Nature Preschool Director/Lead Teacher - Dahlem Conservancy (Jackson, MI)
Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2013 4:02 PM
￼Posting: January 25, 2013Job Description: Nature Preschool Director/Lead TeacherReports To: Education Director, Executive DirectorCategory: Part-time, 20 hours/wk with increase to 35 hours/wk when preschool opensOverview: The Dahlem Conservancy is an independent, nonprofit organization in Jackson, Michigan that funds the Dahlem Environmental Education Center. It dates back to 1973 and is proud of its nearly 40 years of connecting people with nature and providing quality environmental education. The mission of Dahlem is to provide environmental education and land conservancy services to the residents of south central Michigan. The Dahlem Environmental Education Center serves as an outdoor laboratory for school and group field trips as well as providing over 100 public programs each year. Dahlem would like to continue to offer quality programs by expanding its audience to early childhood. The Nature Preschool will provide an opportunity to reach children ages 3-5 by instilling nature education at a young age both in and outdoors, and therefore, firmly establishing a lifelong love for the natural environment.Purpose: Provide leadership and direction for centers nature preschool and all other early childhood programs and initiatives. Deliver programs that establish Dahlem as a local leader in early childhood nature education.Primary Responsibilities:Planning and Directing Implement the pilot preschool business plan and oversee all day-to-day activities, including:* Designing developmentally appropriate nature-based preschool activities, programs, andcurriculum guided by the mission, principles, and practices for early childhood learning atDahlem;* Designing policies, forms, and procedures;* Designing and setting up the classroom space;* Obtaining licensing from Michigan Department of Childcare and Licensing;* Managing or adjusting yearly budgets from the preschool business plan as appropriate;* Assisting Marketing & Development staff with fundraising;* Working with Marketing & Development staff to promote the preschool and other earlychildhood programs.Teaching and Evaluating Serve as LeadTeacher for all children enrolled in Dahlem Nature Preschool. Teach toddlers, parents, and preschoolers in other Dahlem early childhood programs. Assess programs based on current research and developmentally appropriate practices. Improve and expand the selection of programs and experiences for young children and their families incoordination with the Education Director (i.e., self-led opportunities, exhibits, site features andplayscapes, programs, and special-event activities. Assure compliance with all relevant governmental rules and regulations. Be aware of, and responsive to,non-regulated best practices within the early childhood profession. Teach early childhood summer camps.￼Supervising Hire, train, schedule, supervise, and evaluate Associate Early Childhood Educator. Hire, train, schedule, supervise, and evaluate preschool volunteers with assistance from Associate EarlyChildhood Educator. Maintain open communication with preschool staff and Environmental Education Center staff. Develop partnerships to create practicum experience for students in early childhood nature education.Creating Community Ensure that parents are informed and involved with their childrens experiences and progress at Dahlem. Plan and facilitate parent and volunteer involvement in programs. Develop relationships with other preschools, Head Start, community and professional organizations,colleges, and funders to increase opportunities for young children and families to connect to nature. Promote the importance of early childhood nature education to parents, caregivers, teachers, funders,elected officials, etc. through workshops, seminars, magazine articles, and interviews. Participate in Dahlem staff meetings and special events as appropriate to ensure connection with staffand members.Supervision and Direction Received: Specific direction from Education and Executive Directors.Supervision and Direction Given: Specific direction to and close supervision to Associate Childhood Educator.Education/Experience: Bachelor's Degree or higher in Early Childhood Education Successful management of a licensed preschool and/or two semester hours in childcare administrationfrom an accredited university or three CEUs in child care administration Five to seven years' experience as lead in teaching children ages two to five Knowledge and understanding of licensing rules and regulations for the State of Michigan Experience supervising staff and volunteers Knowledge of or aptitude/enthusiasm for learning basic natural history/ecology concepts Exceptional verbal, written, and interpersonal skills; ability to be a creative and flexible team player Experience in and comfort in nature Outstanding planning, organizing, and business skillsOther Skills and Abilities: Excellent written and oral communication skills. Excellent customer service skills. Must pass a complete background check and remain current in First Aid/CPR.Physical Demands: This position requires the following physical activities: pushing, pulling, climbing, bending, squatting, stooping, kneeling, twisting, reaching, sitting, standing, walking, lifting, finger dexterity, grasping, repetitive motions, talking, hearing, and visual acuity. The work is performed indoors in teaching and office environments and outdoors in the Dahlem nature preserve.Equipment Operated: Personal computer, computer monitor, keyboard, copier, telephone, facsimile machine, and other equipment normally found in an office environmentThese job responsibilities represent only the essential and most significant duties of the position. This job description does not exclude other work assignments, directives, and responsibilities not mentioned herein.Compensation: To be determinedPlease send resumes to: Carrie Glick at or mail to The Dahlem Conservancy, 7117 S. Jackson Rd., Jackson, Michigan 49201 by February 28, 2013.
• Location: Jackson
• Post ID: 11195493 jacksonmi