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Temple Emanuel Early Childhood Center; Kensington, MD

Start Date: July 15, 2023

Description, Responsibilities, & Duties

Temple Emanuel Early Childhood Center (TEECC) is seeking a full-time Atelierista (Studio Teacher) to join our innovative and collaborative educational team at our year-round, full-day, early childhood center. As a member of the school’s leadership team, the Atelierista works closely with the Director and Pedagogista (Curriculum Specialist) to articulate the values of a constructivist, Reggio-informed program, in a progressive Jewish context. The Atelierista supports the community by fostering a learning environment that empowers children to conduct research, deepen understanding, and convey their theories through expressive materials and creative languages.

Key Responsibilities:
● Responsible for the Atelier (and its budget), designing and maintaining an organized, inspiring, and aesthetically appealing learning environment.
● Works with teachers to create thriving mini-atelier spaces in each classroom that offer a variety of materials and tools to provoke inquiry and support ongoing learning.
● Works with children in the Atelier and classroom, facilitating and supporting small-group research, project work, and materials exploration.
● Supports educators in designing classroom provocations and invitations that are rich with potential and align with the values of our school.
● In partnership with the Pedagogista, meets with classroom educators to plan, implement, and support long-term, intentional research and project work.
● Actively documents and interprets children’s learning processes, making learning visible through written narratives, photographs, videos, Remini posts, etc.
● Leads professional development training and offers resources to support staff’s learning and fluency with a variety of expressive materials and tools.
● Communicates and champions the vision and value of the Atelier and the 100 Languages through parent education, faculty meetings, Remini postings, documentation, etc.
● Exhibits a strong commitment to ongoing professional development by reading current publications, working closely with the school’s mentor/consultant, attending workshops, and actively participating in the local network of Reggio-inspired educators.
● Covers staff absences or provides staff to child ratio coverage in classrooms as needed.

Minimum Qualifications/Requirements

● Fluency and experience working with a variety of artistic materials, mediums, & tools.
● Experience working with young children.
● An understanding of the Reggio Emilia Approach and/or constructivist learning theories.
● Strong written and verbal communication skills, proficiency with a variety of digital languages.

Salary & Benefits

● Salary range- $48,000-$54,000, commensurate with experience and education
● Contribution to health, dental, and vision insurance
● Temple membership; Discounted ECC & Religious School Tuition
● 120 hours of paid leave per fiscal year, plus additional paid holidays
● Professional development opportunities

Application Procedures

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to Dana Robinson, Director of Early Childhood, at Interview candidates will be expected to present samples of their own creative work as well as samples of processes they have facilitated that illustrate children’s learning.

Program Description

• Our program is based on the spirit of community where children, parents and staff feel a strong sense of partnership and belonging. We aim to create and maintain a culture of collaborative learning inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach to early childhood education.
• We are committed to: (1) values based on the image of the child as curious, competent, and capable of co-constructing knowledge; (2) providing an exceptional early childhood education for all children; (3) exposing our children to the rich Jewish values of Temple Emanuel.
• We believe that children learn best by being active, experiential learners. We provide a rich environment in which children have the opportunity for discovery and growth. We encourage the love of learning and the development of the inquisitive mind.
• We believe that children have the right to grow at their own pace in a warm, joyful, and nurturing environment.
• We believe that all children and their families should be treated with dignity and respect at all times.

Guiding Principles Inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education:

Progettazione – Educational intentions
Intentions are a means of focusing an experience, attempting to maximize an opportunity so that the teachers and the children can be aware of each other’s discoveries. Intentions allow for a more refined ear with which to take in how children relate to the world and make sense of its complexity. Each year we introduce a school-wide intention. Intentions are starting points. Ideally, areas of interest will blossom, providing each individual classroom the opportunity to explore and investigate the greater, school-wide intention, within a uniquely defined and fascinating way.

The ‘Third’ Teacher – Educational environments and aesthetic design
The environment acts as another educator. The school’s aesthetics have intention and the environment is designed to provoke children to wonder, engage, challenge, manipulate, dream, express and think. Educators thoughtfully organize space for large and small group exploration. From placement of materials to spaces of interaction, the set-up of the environment gives value to relationships- physically, emotionally, and socially.

Exploration and Reflection – The role of time
The ability to slow our pace and take our time provides a platform for listening. Our ability to engage in an open dialogue provides opportunity to ask questions and reflect. Intentional investigational studies are not fragmented; rather they build upon one another over time. As the children revisit their original work and ideas, time provides the opportunity for new experiences which deepen the knowledge already learned. Time is also important in building and sustaining relationships.

Collaboration – Small and large group work
Collaborative group work, both large and small, is considered valuable and necessary to advance cognitive development. Children are encouraged to talk, critique, compare, negotiate, hypothesize, and problem-solve through group work. Collaboration occurs among educators, educators and children, children and children, children and parents, parents and educators, as well as the community at large.

Documentation – Communication and visibility of children’s learning
Documentation of children’s work in progress is viewed as an important tool in the learning process for children, educators, and parents. Photos of children engaged in experiences, their words written out as they discuss what they are doing, feeling, and thinking, and the children’s interpretation of experiences are displayed to make learning visible.

The Atelier – The many languages of children
Multiple materials are available to children. Through gaining experience with various mediums, children learn to express themselves in many ways. Children can learn to express any idea through what is traditionally thought of as artistic media. Because young children are often difficult to decode, giving them multiple media to express themselves ends up making their thoughts much more readable or transparent to an educator who can better help them to extend upon and fully develop their theories.

Co-Learning- The role of the educator
Educators view their role as partners with children in the educational process. They are observers, documenters, and planners. Using children’s ideas, hypotheses and questions, educators collaborate with children to provide opportunities for research, discovery, and learning.

The Protagonist – The role of the child
We see children as competent and capable, as a responsible decision maker, a citizen within our learning community, with rights instead of needs. Children are the protagonists of their learning journey.

Guiding Principles Inspired by the Values of our Reform Jewish Context

תִּקּוּן עוֹלָם
Tikun Olam – Repairing the world

הַכְנָסַת אוֹרְחִים
Hachnasat Orchim – Welcoming guests

בַּל תַּשְׁחִית
Bal Tashchit – Do not destroy needlessly

Tzedakah – Justice and charity

K’vod – Kindness and respect

Contact Info

Dana Robinson, Director of Early Childhood

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Together, we are empowering exceptional education.