FILLED- Common Ground is Seeking a P/T Forest School Teacher in the NatureYear Program

Job Title:  Forest School Teacher in the NatureYear Program at Common Ground (TEMPORARY POSITION)
Organization Overview

Common Ground is a center for environmental learning in New Haven, Connecticut. Farm meets forest meets city on Common Ground’s 20 acre campus at the base of West Rock Ridge. The site abuts the 1800 acre West Rock State Park, sharing hiking trails, wildlife, and diverse natural habitats with the surrounding forests. Common Ground’s urban farm produces sustainably grown food for programs and our community, and is home to our friendly farm animals. Common Ground’s Charter High School uses the site as an organizing principle of its curriculum which is guided by an ecological framework highlighting the connection and interdependence of all living and non-living things. Each year, more than 10,000 community members participate in festivals, field trips, after-school programs, and other educational opportunities on site. For more information visit

Job Description

NatureYear connects a small group of children (ages 5 – 13) with a 10 month long intensive experience in nature. Children come for one full day each week instead of attending their traditional classroom on that day. NatureYear teachers use an emergent curriculum that follows the seasons and the interests of the children. Teachers provide content based learning about science, nature, and the environment as well as facilitate and create opportunity for adventure based play. NatureYear is conducted almost entirely outdoors in all weather, with indoor spaces available only in severe weather.

This position requires exceptional behavior management skills, excellent judgement, adaptability, flexibility, and the ability to make sound decisions on-the-spot. This position also includes regular verbal and written communication with the parents of enrolled children.

Program information and videos are on our website, and lots of pictures are on Instagram (@CommonGroundNatureYear). Applicants should review available information, as NatureYear is a unique teaching opportunity that is amazing for the right applicant and is different from many traditional environmental ed programs.

Required Schedule

This is a SHORT TERM commitment to cover the anticipated leave of a staff member.

DATES are Jan 3, 2022 through April 29, 2022, with extension into May and early June 2022 if needed and mutually agreed upon.

The weekly schedule is:

  • Tuesdays: 8:30 AM – 4 PM, ages 6 – 8
  • Wednesdays: 8:30 AM – 4 PM, ages 5 – 6
  • Thursdays: 8:30 AM – 4 PM, ages 6 – 10
  • Fridays: 8:30 AM – 4 PM, ages 5 – 6

Applications welcome from individuals who can do ALL or SOME of these days.

We will also have opportunities for part time or seasonal full time work in SUMMER CAMP from June – August 2022 and may have additional opportunities with NatureYear and/or other outdoor education programs for children in the 2022 – 2023 school year.

Position requirements:
  • Experience with planning and leading activities for groups of children ages 5 – 13 in a professional setting (school, preschool, nature center, etc).
  • Understanding of developmental needs of children ages 5 – 13 and experience in a teaching position that is responsible for meeting social and emotional needs of young children.
  • A passion for Common Ground’s mission and commitment to equity, diversity and environmental sustainability.
  • Strong critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Ability to work independently and be self directed as well as to compromise, communicate, be flexible, and work closely with a staff team
  • Commitment to working closely with a racially and economically diverse urban school community.
  • Strong communication skills, including speaking with children and adults as well as written communications (newsletters, daily/seasonal child reports, etc).
  • Ability and desire to work outdoors in all weather, including rain and snow. We will be outside for 6 consecutive hours with children through the winter.
  • Commitment to child centered teaching and behavior management, with the ability and desire to meet the needs of individual children.

$15 – $18 per hour, depending on experience.  This is a temporary, part time position that does not include benefits. 

To Apply

Complete the online application HERE and email a resume to Rebecca Holcombe at


It has been the policy and will continue to be the strong commitment of the Common Ground and all contractors and subcontractors who do business with Common Ground to provide equal opportunities in employment to all qualified persons solely on the basis of job-related skills, ability and merit.  Common Ground will continue to take Affirmative Action to ensure that applicants are employed and that employees are treated during employment without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, mental disorder (present or past history thereof) age, physical disability (but not limited to blindness), marital status, mental retardation, criminal record, sexual orientation, gender identity and criminal record.  Such action includes, but is not limited to, employment, promotion, demotion or transfer; recruitment or recruitment advertising; layoff or termination; rates of pay or other forms of compensation, and selection for training, professional development, attendance at conference or other opportunities for advancement.  Common Ground, its contractors and subcontractors will continue to make good faith efforts to comply with all federal and state laws and policies which speak to equal employment opportunity.

The principles of Affirmative Action are addressed in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments of the United States Constitution, Civil Rights Act of 1866, 1870, 1871, Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VI and VII of the 1964 United States Civil Rights Act, Presidential Executive Order 11246, amended by 11375, (Non-discrimination under federal contracts)< Act 1, Section 1 and 20 of the Connecticut Constitution, Governor Grasso’s Executive Order Number 11, Governor O’Neill’s Executive Order 9, the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Law (Sec. 46a-60-69) of the Connecticut General Statutes, Connecticut Code of Fair Practices (46a-70-81), Deprivation of Civil Rights (46a-58(a)(d)), Public Accommodations Law (46a-63-64), Discrimination against Criminal Offenders (46a-80), definition of Blind (46a-51(1)), definition of Physically Disabled (46a-51(15)), definition of Mentally Retarded (46a-51(13)), cooperation with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (46a-77), Sexual Harassment (46a-60(a)-8), Connecticut Credit Discrimination Law (360436 through 439), Title I of the State and Local Fiscal Assistance Act of 1972.

This Affirmative Action Policy Statement re-affirms Common Ground’s commitment to equity in the workplace and the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity.



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