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Head Teacher


Garden Preschool Cooperative, Jersey City NJ

Start Date: August 23, 2021

Description, Responsibilities, & Duties

The Garden Preschool Cooperative seeks a dynamic individual to serve as our Head Teacher, leading our one-room, mixed-age preschool. The ideal candidate has a strong foundation in the theory and application of play-based, progressive education in an early childhood setting.
As the Head Teacher, you will take the lead on arranging classroom spaces to maximize child-led engagement with books, art materials, found objects, and loose parts. You will be excited about getting your hands dirty alongside the children, whether in paint, dirt, sand, flour, or diy-playdough. You will guide two supporting Assistant Teachers, as well as the Parent of the Day (POD) in facilitating a positive, respectful environment in which each child can thrive.
You will communicate regularly with parents and document student progress through a process-based portfolio, which will evolve over the course of the year. You will be an advocate for Progressive Education, and will be able to articulate the benefits of play and project-based learning. You will apply your deep understanding of child development to support children’s social-emotional skills as they learn to coexist in a group environment and community. As the Head Teacher you will have the freedom to apply your passion and creativity in the interest of helping our children soar. You will work hand-in-hand with the parent-run Board of Directors to realize your vision, and will report to the Co-Presidents.
Minimum Commitment: August 23rd, 2021-June 24th, 2022, looking for long-term hire. Time Commitment: 40 hours/week
Responsibilities Include:
● Creating a nurturing environment, designed to encourage child-led inquiry and play for children aged 3-5 years old.
● Planning and implementing compelling process-based activities, informed by the interests of the children.
● Documenting each child’s learning and development through observation, anecdotal records (e.g. writing
down what they say), and an evolving annual portfolio.
● Communicating regularly with parents, including: a weekly newsletter, updates via Slack, weekly office hours,
and meetings.
● Managing a team of two assistant teachers and encouraging their professional development as progressive educators.
● Daily management of the Parent of the Day (POD), whose role it is to support the teachers in maintaining a clean and organized learning environment.
● Supporting each child’s social-emotional development, and seeking support from the Board and the school’s educational consultant if you have questions or need additional support.
● Maintaining familiarity with and ensuring compliance with the NJ DCF Guidelines for Early Childhood Centers.
● Supports logistical arrangements for special projects: field trips, special class activities, etc.
● Joins monthly Board meetings and other meetings, as needed, to share updates and help guide vision and
program implementation.
Skills, Knowledge, and Attributes:
● Knowledge and understanding of child development, progressive philosophy and practice.
● Curiosity and care for the wisdom of young children.
● Excellent communication skills.
● Comfort planning activities with and utilizing art, gardening, and cooking materials, as well as loose parts
● Cultivates and maintains a safe and inclusive classroom culture that values different perspectives.
● Ability to be self-motivated and a team player.
● Ability to support different stages of development and learning styles within one classroom.
● Desire and ability to embrace continuing education.
● Experience and commitment to multicultural awareness and practice.
● Ability to work outdoors in a variety of weather and a willingness to work some evenings and weekends.
● Flexibility, positive demeanor, and sense of humor a must!

● Graduate degree in Early Childhood Education, Child Development, or related field; or equivalent experience desired.
● Significant experience teaching in a mixed age Reggio Emilia/Waldorf/Montessori-inspired school a plus.

Minimum Qualifications/Requirements

● Graduate degree in Early Childhood Education, Child Development, or related field; or equivalent experience desired.
● Significant experience teaching in a mixed age Reggio Emilia/Waldorf/Montessori-inspired school a plus.

Salary & Benefits

● Competitive salary based upon experience and qualifications.
● Benefits package, holidays, and PTO.

Application Procedures

Send your resume and a cover letter, describing your experience and interest in the Garden Preschool Cooperative, to with the subject line “Head Teacher”.
Only applications with cover letters included will be considered. Due to the high volume of applicants and limited hiring capacity, we will only contact and interview those candidates whose availability, skills, and background best fit the needs of the position, however, please check your inbox and junk mail for any correspondence. The Garden Preschool Cooperative is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Background checks will be completed on all employees. No phone inquiries, please.

Program Description

The Garden Preschool Cooperative, Inc. (GPC) is a play-based, parent-run preschool that offers a Progressive Early Childhood Education model for young children and families in Jersey City. The collaborative partnership between teachers and parents facilitates a community that welcomes and nurtures each child’s innate curiosities, allowing them to grow and learn at their own pace.
Young children learn best through play — by actively experimenting, exploring, and manipulating their environment. Through art, cooking, singing, building, gardening and engaging in pretend play, children — with teacher guidance — build on their knowledge of emergent literacy, math and science concepts. Child-directed, teacher-facilitated play is central to all aspects of the GPC curriculum.
GPC serves children 3-5 years old in a mixed-age classroom.

Contact Info

Hiring Committee

Your support will help us advance the quality of every child's one childhood.

Together, we are empowering exceptional education.