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Nature Preschool Director

Boston Outdoor Preschool Network

Boston, Massachusetts

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details Salary equivalent to $26 - $29/hour starting
Required Experience 7+ years

Mission: 

The mission of Boston Outdoor Preschool Network (BOPN) is to meet the developmental needs of the whole child while initiating them into a lifelong relationship with the natural world.  We are committed to expanding access to nature-based early childhood education.

What We Do: 

BOPN is a nonprofit organization focused on nature-based early education. We bring families together in community and give children a joyfully muddy childhood under the loving guidance of dedicated teachers.  Our programs combine early childhood and environmental education.  Our goals are to promote children’s physical and mental health, encourage environmental stewardship, and to develop habits of mind such as curiosity, initiative, persistence, creativity, problem-solving, and responsibility.

BOPN operates toddler and preschool programs in Boston, Milton, Malden, Sudbury, Sherborn, and Natick.  We are committed to expanding access to nature-based early education through our equity programs, including our public school partnerships and by opening Boston’s first free nature preschool at the Franklin Park Zoo through Universal PreK.  

Position Description:

The Director will provide ongoing instructional coaching and professional development to BOPN teachers across up to eight locations across the Boston area.  Although the job responsibilities detailed below are designed for a full-time position, we have the flexibility to offer either a part-time or full-time role at one or more BOPN locations, based on the candidate’s location, scheduling preferences, and areas of expertise.  Start date is TBD; we will wait for the right candidate.  Compensation is based on experience and the customized role that we design together.  

Duties and Responsibilities:

The position includes teacher coaching, program operations, and marketing:

1. Teacher Coaching and Professional Development:

Teacher coaches serve as a catalyst for professional growth in community.  They do the work of culture-making while also helping to maintain efficiencies and compliance.  They are mentors who not only monitor programs for safety and smooth operations, but also offer opportunities for teachers to engage with heart and intellect in their daily work with young children.  The coach makes teachers feel seen and heard by asking questions: “what do you want to be known for?” and “what would you like to imagine is possible?”  They help teachers to define and chart a course for themselves, pursuing the question of who they really want to be as educators.  They have the courage to pull teachers out of their comfort zones by offering challenges to habitual thinking and doing, and are not afraid to unsettle the community’s thinking!  The coach guides teachers to re-examine daily routines such as drop-off, circle time, clean-up, lunch, and nap.  They guide teachers to tell the stories of the community–stories about children, educators, and families–understanding that stories affirm a community’s sense of identity.  

The coach helps teachers to:

  • Keep children safe
  • See children’s strengths and competencies rather than deficits
  • Have a new sense of curiosity and purpose in their role as a teacher
  • Gain confidence in using observations and writing meaningful learning stories
  • Find their own voice and leadership style
  • Enjoy their work and imagine a career in early childhood education 
  • Become an advocate

Citation: inspired by From Teaching to Thinking by Ann Pelo and Margie Carter

Teacher coaching responsibilities:

  • Collaborate with BOPN Directors and Hiring Manager to identify professional learning needs and opportunities.
  • Engage in coaching rounds that support educators in learning and implementing best practices in early childhood and environmental education, visiting programs on a regular basis to observe, meeting with educators, and modeling teaching practices. This may include virtual coaching as a secondary tool.
  • Recognize and build on educator strengths and areas of growth through assessment of needs, engaging in focused observations, and providing reflection and feedback in order to set goals and develop action plans collaboratively with educators to promote the strengthening of teaching practices that lead to improved child outcomes.
  • Create a collaborative culture among staff, encouraging teachers to learn from one another.
  • Evaluate teacher job performance based on the BOPN teacher evaluation criteria.
  • Support our tradition of rolling admissions and create a culture where teachers expect and welcome mid-year admits 
  • Support planning and execution of BOPN professional development days.

2. Program Operations:

  • Coordinate logistics necessary for smooth daily operations at our program location(s), including arranging for coverage and scheduling substitute teachers. 
  • Design systems and protocols to ensure safety.  Train teachers on safety protocols.
  • Rapidly respond to urgent communications.  Respond to non-urgent questions and concerns within 24 hours on weekdays and 48 hours on weekends. 
  • Assist Director of Education with EEC licensing compliance
  • Substitute teach as needed

3. Marketing:

  • Work with teachers to galvanize families to support BOPN by volunteering, hosting social events, and marketing.
  • Create compelling content for BOPN social media
  • Build community by leading family education events and social gatherings such as playground meet-ups and coffee hours
  • Host tours for prospective families as needed

These essential functions are not to be construed as a complete statement of all duties performed. Employees will be required to perform other job-related duties as required. This position is subject to change based on enrollment, staffing, and the overall needs of the organization.

Qualifications: 

  • Minimum five years of experience as a Lead Teacher at a nature-based early childhood program.  Experience as a nature preschool Director is preferred.
  • Proven experience with early childhood program administration, including staff supervision, parent communication, and managing multiple partnerships across several locations
  • Excellent classroom management, nature connection, and parent communication 
  • Experience implementing high-quality practices through intentional teacher-child interactions
  • Eagerness to embrace a positive, strengths-based approach to working with teaching teams
  • Detail- and results-oriented.  Measures impact of coaching.
  • Capability to understand, engage, and provide tools and resources to support educators
  • Proven performance in all areas of leadership (as described in the BOPN leadership criteria)
  • Time management: able to balance time/energy between coaching and program coordinating 
  • Excellent project management skills.  Ability to create systems to keep track of multiple moving pieces and deadlines at multiple locations.
  • Adept at navigating relationships with families, teachers, supervisor, admissions staff, and external partners.  
  • Able to bridge communication between teachers and administrators.
  • Makes decisions based on what is best for the organization as a whole, considering both quality and equity goals. 
  • Proficiency in utilizing computer programs, including google suite and procare
  • Ability to solve problems collaboratively and adapt to changing circumstances
  • Excellent oral, written and interpersonal communication skills
  • The ability to work independently and also to communicate effectively with team members
  • Willing to travel between BOPN programs as needed
  • Able to hike across varied terrain in a wide variety of weather conditions, rain or shine.
  • Experience with anti-bias education
  • Maintains confidentiality
  • Willing to achieve EEC Lead Teacher and Family Child Care License for 10 before start date (EEC Director license preferred)
  • Eager to work in a nonprofit start-up culture. Tolerant of uncertainty and change and  understand that organizations continue to improve when the people who work there are  adaptable, take chances, and learn from their mistakes
  • Preferred: Bilingual in Spanish
HOW TO APPLY

Please send a cover letter and resume to Lylah at hiring@bopn.org 

Additional Information:

  • Hiring is rolling. Please apply at your earliest convenience.
  • This position requires successful reference and background checks.
  • Candidates who add to our diverse community are encouraged to apply.
  • Boston Outdoor Preschool Network is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
  • Check out additional job postings at: www.bopn.org/employment-positions

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Admin & Leadership , Environmental Education