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Lead Teacher (0 to 3) Paolo Freire Center

At Chicago Commons, we believe the Reggio-Inspired approach to learning is one that mirrors our values. The Reggio-inspired approach to education is where children, families, and teachers work together to create a dynamic and problem-solving approach to learning. Our teachers aim to empower children to explore and learn in a unique environment that encourages child's critical thinking and creativity. 

Our early childhood program serves as the backbone for many at-risk Chicago communities, including West Humboldt Park, Pilsen, Bronzeville, and New City/Back of the Yards. High rates of poverty and limited educational and economic resources impact these neighborhoods.  

I. Position Summary
The lead teacher is responsible for developing a classroom atmosphere where children can grow and develop in a safe and positive learning space. Candidates must have a passion for creating a safe and nurturing environment for children to receive a quality education, and the ability to lead the classroom team.

II. Education & Certification Requirements
• Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education or related field.

III. Experience & Training Requirements

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.

• Must be organized and detail oriented
• Excellent time management and organizational skills
• Ability to communicate proficiently in English (written and oral)

IV. Desired Outcomes

• Proven ability to communicate with parents, students and co-workers demonstrating concern regarding their well-being and values.
• Ensures all paperwork including but not limited to lesson planning, observations of children, and maintaining student binders are completed by assigned due dates in cooperation with the assigned teaching team.
• Interacts with students in a respectful, supportive, and positive manner ensuring they feel safe, and their voices are heard in the learning process and daily activities.
• Fully implements the Reggio Emelia approach to learning with their teaching team.

V. Essential Job Requirements & Duties
• Demonstrates ethical behaviors in all activities and interactions.
• Always shows leadership in interactions and conduct with peers and clients and always conducts oneself in a professional manner.
• Keeps work area clean, safe, and secure.
• Always maintains confidentiality regarding client and staff’s personal information.
• Works well with others, offering help when needed and seeking assistance when necessary.
• Manages conflicts in a way that results in others feeling respected and valued.
• Holds weekly team meetings with the teaching team.
• Implements an emergent curriculum that considers children’s interests and expands on them.
• Attends and participates in EQI trainings.
• Identifies own learning needs and takes the steps necessary to develop skills and set challenging goals.
• Works with Site Director(s) on a yearly professional development plan.
• Treating all parents, students and co-workers with respect, integrity, and dignity without regard to background, race, religion, age, gender, disability, or sexual orientation.
• Shows a deep knowledge of birth to three developmentally appropriate practice.
• Notifies Site Director(s) of any problems in a timely manner.
• Maintains a learning environment that allows students freedom of choice while onsite where they are encouraged to explore their environment at their own pace.
• Contributes to the development of the overall agency and center educational plan
• Leads classroom teams in creating an atmosphere in which children can grow and develop; develops a classroom environment that is welcoming and emphasizes the importance of the child; includes furnishings and supplies which are attractive, durable, and developmentally appropriate
• Introduces, implements, and evaluates developmentally appropriate activities for young children including the following activities: Self Image, Language/Literacy Development, Music and Movement, Social Studies, Science, Math, Art, Large/Small Motor Activities, and In-Depth Projects
• Supervises and interacts with all children’s activities
• Trains staff and prepares performance evaluations with the assistance of the Site Director
• Researches, implements, and evaluates curriculum methods and classroom management strategies
• Responsible for preparing classroom materials in advance of children’s arrival and maintaining a clean classroom environment
• Assists with the responsibility of ordering supplies needed for the program
• Recommends maintenance and repairs as needed
• Develops strong partnerships with the families
• Attends home visits and conducts parent-teacher conference assessment reviews
• Participates in Family Reviews and IFSP/IEP meetings
• Leads the implementation of the Reggio Emilia Philosophy, focusing on in-depth studies and classroom explorations
• Responsible for maintaining reports on children’s growth and development for all students in the classroom
• Conducts weekly team meeting
• Attends and participates in parent meetings and in-service training
• Performs other duties as assigned.

Physical Requirements:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to speak and read English proficiently. The employee frequently is required to stand, walk, reach with hands and arms, and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 40 pounds.

Working Conditions:
(The unavoidable, externally imposed conditions under which the work must be performed, and which create hardship for the incumbent including the frequency and duration of occurrence of physical demands, environmental conditions, demands on one’s senses, and mental demands.) None Known

Chicago Commons is an equal opportunity employer. We consider all applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, marital or parental status, sexual orientation including gender identity, gender expression, military discharge status, physical or mental disability, or any other status or characteristic protected by law. In addition, Chicago Commons provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and applicable state and local laws (including during the application or hiring process).