Schoolyards Teacher/ Environmental Educator



New Haven, CT
United States

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Job Description:

Schoolyards Teachers bring Common Ground’s outdoor education work to schools in the New Haven area, during the school day or afterschool. Schoolyards teachers design their own curriculum based on the schoolyard space, the seasons, the needs of the school, and the interests of the children. They provide content based learning about science, nature, and the environment as well as facilitate and create opportunities for adventure based play. Schoolyards classes are conducted almost entirely outdoors in all weather, with indoor spaces used only in severe weather.

This position requires exceptional behavior management skills, excellent judgment, adaptability, and the ability to balance traditional school requirements with outdoor education approaches. This position is ideal for someone with classroom teaching experience who enjoys the outdoors and is looking for a change. It is also perfect for an outdoor educator with experience doing their own lesson planning. 

While this position prioritizes work in schools, it may also include work on Common Ground’s campus in our NatureYear and other outdoor education programs for children.

Program information is on our website, and pictures are on Instagram (CommonGroundSchoolyards). Applicants should review available information, as Schoolyards is a unique teaching opportunity that is amazing for the right applicant and is different from many traditional environmental education programs.


We are hiring for multiple positions, with start dates in fall 2022. 

School day hours are approximately 8:30 am – 3:30 pm, with additional paid time for planning. Specific days and hours, up to 30 hours per week, will be negotiated and will be the same each week.  

This position is part time, though full-time positions may become available.

Position requirements

  • Experience planning and leading activities for groups of children ages 5 – 13 in a professional setting (school, preschool, nature center, etc).
  • Demonstrated success in a leadership/head teacher role in both school and outdoor settings. 
  • Ability and desire to have significant autonomy and independent responsibility for planning lessons, planning and managing the flow of a day, and communicating with partnering schools and teachers. A strong, supportive team of people doing similar work is available for collaboration and ongoing professional development; the day-to-day work at schools is delivered independently, without a co-teacher from Common Ground.
  • 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 and school teachers and administrators.
  • Commitment to working closely with a racially and economically diverse urban school community.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, with both children and adults.
  • Comfort with working outdoors in all weather, including rain and snow.
  • Commitment to child-centered teaching and behavior management, with the ability and desire to meet the needs of individual children.

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Compensation Information:

$19 per hour.  This part-time position does not include benefits.