YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago

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Instructional Coach, Early Childhood (3-5 year)

Instructional Coach, Early Childhood (3-5 year)

Job ID 
Y Center
Posted Date 
1030 W Van Buren
# Positions 
Early Learning/Child Care
Hours per Week 
Variable Schedule 

More information about this job

Responsibilities & Requirements

Be a part of our mission.

The mission of the YMCA of Metro Chicago is to develop strong children, families and communities across Metropolitan Chicago through academic readiness, character development, violence prevention, fitness and healthy living. We rely on the expertise, passion, commitment and energy of our instructors and other team members to help us achieve our mission one child, one family and one team member at a time.


Our programs create a child-centered environment that promotes learning, character development, healthy living and positive, nurturing relationships. With a commitment to meeting quality and accreditation standards and extensive training and professional development in research-based practices, you’ll learn and grow and positively our children, families and communities.


Job Summary and Key Accountabilities:


The Department of Learning, Evaluation and Community Impact is responsible for driving cross-functional learning, evaluation and innovation throughout the YMCA of Metro Chicago. The Department’s leading goal is to cement the Y as the region’s leading nonprofit provider of effective early childhood, youth and family enrichment programs and services. The Learning, Evaluation and Community Impact team members work closely with other departments to develop a portfolio of high quality, evidence-based and measurable programs that are consistent across our service areas. The team is also responsible for identifying training expertise and modules at all levels within the Y in order to create a shared culture, understanding and common language for effective program services.


The Instructional Coach (Three to Five classrooms) is a collaborative, child development expert responsible for supporting the overall continuous improvement process for early learning (three to five) programs.  The person is responsible for implementing continuous quality improvement practices to support program staff in their individual and collective journey towards increased quality practices.  This includes specific responsibility for teacher development, supporting curriculum and instructional best practices (including continuity of care and family support practices), and supporting child-level outcomes. They will be responsible for qualitative and quantitative data collection, implementing low-stakes accountability practices, and building and maintaining strong relationships across all stakeholders.   


The Instructional Coach works closely with the Youth Development Leadership Team and the Early Education and Care Team.  They also collaborate with several Metro YMCA departments, including Human Resources, IT, MarComm (marketing) and the Business & Compliance Office. The Early Childhood Instructional Coach works closely with the early childhood leadership team staffed at the Early Childhood Demonstration Center to maintain center excellence and quality programming.


Scope of Responsibilities:

Professional Development

  • Design data-driven, job embedded coaching sessions for individuals and small group work (one-on-one with teacher’s with teaching teams and in small groups) aligned to current professional learning community (PLC) focus
    • Support teachers in resourcing their classrooms with appropriate, engaging and relevant instructional materials and teaching strategies
    • Provide classroom-focused supports, including co-planning, co-teaching and modeling lessons, to lead teachers in implementing effective practices
    • Collaborate with administrators and teachers to establish teacher performance goals and coach teachers as necessary to meet those goals
    • Conduct regularly scheduled meetings with early childhood staff to support the teachers’ action research
      • Advise on action research practices (formulating questions, collecting meaningful documentation)
      • Support technical production and presentation of projects
    • Implement tools to monitor classroom practices/growth in teaching and learning
  • Support site directors to plan and implement communities of practice at their centers
    • Co-plan and model facilitation of communities of practice
  • Leverage various evidence-based coaching strategies (direct, guided and facilitated coaching) in working with teachers
  • Maintain learner centered, strength based approach
    • Align coaching experiences to this approach
  • Leverage strength based principles and practices to support teaching and learning across the Y landscape
    • Observe and communicate trends between programs and work with early childhood administrators and LECI leadership to address common needs
  • In partnership with the Learning, Evaluation, and Community Impact Early Childhood team, collect student, teacher, and site leader documentation to support continuous learning, including but not limited to action research for documentation panels, classroom video/audio, classroom photographs, center photographs, learning community audio, etc.
  • Conduct regularly scheduled meetings with early childhood staff to support the teachers’ action research
  • Performs other duties as assigned to support the Learning, Evaluation, and Community Impact department


Documentation Practices

  • Support early learning staff with interpreting, analyzing and using evidence of adult and student learning to inform and drive the work.  Evidence might include:
    • Children’s literacy work (i.e. storybook creations)
    • Reggio-inspired documentation
    • Observation and feedback of student work (i.e. classroom level, student level)
    • Observation and feedback around family engagement practices (i.e. classroom level, center level)
    • Quantitative data
    • Formative classroom observation data
    • Professional learning data (including evaluations, attendance, etc.)
    • Video and PowerPoint presentations
  • In collaboration with evaluation team members, work to analyze other qualitative and quantitative data (e.g. teaching strategies gold, DRDP, etc.) to guide staff learning and continuous program improvement
  • Routinely conduct CLASS observations with scoring and work with the Early Childhood Advisors to infuse the data into learning opportunities for staff to drive improvement

Child Abuse Prevention

Supports the YMCA’s commitment to child abuse prevention by:

  • Reporting any items that may provide a health or safety hazard to staff, members or guests to your supervisor
  • Following all policies and procedures related to keeping children safe in our facilities and programs, including those related to the monitoring and supervision of children
  • Reporting any suspicious behavior and violation of policy and procedures to your supervisor
  • Completing all child abuse prevention training as required

Minimum and Preferred Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education or equivalent degree is required; a graduate degree is strongly preferred
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience in early childhood programs with five years or more in an operational role doing mission-focused work. A record of success in developing teachers and high quality early learning programs is essential
  • Passion for and commitment to the YMCA’s mission and vision for early learning
  • Experience applying adult learning best practices to teacher/staff professional development and learning.
  • Experience developing emergent curriculum with demonstrated success applying it in a center or classroom setting. Working knowledge of Creative Curriculum, teaching strategies GOLD, the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS), ROSIE and ITERS-R preferred.
  • Analytic and critical thinking skills with the ability to use qualitative and quantitative data and technology to drive continuous improvement
  • Continuous learner with a track record of taking initiative for own self-development
  • Demonstrated collaboration and relationship building skills with the ability to quickly build credibility and nurture diverse relationships to achieve positive outcomes
  • Strong presentation, written and verbal communication skills with the ability to adapt communication to diverse audiences
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative and manage multiple, competing priorities
  • Demonstrates evidence of YMCA Team Leader competencies in previous experience or practice
  • Meets physical qualifications required as outlined in job description. The YMCA will provide reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities