Job Title: Common Ground High School Environmental Educator – Part-Time
Common Ground High School is the nation’s longest-running environmental charter high school, founded in 1997. Our 230 students form an inclusive, powerful community of learners and leaders. These students benefit from a unique learning environment: an urban farm and 20-acre site, home to state of the art school facilities, adjacent to West Rock Ridge State Park, and located in the City of New Haven. We strive to create a learning environment grounded in foundational building blocks: rigor, responsive relationships, relevance that’s rooted in the local community and environment, and real roles & rights. Common Ground’s graduation rate consistently surpasses the state average, and between 97 and 100% of our students are accepted to college each year.
Common Ground High School is part of a community nonprofit organization that also operates an urban farm and community environmental education center. As a whole, Common Ground is a center for learning and leadership, inviting people across ages and identities to connect to their urban environment, build community, grow into their full potential, and contribute to a just and sustainable world. We work toward this mission through active, authentic learning rooted in justice and our environment: a farm, in a forest, in a city. For more information, visit www.commongroundct.org.
Common Ground High School is seeking a half-time environmental educator who will teach environmentally focused courses and programs for students at Common Ground High School, and help to create opportunities for CGHS students to engage in Common Ground’s environmental programs for children. This position is a .5 FTE position for the 2022-2023 school year. Candidates should possess or be eligible to obtain a CT Teacher License (any subject).
The CGHS environmental educator will:
- Revise and teach semester long, environmentally focused elective courses(Currently scheduled for 2 sections per semester, Outdoor Leadership in the Fall and Environmental Education in Action in the Spring):
- Update existing unit plans, lesson plans, and course materials based on student needs and teacher passion/experience.
- Act as primary teacher for these courses, including classroom-based and outdoor experiences (outdoor leadership is a nearly 100% outdoor course).
- Take student attendance, assess student work, complete mid-term and final grades.
- Provide guidance and reflection opportunities for CGHS students interning in the NatureYear program (currently scheduled for 1 section per semester).
- Meet twice per week with interns to reflect on their experiences in the program, and to complete final written reflections aligned with Common Ground’s leadership portfolio.
- Provide journal prompts and readings/videos/resources for students to work on during independent study time.
- Support students in developing and teaching Nature Notes, gratitude circle prompts, and teacher-led lessons.
- Support student communication with their internship mentor teachers.
- Plan and lead a a once/week outdoor exploration and stewardship after-school program — Wonder in the Woods — for CGHS students:
- Plan and facilitate outdoor community service and adventure/exploration activities
- Take attendance, supervise students, and coordinate program logistics
- Maintain regular communication with the after-school programs manager, who oversees this program.
- Act as a bridge between children’s programs and the high school by participating in weekly high school staff meetings and monthly environmental educator meetings (when teaching coverage is available) — looking out for potential collaborations and conflicts, sharing critical information between high school staff and children’s programs staff.
This position is part of the Common Ground High School staff, and is supervised by the CGHS School Director. The person in this role will also be in regular communication with Common Ground’s Director of Impact & Engagement, and with Common Ground’s Director of Community Programs. The position is renewable annually dependent on performance, funding, and programmatic need.
- Experience planning and leading nature based experiences and courses for high school-aged young people in a formal or informal setting (school, camp, nature center).
- Experience working directly with racially, economically, academically diverse high school aged young people, and with low-income young people and people of color in particular.
- Knowledge of trauma-informed instruction and possesses a belief that all students can learn and be successful.
- A passion for our social justice mission and commitment to equitable and sustainable change
- Values and embraces collaboration, communication, and has capacity to work effectively within a team that includes multiple teachers and community partners.
- Experience working with Google applications, online course management platforms, and other online learning tools.
- Ability and willingness to engage in the physical requirements of this role, including being physically active for the majority of an 8 hour day, safely navigating outdoor terrain, walking up to 4 miles per day on outdoor terrain like forest trails, sitting on the ground, carrying a backpack with teaching supplies that may sometimes weigh up to 20 pounds, and teaching outside in weather conditions including heat, rain, cold, and snow.
- Ability to navigate google applications, course management systems, student information systems, etc.
- Demonstrated belief that all students can travel pathways to college success, powerful leadership for a just and sustainable world, careers that sustain themselves and their communities, and healthy, happy, sustainable lives – and experience putting this belief into action.
- Connecticut high school teaching certification (any subject) required.
This position is compensated on the CGHS teacher salary schedule, prorated as a .5 FTE position.
Prorated PTO for this position includes paid holidays and 7.5 days of PTO. Common Ground participates in the CT Paid Leave Program.
This staff member may be asked to participate in training sessions or lead field trips that include overnight camping or other related opportunities. With prior written approval including a budget of hours and times, activities that involve an overnight stay may be compensated at a rate of $100 per night; weekend work will be compensated at $19/hr (up to 10 hours per day).
They may apply for open roles on the EE team and are eligible to be scheduled for up to 10 hours per week during the school year if their skills and availability meet programmatic need. They may also apply for up to 40 hours per week of temporary, seasonal work in summer camp if their skills and availability meet camp programmatic needs. These additional hours would be paid at the appropriate hourly rate.
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Equal Opportunity Employer
Common Ground is particularly eager for candidates who can help us to fulfill our commitment to building a racially and culturally diverse faculty and staff. Common Ground has a commitment to examining the intersection of social, environmental, and food justice issues; how systems of oppression, including white privilege, impact the organization’s work; and how resistance to those systems can offer windows into a more sustainable society.
Common Ground is committed to the recruitment and retention of staff that is reflective of the communities we work with. We strongly encourage applicants from people of color, immigrants, women, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community, people whose native language is something other than English, and other underrepresented and historically marginalized groups.
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, intellectual disability, 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 conferences 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-7081), 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 Intellectual Disability (46a51(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.