Preschool Director or Lead Teacher

Location: Barnstable, MA
Sanctuary: Long Pasture

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 Preschool Director or Lead Teacher who enjoys being outdoors in nature year-round, is well versed in early childhood education practices and understands the changing social and emotional needs of preschool-aged children. Our program is a single classroom Monday-Thursday schedule where the majority of the time is spent outdoors at our sanctuary. This position starts immediately.

Mass Audubon Nature Preschools’ goal is to provide a high-quality environment for young children that helps them grow as learners, curious thinkers, community members, and life-long stewards of the natural world.  This is accomplished through our curriculum which is both Nature Based and child-centered, emergent.

At Mass Audubon Preschools, we strive to create a safe, inclusive, and caring learning environment where each person is respected and supported in their development and growth. We believe that diversity—both in nature and in our human communities—is essential to strength, resilience, and innovation, and we are committed to recognizing the unique contributions of each community member.

The Nature Preschool Director/Lead Teacher position is a teaching/administration position, a great opportunity for a professional early educator who thrives in a dynamic preschool environment, comfortable leading a small school while staying directly connected to children and their families.   A Mass Audubon Preschool Leadership Team provides additional support and guidance for this position.  As a Mass Audubon Preschool, each of our schools is part of a network of 8 nature preschools, providing our Directors and teacher teams opportunities to learn and share ideas with colleagues across Massachusetts. Each preschool within the network aligns with to Mass Audubon Nature Preschool guidelines and best practices in nature-based early childhood teaching and learning. The Nature Preschool Leadership Team provides direction on policy and best practices, and supports the development and management of all Mass Audubon Preschools.

The Nature Preschool Director or Lead Teacher will be responsible for the coordination and oversight of all curriculum and program development, licensing and risk management, marketing and registration, staff hiring and supervision, program evaluation and budget management. The Nature Preschool Director supervises 3 part-time, benefitted staff and teaches a minimum of 1-2 days a week, more as needed. Current programming includes a school year session (September-June). The Director will work with the Education Manager to build summer programming or support of existing early childhood programs (July and August) in addition to the current offerings.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Develop and steward a sense of community, belonging, and connection to nature in the preschool.
  • Ensure programming is fully staffed and within ration by teaching programming and substituting when needed.
  • Create and maintain a healthy, safe, and positive environment for children utilizing nature as the organizing principle for all learning.
  • Ensure the indoor and outdoor learning environments are in good condition to support safe, engaging, rich in experience, and positive child development.
  • Responsible and accountable to all Mass Audubon safety policies and guidelines to manage risk.
  • Responsible for compliance and implementation of all Massachusetts Early Education and Care licensed child care regulations and guidelines, including preparation for re-licensing paperwork and visits, secure maintenance of student files.
  • Observe and document children’s progress in the areas of their social, emotional, physical, creative, and cognitive skills and communicate with families about their child’s abilities and goals.

Management/Supervision:   

  • Hire, train, manage, supervise and provide ongoing professional development for all preschool program faculty.
  • Maintain clear communication with the faculty and ensure that curriculum and instruction is highest quality, meets early education standards and outcomes, and is inclusive and culturally responsive.  
  • Communicate and work cooperatively with the Nature Preschool faculty to accomplish program goals.  
  • Determine the work schedule of the school and arrange substitute educators when necessary.    

 Family Engagement:   

  • Communicate with families about their child’s development and daily learning and play experiences including working with teaching staff to plan and conduct parent/teacher conferences.  
  • Engage parents/caregivers in conversations about children’s behavioral needs and collaborate with Lead Teachers to plan meetings with families to explore appropriate strategies, interventions and possible collaboration with outside consultants.  
  • Develop and facilitate family events and engagement programs.

 Marketing, Public/Community Relations: 

  • Work collaboratively with Mass Audubon’s marketing department to develop school marketing materials and any other publications or press that represent early education at Mass Audubon.  

 Other:  

  • Work with Mass Audubon early childhood education colleagues and attend education and preschool meetings as required.
  • Attend monthly Nature Preschool Director professional learning community meetings. 

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:

  • The Nature Preschool Director or Lead Teacher should either hold Early Education and Care licensure or provide documentation of the equivalent trainings necessary for the position.  Additionally, candidate must have at least 5 years of experience teaching children, ages 2-5 years old.
  • Previous experience with management of teaching staff, which includes staff recruitment, hiring, supervision and design of ongoing professional development.
  • Additional qualifications include:
    • Strong understanding of early childhood education practices and the changing social and emotional needs of preschool-aged children.
    • Ability to manage all preschool operations.
    • Ability to manage and support a high level of engagement of preschool staff.
    • Enthusiasm for teaching of Nature Preschool Program.
    • Excellent writing and communication skills and ability to work cooperatively and independently.  
    • Interest and/or experience in nature-based, emergent and anti-bias teaching in early childhood education.  
    • Passion for the natural world and deep commitment to developing early childhood learning experiences in, about, and for nature.   
    • Demonstrated ability to promote and respect diversity of ethnic, cultural, linguistic backgrounds and, physical and mental abilities. 
    • Demonstrated skills and commitment to helping others grow in the understanding, relationship, and concern for the environment.
    • First Aid/CPR certifications. 

Nice to Haves:

  • Experience in providing natural science instruction to preschool age children is preferred. 
  • Experience with a diverse range of Preschool managerial skills including enrollment, budget, staff supervision, state licensing guidelines and more.

Compensation & Benefits

This position’s base salary range is $54,250 - $60,785; 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

This position is a 40 hour a week position to cover the school schedule, planning, trainings and meetings.

Other Requirements:

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

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

Please send resume and cover letter to:

Catie Fyfe, Education Manager
Job# 3876