Promoting Professional Development and Best Practice in EE
AmeriCorps Instructor - San Mateo/South San Francisco
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Education Outside serves public K-5 and K-8 schools. As an AmeriCorps member, you would be placed at a school for a two-year service term and work with students in grades K-5. Bay Area public school districts are large, ethnically diverse districts, with a high percentage of low-income children and many English-language learners. Corps members must be committed to social justice and have cultivated or be willing to cultivate cultural competence and humility. In addition, some schools offer language-immersion programs, where instruction is given in Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, or Korean, as well as in English.
The position starts in August 2017. Depending on corps member performance, school match, and completion of hours, there is a break in July before beginning a second term in August 2018. During the school year, Mondays through Thursdays are dedicated to teaching in the outdoor classroom at your school site and guiding science, sustainability, and other efforts with the community. Fridays are designated for professional development, which includes formal learning workshops offered within three content strands (garden-based education, leadership for community engagement, and horticulture and garden design), peer coaching, and administration time. There are occasional extended and weekend hours dedicated to service, schoolyard workdays, and community events. You will serve at your school site, becoming part of the school community. You will also be an active part of the service corps cohort, which means you’ll have a group of peers for support as you learn and grow together. You will have a designated program manager to support you in your service and growth.
Depending on your school placement, you may work to steward and strengthen a garden program that has already been created at your site or you may work to help create something new. This might mean creating an edible garden from scratch, determining what elements are necessary to make the space a functional outdoor classroom, procuring tools, and/or continuing to maintain and enhance an existing school garden. Get ready to get your hands dirty!
PROGRAM STRANDS & RESPONSIBILITIES:
The AmeriCorps member position focuses on three strands: garden-based education, leadership for community engagement, and horticulture & garden design.
I. Garden-Based Education
- AmeriCorps members will teach garden-based lessons that help students practice science and connect to the natural world. Corps members will:
- Prepare for and teach multiple lessons per day
- Create a safe and positive outdoor classroom culture
- Adapt the Education Outside curriculum for their school site
- Collaborate with teachers to integrate indoor and outdoor learning experiences
- Coordinate harvesting, cooking, and eating in the garden with students
II. Leadership for Community Engagement
- AmeriCorps members will build strong relationships with a diverse group of stakeholders, communicate effectively about their work, identify and support needs in the school community, and further Education Outside’s mission. Corps members will:
- Manage the Education Outside program at their school
- Create out-of-class opportunities for students to connect to the natural world (e.g after school program, recess activities, student green team, etc.)
- Build strong relationships with community members in order to serve the needs of the school and students
- Act as a liaison between the school community and the local environmental education network
- Spread awareness of the program through conversations, presentations, photos, blogging, newsletters, bulletin board displays, etc.
- Support organizational data tracking by accurately collecting and inputting data related to corps member activities
III. Horticulture & Garden Design
- AmeriCorps members will build, maintain, and grow an effective, inviting, and productive garden classroom. Corps members will:
- Collaborate with their school community to maintain and improve the school garden
- Plant and maintain perennials for long-term garden habitat
- Plant and maintain an edible garden
- Develop site infrastructure to support learning outcomes
AmeriCorps members must:
- Be a citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident alien of the United States
- Have a high school diploma/GED
- Be 17 years old or older
- Pass state criminal and FBI background checks
- Be negative for tuberculosis
- Be able and willing to commit to the two-year service term
- A commitment to Education Outside’s mission and vision
- A commitment to social justice
- College degree or equivalent experience
- Experience prioritizing and managing projects
- Experience teaching and working with groups of students (especially ages 5-12) outdoors
- Experience working with children and adults from diverse backgrounds
- Experience with gardening or farming
- The ability to thrive in an environment characterized by significant growth, ambiguity, and constant change
- The ability to juggle many tasks at once and shift from one situation or task to another
- Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
- Strong interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills
- Comfort speaking in front of students and working with groups
- Ability to be responsive to email, phone calls, and other means of communication
- Competency in Spanish or Chinese is a plus, but not required
At the start of each program year, Education Outside holds a boot camp orientation for all AmeriCorps members. Some travel may be required for this orientation period. Corps members will be responsible for transportation to and from their work sites, as well as occasional trips to our main office, other school sites, or National Day of Service events.
TYPICAL PHYSICAL & MENTAL DEMANDS:
Requires prolonged activity with some bending, stooping, and stretching; eye-hand coordination and manual dexterity sufficient to operate garden tools, a keyboard, telephone, photocopier, calculator, and other office equipment. Requires normal range of hearing and eyesight to communicate with students as well as maintain data records. Ability to lift 30lbs. Also requires flexibility to readily adapt to a changing environment.
This position is part of the AmeriCorps service program. As an AmeriCorps member, you will serve your community through Education Outside and receive a modest living stipend of $25,000 for each completed 10-month term, as well as health, dental, and vision benefits. Eligible AmeriCorps members can qualify for child care expenses.
Additionally, at the successful completion of your service term, you may be eligible for an education award of approximately $5,730, to be used for college, trade school, or other educational expenses, including qualified federal loans. (Education awards are only granted twice for serving two AmeriCorps terms. If you have served and received an education award twice, you are not eligible for a third education award.) During your service in AmeriCorps, you may also be eligible for forbearance on outstanding federal student loans.
We strive for a service corps that reflects the diversity of the students and communities we serve. We strongly encourage applications from people of color and other underrepresented populations in the public education system.
Position Start Date:
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
How to Apply: