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 Teachers and other team members to help us achieve our mission one child, one family, and one team member at a time.
Our early learning programs create a child-centered environment that promotes learning, character development, healthy living and positive, nurturing relationships. With a commitment to meeting accreditation standards and extensive training and development in research-based practices, you’ll also learn and grow and positively impact our children, families and communities.
The Master Teacher provides effective instructional strategies, classroom management, learning, assessment, evaluation and related research for children ages 3-5. The Master Teacher is responsible for providing a supportive and positive classroom climate and the overall management of the class, providing developmentally appropriate learning experiences and supervision of children assigned to the class. The Master Teacher ensures that the individual needs of the children are met in accordance with Head Start, NAEYC, federal, state and local standards.
Scope of Responsibilities:
- Demonstrate enthusiasm and interpersonal skills to relate well with children, parents, co-workers, administrators and community.
- Utilize a variety of materials and resources while identifying different instructional methods to meet children’s varying needs to explore, manipulate and use both in learning and imaginative play.
- Demonstrate and promote high-quality teaching and learning in the classroom that fosters academic readiness.
- Build a safe, orderly and inclusive classroom environment that integrates and supports children with special needs.
- Emphasize aspects of literacy and cultural diversity in all aspects of the program.
- Obtain families’ social-cultural background information and designs meaningful learning experiences for children based on their findings.
- Incorporate rigorous academic instruction for English Language Learners (ELLs) that will support children’s academic, intellectual and linguistic development.
- Utilize fidelity measures to support implementation of English Language Learner programs, and to inform linguistic and culturally responsive practices.
- Establish and maintain an effective environment for learning through functional and attractive displays, interest areas and exhibits of children and their work.
- Develop effective partnerships with families and encourage parent involvement and communication through a variety of methods.
- Schedule and conduct at least two home visits and parent/teacher conferences, per program year, for each child.
- Assist parents in increasing their knowledge, understanding, skills and experience in child growth and development.
- Assist families and children with transitions.
- Establish a professional rapport and work cooperatively with adults assigned to the classroom, establishing clear expectations for roles and responsibilities; and to share and exchange information/ideas; and to complete required paperwork.
- Actively seeks and records in-kind on a monthly basis.
- Complete at least thirty clock hours of professional development annually, through participation in offered trainings, workshops, in-service days, staff conferences; and maintain log of professional development requirements.
- Participate and support agency/center efforts toward recruitment, enrollment, attendance and retention of eligible families.
- Support the YMCA’s mission and center operations as needed.
Lesson Planning and Classroom Management
- Develop lesson plans with goals, objectives, activities and outcomes for children that integrate health, nutrition, mental health, and parent involvement.
- Organize and conduct activities for a balanced program of instruction, demonstration, and work time that provides children with opportunities to observe, question, and investigate.
- Plan, prepare and deliver age appropriate instructional activities that facilitate active learning experiences and promote the social, emotional, physical and cognitive development of each child.
- Research, plan, and implement appropriate studies/projects for an in-depth investigation of a topic over time; and arrange for special guests and field trips to enhance classroom learning experiences.
- Identify different instructional resources and methods to meet children’s varying needs.
- Convene meetings and provide guidance and support to classroom team in implementing the daily program of activities based upon principles of child development and in accordance with the curriculum.
- Provide opportunities for parent participation in the classroom activities and for parent/child participation at home.
- Invite and encourage parents to share stories, songs, music with children that are from other cultures.
- Continuously model appropriate language, interactions, positive behavior and discipline.
- Complete classroom inventory quarterly; select materials and equipment to support instruction and children’s learning.
- Arrange and change furnishings and materials to maintain and encourage new learning. Add and use visual images that reflect the cultural diversity of the families.
- Organize and label materials and display children’s work in a manner appropriate for their ages and perceptual skills.
- Maintain awareness and supervision of the needs of the entire classroom and ensures the health and physical safety of children, at all times.
Evaluations, Assessments, and Reports
- Timely and accurately administer required screening timely and assist parents in completion of questionnaires.
- Complete initial internal staffing with Family Service Worker within first 45 days and participate in additional internal/external staffing on children suspected or identified with special needs.
- Observe children to evaluate and record their progress, recommend and complete referrals for further evaluation.
- Establish, utilize and maintain a weekly system for collecting and managing ongoing authentic observations.
- Observe each child daily to assess skills, interests, and needs and use this information to facilitate learning.
- Input classroom data weekly into appropriate information systems weekly, as required.
- Complete child assessment information according to timelines and maintain up-to-date education folder and portfolio of children’s progress and development.
- Generate and complete reports as required, using them to inform planning and sharing information with others.
- Bachelor’s Degree or higher in Early Childhood Education or a related field
- 1-3 years of experience in preschool/pre-kindergarten required
- Classroom leadership required
- 04/PEL Certification required prior to hire
- Bilingual or ESL Endorsement preferred upon employment. Strong candidates may be hired with contingency to obtain within 2 years of employment. Current employees must obtain within 2 years of signing job description.
- Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum design and teaching and instruction for children ages 3-5
- Commitment to, and a passion for, the YMCA of Metro Chicago’s mission
- Must pass DCFS background check and maintain clearance throughout employment
- Ability to assess, analyze and interpret Head Start Standards and State and local licensing requirements
- Ability to build rapport with children, parents and families of high risk
- Knowledge of Illinois Early Learning Guidelines for Children Birth to Five preferred
- Ability to communicate in the home language of the children we serve preferred
- Demonstrates evidence of YMCA Leader competencies in previous experience or practice.
- Willing and able to work flexible hours, potentially including some evenings and Saturdays; hours may be adjusted to accommodate program needs
- Occasional travel in the Chicagoland area may be required for training
- Meet physical qualifications required as outlined in job description and annual requirements. The YMCA will provide reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities.