engagement, clear directions, and positive motivation as primary tools.
- Use excellent communication skills, including speaking with children, adults, and coworkers.
- Use strong critical thinking and problem solving skills and sound judgment as part of routine daily work.
- Willingness to be flexible and work with the day’s teaching team to adapt plans to the ages, weather conditions, and other needs of the day
- Commitment to working joyfully and inclusively with children and adults of all identities, with much of our work serving a racially and economically diverse urban community.
- Commitment to child centered teaching and behavior management, with the ability and desire to consider and seek to meet the needs of individual children.
- Work in a setting with farm animals as well as native wildlife including insects, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and birds.
- Engage in the physical requirements of this role, including being physically active for the majority of a scheduled work shift, safely navigating outdoor terrain that includes uneven and unpaved surfaces, sitting on the ground, carrying a backpack with teaching supplies, and teaching outside in weather conditions including heat, rain, cold, and snow.
- Ability to enthusiastically engage up to 20 children in nature based activities (typically with chaperones from the school present as well)
- Basic content knowledge related to one or more of the areas that our field trips cover. Trip outlines are provided but naturalist knowledge to enrich the experience is helpful!
- Field trip hours can be variable and the happiest teachers in this role are those who can work with a variable schedule that can include weeks with fewer hours and weeks that are very busy (within the limits of the availability that the staff person has defined).
- Field trip shifts are typically 2 – 2.5 hours, including prep, leading the trip, and clean up. Please consider the shift duration in relationship to your commute to make sure it makes sense for your needs.
- Planning and leading nature based lessons and activities for groups of children
- Supervising for physical, social, and emotional safety in an outdoor, play based setting
- Meeting social and emotional needs of children, including positive behavior management, setting group routines and group culture, and modifying plans and schedules to meet the needs of individual children.
- Ability to commit to the program schedule as described (outside of emergencies and pre-arranged time off)
This position is part of the Community Programs Team and is supervised by the Director of Community Programs. Additional position responsibilities include:
- Participation in ongoing staff development and meetings as scheduled for the Environmental Education team (as possible within personal availability for meetings that may sometimes be outside of routine work hours)
- Ongoing commitment to anti-bias and anti-racist work, including participation in professional development and implementation of any new curriculum, policies, or ways of working together and with our community.
- Work to support the overall operations of the non-profit programs as needed and available. This may include animal care, maintenance of program teaching and play areas, garden care, and working in additional programs for children and families.
$19 per hour. This part-time position does not include benefits.
Complete the online application HERE and email a resume to Rebecca Holcombe at email@example.com.
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION POLICY STATEMENT
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)< 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-7081), 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 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.