If you are interested in working in our school, please send a cover letter and resume to Abigail Marsters at sharonnatureschool@gmail.com. Please make sure your qualifications are clearly listed including education, degrees, experience in preschool environments, and DEEC certification.

 Nature Teacher Job Description

 Basic Function

The nature teacher will be responsible for facilitating developmentally appropriate activities and environments based on the principles of child driven emerging curriculum in a play-based nature school and insure the safety and well being of both children and families as they develop a love and appreciation for nature. Such duties will include but are not limited to:

Teaching

  1. Facilitate developmentally appropriate activities and experiences based on the principles of child driven emerging curriculum in a play-based nature school.
  2. Create and maintain an enriching, challenging and developmentally appropriate environment that meets the needs and interests of the individual children.
  3. Design age appropriate project-based lessons that are hands-on and experiential that encourage curiosity and a sense of wonder in the natural world.
  4. Foster a sense of exploration, creative expression, and discovery by leading daily outdoor explorations with students that immerse them in nature, encourage play, and student led investigations.
  5. Place emphasis on inspiring curious, thoughtful, active learners who develop a love and respect for the outdoors and believe in celebrating and protecting it through diverse hands-on learning activities, including but not limited to creating and cultivating gardens, composting sites, and trails.
  6. Offer hands-on, experience-based opportunities to prepare children for kindergarten in all developmental skill areas.
  7. Align curriculum with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Pre-Kindergarten to 12, incorporating a developmentally-based and child-directed program that is fluid and dynamic, with an emphasis on the critical role of the environment in fostering independence, individuality, and compassion for others and nature.
  8. Be familiar with and abide by the regulations and criteria mandated by licensing and accreditation agencies (DEEC, NAEYC, DFA, DPH, etc.). For example:
    1. Educators will sit with the children at snack time and lunchtime, engage them in conversation and provide them with a positive social experience.
    2. Educators will supervise children primarily by sight. Supervision by sound for intervals of no more than 1 minute is acceptable as long as educators know where the child is and are able to check on them.
    3. Educators will keep their rooms and the materials and supplies in the rooms cleaned and sanitized per the posted Cleaning and Sanitation Frequency chart.
  9. Create, maintain and (keep) secure portfolios for each child using examples of their work, anecdotal records and any other information as needed.
  10. Record through observation and documentation the development and progress of students and issue a progress report as required twice a year (and every 3 months for children with IEP’s). Meet with families and co-develop goals for each child in their care twice a year and as needed and requested.
  11. Assist parents in referrals for screenings for special services.
  12. Implement any IEP and work with specialists assigned to children in their class.
  13. Value the uniqueness of all children and help each child achieve their potential by being nurturing, challenging and supportive.
  14. Emphasize the importance of each individual as a part of the whole school community.
  15. Insure that each individual is always treated professionally with dignity, respect and courtesy.
  16. Complete any other tasks as assigned and requested.

 Professional development

  1. Promote the school’s cooperative philosophy – actively support the partnership between home and school.
  2. Promote the goals of the school: open-ended learning in an outdoor environment; creating curious, thoughtful, active learners who love the outdoors and who believe in celebrating and protecting it
  3. Provide an example of appropriate practice and professional behavior at all times.
  4. Work as a team member in a positive and professional manner and be supportive of their peers’ needs and rights.
  5. Check in with Director regularly to update progress and plans.
  6. Attend monthly staff meetings and up to 5 school events as required.
  7. Complete up to 20 hours of mandatory professional development as required per year per DEEC regulations and the educator’s Individualized Professional Development Plan.
  8. Participate in the bi-annual evaluation process including contributing a self-assessment and creating an Individualized Professional Development Plan.
  9. Maintain the confidentiality of the students, families and staff.
  10. Feel encouraged and professionally and financially supported to participate in organizations, events and conferences that promote early education and care and issues that concern young families.

 Communication

  1. Appreciate diversity and differences; insure that lines of honest and open communication are always maintained.
  2. Greet every person in our community with a friendly positive attitude.
  3. Take advantage of team meeting times to communicate and receive input on student, environmental, and curriculum issues in the classroom.
  4. Prepare daily communications for families including documentation of daily activities.
  5. Conduct family conferences initiated at either family or teacher request.
  6. Attend and help conduct all school events as required as well as any other all-school events as requested.

 Health and Safety

  1. Be well oriented and knowledgeable concerning all school protocols and policies, including health care, injury prevention, behavior management, toileting and emergency procedures.
  2. Insure that all children are signed in and out in the attendance books and know the number of children in attendance and the location of the attendance book at all times.
  3. Fill out Incident & Accident Reports and Medication Authorization forms as required.
  4. Help conduct emergency evacuation drills monthly.
  5. As a mandated reporter, follow the appropriate steps and procedures regarding the reporting of child abuse and neglect.
  6. Maintain and report any needed supplies or materials.
  7. Follow universal precautions – wear gloves when in contact with bodily fluids. Use janitor’s sink for any clean up of bodily fluids or materials.
  8. Clean bathrooms after children’s use. Maintain a clean and sanitary school at all times.
  9. Inspect equipment for any safety hazards and eliminate them at once; clean toys and surfaces as required.
  10. Maintain current certifications in all required subjects, i.e. CPR, medication and nutrition training and First Aid.
  11. Maintain a clean, safe and nurturing classroom.

All employees are required to read and abide by the Cooperative Nature School’s Family and Employee Handbooks.

All employees are required to abide by the regulations and criteria of all licensing authorities to include DEEC, NAEYC, DFA and any other agencies as appropriate. Not doing so will result in verbal or written warnings and could result in immediate dismissal. For example, staff must:

  • Keep within regulation teacher/student ratios at all times
  • Never leave a child alone
  • Never use spanking or other corporal punishment of children
  • Never subject children to cruel or severe punishment such as humiliation, verbal or physical abuse, neglect, or abusive treatment
  • Never deprive children of meals or snacks
  • Never force feed children
  • Never discipline a child for soiling, wetting, or not using the toilet
  • Never force a child to remain in soiled clothing
  • Never force a child to remain on the toilet or using any other unusual or excessive practices for toileting.

Copies of all regulations are kept on file in the office and are widely available on each agency’s website. Please see the Executive Director with any questions.

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