Assistant Teacher at The Nest Nature School

Posted: 05/21/2024

School Overview
The Nest Nature School is part of the Cibolo Center for Conservation, an organization founded in 1988 to connect people with nature and inspire them to fall in love with land, water, and wildlife in the hopes that they will become champions and stewards of the Earth. Since 2016, the Cibolo has been providing exceptional early childhood education in the Nature School to foster young children in their full spectrum of development.
 
At the Nest Nature School, we are nurturing strong bodies, inquisitive minds, and wild hearts. The school fosters a cohesive learning community and employs the best practices of early childhood and nature-based educational approaches. Our curriculum incorporates play and learning in nature to best support the whole child academically, socially, emotionally, physically to ensure that they are prepared for Kindergarten and beyond. 
 
Located in the heart of Boerne, we provide our students with access to more than 65 acres of pristine natural spaces along the Cibolo Creek with prairies, trails, forests, and gardens. Our unique campus located at the Herff Farm provides abundant nature-based opportunities to support our play-based learning philosophy. Each class is situated in individual learning cottages, complete with a beautiful indoor space, an open-air creative space, and picnic decks for lunch and snacks. The outdoor learning spaces include opportunities for students to grow vegetables, explore the forest, experience a sensory garden, create nature-based art, and of course - sliding, climbing, and jumping.

Position Summary
The Cibolo is seeking an energetic and passionate early childhood educator to provide strong teaching, leadership, and direction in the role of Assistant Teacher for The Nest, the preschool of the Cibolo Center for Conservation.
 
The Assistant Teacher works collaboratively to provide support to the Lead Teacher in one of our four preschool classes. We are seeking applicants equipped with a strong background in early childhood development or a related field with a passion to inspire children to connect with nature through play and exploration. We are seeking individuals who are joyful, collaborative, passionate, responsible, energetic, flexible, child-focused, and enjoy being outdoors year-round in all weather.
 
The position will support a traditional school day schedule, typically 40 hours per week, scheduled hourly Monday – Friday though some weekends or evenings may occasionally be required for family events, staff meetings, or training opportunities. This is a year-round, full-time position with benefits.
  
Essential Functions/Responsibilities
Work with Lead Teacher and other teaching staff to:

  • Implement a nature-based developmentally appropriate preschool program guided by the needs of the children, the standards of early childhood education, and mission of The Nest Nature School and Cibolo Center for Conservation.
  • Supervise children in day-to-day routines and transitions, engage during daily hikes, support snack and mealtimes, and activity set-up/clean-up.
  • Maintain safe classroom spaces including maintaining the first aid kit, monitoring children in the use of materials and supplies, and assisting with animal care.
Teaching & Curriculum
  • Assist Lead Teacher in preparing and facilitating curriculum.
  • Demonstrate the ability to multi-task, be flexible, and exhibit patience in a collaborative setting.
  • Responsibly supervising children in day-to-day routines in all areas of the campus during core school hours (8am - 3pm), as well as before and after school programming.
  • Establishing and modeling safe and calm nap time routines, preparing and cleaning up snack, helping with activity set-up and clean-up.
  • Support student learning in the areas of social and emotional learning, pre-literacy, gross and fine motor, math, art, natural history, ecology, art, music, dance, and drama.
  • Appropriately assist students in self-care skills.
  • Ability to observe the effectiveness and success of curriculum and constructively relay information to Lead Teacher as necessary.
  • Assist with student assessments and portfolios to share with administration and parents as needed.
Physical Environment:
  • Ensure children’s physical and emotional safety, including following procedures in risky play, sensory play, medication administration, allergy management, and authorized release.
  • Maintain a clean, healthy, and safe outdoor and indoor environment.
  • Ensure personal and classroom compliance with all relevant rules and regulations including licensing, school, and organizational guidelines.
  • Ability to identify, or to learn to identify, local natural hazards such as poison ivy, wasps, etc.
  • Respond confidently to emergencies in a calm and responsible manner and uphold emergency protocols. 
  • Ability to safely and confidently facilitate activities with young children in various weather conditions and seasons.
Relationships & Communication
  • Maintain a safe, joyful, and respectful classroom environment for students and other staff.
  • Provide a physically and emotionally safe environment for children in indoor and outdoor settings.
  • Develop students’ social, emotional, and behavioral skills through positive guidance, modeling, and conflict resolution strategies.
  • Create a culturally responsive and socially inclusive classroom for all students and their families.
  • Engage enthusiastically and appropriately with families and other members of the school community through digital, verbal, written, and in-person interactions.
  • Support Lead Teacher in maintaining ongoing communication (verbal and/or written) daily with parents and caregivers.
  • Communicate directly with guardians appropriately and effectively through in-person, digital, verbal, and/or written communication.
  • Constructively communicate concerns about the learning environment, students, or staff to the Preschool Director.
 Creating Community
  • Actively participate in weekly, monthly, and as needed staff meetings and trainings.
  • Participate in Cibolo Center for Conservation staff meetings and special events to ensure connection with the rest of the staff and members.
  • Engage with positive and proactive communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Based on assigned schedule or shift, provide scheduled breaks for other teaching staff
 Other Duties:
  • Obtain 24 hours of continuing education yearly.
  • Maintain cleanliness of classroom and communal spaces on a daily basis.
  • Other duties as assigned.
 
Position Qualifications
1+ years' experience as an assistant teacher or in a support role at an accredited preschool, preferably with play-based or nature-based learning approach
  • Confidence facilitating children in outdoor or non-traditional classroom setting.
  • A commitment to the importance of play and nature in early childhood education.
  • Working knowledge or willingness to learn natural history, ecology, and conservation concepts.
  • Working knowledge or willingness to learn risk assessment in the environments of young children.
  • Computer literacy, including use of Microsoft Office Suite and email to support child related documentation and other communication.
  • Ability to communicate effectively in English with demonstrated strong oral and written skills.
  • Eagerness to embrace the mission of the school and larger organization.
  • High emotional intelligence and ability to function effectively as a collaborative teaching team.
  • Pediatric CPR/first aid certification, or the willingness to receive within 2 weeks of employment.
  • Employment is contingent on applicant passing fingerprinting and background check.
  • Must have reliable transportation.
  • Must be flexible and willing to assist with a variety of teaching and administrative duties including any additional roles outside of those stated.
Preferred Qualifications
Some coursework in or completion of Child Development Associates (CDA), Associates or Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, Child Development, or other related educational field.
  • Certification or formal training in nature-based education or place-based education.
  • Certification or formal training in Waldorf, Reggio Emilio, or Montessori pedagogies.
  • Fluent in language other than English (Spanish preferred).
Working conditions & Physical Requirements
A typical work week is 40 hours, M-F. Occasional evenings or weekends may be scheduled for parent meetings, in-service trainings, and/or special events.
  • Position schedule is 7:30am-3:30pm
  • Ability to work outdoors in all seasons and all weather conditions 60% or more of each day. 
  • Ability to safely navigate a variety of surfaces, walk long distances, stand for extended periods of time, sit, kneel, stoop, crawl, twist, reach above head, climb stairs or ramps, lift, carry up to 50 lbs. 
TO APPLY
Please submit a letter of introduction and a current resume to: hr@cibolo.org with the subject line:
THE NEST NATURE SCHOOL ASSISTANT TEACHER
Position will remain open until filled.
 
Job title The Nest Nature School - Assistant Teacher
Reports to Director of Administration
Location The Nest Nature School, Herff Farm, Boerne Texas 78006
Salary $16.00/ hour