Nature Preschool Lead Teacher

Location: Belmont, MA
Sanctuary: Habitat

About Mass Audubon

Mass Audubon is the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England. Founded in 1896 by two women who fought for the protection of birds, Mass Audubon carries on their legacy by focusing on the greatest challenges facing the environment today: the loss of biodiversity, inequitable access to nature, and climate change. With the help of our 160,000 members and supporters, we protect wildlife, conserve and restore resilient land, advocate for impactful environmental policies, offer nationally recognized education programs for adults and children, and provide endless opportunities to experience the outdoors at our wildlife sanctuaries. Explore, find inspiration, and take action at www.massaudubon.org.

About This Position

We seek a dynamic MA EEC certified Lead Preschool Teacher who enjoys being outdoors in nature year-round, is well versed in early childhood education best practices and understands the changing social and emotional needs of preschool-aged children ages 3-5 years to participate in the opening and leadership of Mass Audubon's newest Nature Preschool at our Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary in Belmont. In partnership with the Preschool Director and teaching team, the Lead Preschool Teacher manages curriculum development, implementation, and family communications for students. They are responsible for designing educational experiences for nature preschool students in accordance with Mass Audubon’s Action Agenda strategic goals and Mass Audubon’s education frameworks, guidelines, and policies.

Lead Preschool Teacher candidates must possess a strong respect for young children and families, a love of teaching young children and a strong desire to connect children and nature through teaching outside. They must possess the ability to plan and facilitate daily multi-sensory, play and nature-based, anti-bias, emergent and developmentally appropriate curriculum, incorporating a variety of hands-on experiences as they maintain warm, professional relationships with children, their parents and caregivers.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Work with Preschool Director and teaching team to develop and implement a curriculum that reflects the needs and interests of the children.
  • Provide a physically and emotionally safe environment for children in both indoor and outdoor settings:
  • Help maintain the physical environment by contributing to housekeeping tasks as needed.
  • Observe and document children's learning/development through the use of notes and assessment tools and conduct parent-teacher team conferences, as scheduled by Preschool Director.
  • Spend significant time outdoors with students during all seasons, in all types of weather.
  • Acknowledge and respect diversity and promote inclusion of all people regardless of ethnic, culture, linguistic backgrounds, gender identity, sexual orientation, and physical and mental disabilities.
  • Follow protocols established by Mass Audubon, Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary and EEC regulations.
  • Attend regional staff meetings and actively participate in statewide education staff meetings, audience professional learning communities, and professional development trainings as required.
  • Attend Nature Preschool Open Houses, as scheduled by Preschool Director.
  • Attend school-wide community engagement activities as scheduled by Preschool Director.
  • Act as an ambassador for the Nature Preschool, recognizing that preschool classes are frequently observed by the general public, visiting professionals, prospective families and Mass Audubon staff members. 

Qualifications

At Mass Audubon, our highest priority is finding the best candidate for the job. Research has shown that people of color and women are less likely to apply for jobs if they don't believe they meet every one of the qualifications described in a job description. We encourage you to apply, even if you don't believe you meet every one of our described qualifications or you have a less traditional background. We are looking for applicants with the following qualifications:

 Must Haves: 

  • At least 3 years of experience teaching young children.
  • MA Department of Early Education and Care Lead Teacher Certification.
  • CPR and First aid training or willing to attain.
  • Familiarity with inquiry-based and play-based nature education.
  • Familiarity with MA early childhood standards.
  • Interest and/or experience in nature-based, emergent and anti-bias teaching in early childhood education.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills and ability to work cooperatively and independently required.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills and commitment to helping others grow in understanding of and concern for the environment and people's relationship to it.
  • Ability to lead walks on forested trails in all types of weather.
  • Successful candidates will need to pass a background records check (CORI, SORI and Fingerprinting).

Nice to Haves: 

  • Experience in providing nature-based learning to preschool age children is preferred. 

Compensation & Benefits

This position’s base salary range is $21.05 - $23.65; actual salary will reflect level of experience and qualifications relative to position requirements.  

Benefits and Perks: 

Benefits eligible staff at Mass Audubon may elect to enroll in medical, dental, and vision plans. Mass Audubon also offers disability and life insurance plans, a retirement plan through MetLife, and Flexible Spending Account options. Mass Audubon employment also includes access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and the Reciprocity Agreement through the Consortium of Non-Profit Arts/Cultural/Environmental Organizations of New England. Mass Audubon employees also enjoy 12 paid holidays (holidays may shift annually due to where days fall within calendar).

Additional Information

Work Schedule

Regular Schedule: Monday-Thursday 8:00am-4:30pm, Friday 8:00am-2:00pm during the school year.

These hours are on-site in the classroom and include some onsite and some outside of school planning time.

Other: Times and dates outside of regular hours will be required for training, meetings, open houses, and school-wide community events.

Year Round Schedule is 40 hours/week during school year (44 weeks) then 4 hours/week during summer (8 weeks).

Other Requirements:

Employees must successfully complete a CORI and SORI Background Check and a Motor Vehicle Record (if applicable) is required.

COVID-19 Considerations

Mass Audubon requires that all staff, regardless of their work location, disclose their vaccination status. Proof of vaccination status will be required immediately upon hire. This should also include a booster shot if it has been 5 months since you were initially vaccinated.

Mass Audubon's Commitment To Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Justice

Mass Audubon's mission is to "protect the nature of Massachusetts for people and for wildlife" by building a strong coalition of employees, volunteers, and community members. We recognize that the environmental movement and field of conservation have been affected by societal systems that have limited opportunity and access for many people. As a result, Mass Audubon is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees and applicants. We are engaged in an ongoing process of organizational assessment and change, designed to remove barriers and create a workplace where all forms of diversity are recognized and valued.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

Mass Audubon is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees and applicants. Mass Audubon prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

How To Apply

Pease send cover letter, resume, and three references to:

Kayla Piccarreto, Preschool Director
Job# 3851