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, instructors) and other team members to help us achieve our mission one child, one family, and one team member at a time.
Our early learning 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 Early Head Start Teacher II provides effective instructional strategies, classroom management, learning, assessment, evaluation and related research for children ages 6 weeks-3 years old. The Early Head Start Teacher II is responsible for providing developmentally appropriate learning experiences, supervision of children assigned in the classroom, and providing a supportive and positive classroom climate, while ensuring the individual needs of the children are met as mandated by Head Start, NAEYC, federal, state and local standards.
Scope of Responsibilities:
- Provide a positive climate, responsive care giving and continuity to help children develop secure relationships while focusing on the children’s social and emotional well-being.
- Work with assigned group of infants, toddlers and two’s, applying best practices for care and physical safety
- Facilitate and nurture the development of each child’s self-esteem, trust and growing autonomy.
- Integrate and assist children with special needs.
- Partner with families and encourage parent involvement through a variety of methods (e.g. classroom parent meetings & events and parent/child home activities).
- 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.
- Schedule and conduct at least two Home Visits and two Parent/Teacher Conferences annually for each child, each program year.
- Maintain awareness and supervision of the needs of the entire classroom; and ensure routines such as diapering, toileting/training, hand washing, meals are handled promptly and consistently with state and local regulations.
- Follow a consistent schedule that meets the individual needs of each child, including skill development, meals, napping and effective transition between activities.
- Respond quickly and appropriately to children’s different and personal needs (verbal and non-verbal cues) and temperament styles
- Engage and guide children at play, meeting them at their physical level (kneeling, bending, or sitting on the floor).
- Complete at least thirty clock hours of professional development annually, through participation in offered trainings, workshops, in-service days, all staff conferences; and maintain log of professional development achievements, including documents supporting completion.
- 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
- Create and maintain an engaging learning environment that encourages exploration, interactions with adult caregivers, and independence
- Provide designated areas in the classroom to exhibit displays of families, children and their work.
- Develop lesson plans with goals, objectives and outcomes that integrate health, nutrition, mental health, disabilities and parent activities.
- Provide age appropriate and individual learning experiences that that incorporates social emotional and cognitive development, early language and literacy, physical development and integration of the arts.
- Establish a professional rapport and work cooperatively with adults assigned to the classroom (e.g. Teachers, Assistants, Aides, Paraprofessionals, Parents, and Volunteers), establishing clear expectations for roles and responsibilities.
- Communicate regularly and convene meetings with classroom team to review classroom and child data, seek input, discuss strategies, develop plans and create a cooperative relationship and environment.
- Supply suitable materials concrete and relevant to the children’s interests and culture that promotes high quality early learning.
- Complete classroom inventory quarterly; identify and select materials, supplies and equipment to support children’s learning; and rotate materials to maintain and encourage new learning.
- Perform and ensure regular sanitation of all surfaces, changing stations, equipment classroom toys and laundry.
Assessments, Evaluations, and Reports
- Administer and accurately document initial and ongoing development using required screening tools at established intervals.
- Observe children to evaluate and record their progress, recommend and complete referrals for further evaluation.
- Participate in initial and additional internal and external staffing with parent and FSW on all children suspected and/or identified with special needs.
- Establish and maintain a system for collecting and managing daily observations of children.
- Complete observation and quarterly assessment of individual children according to methods of Teaching Strategies GOLD.
- Generate and complete reports using them for planning and sharing information with others.
- Maintain up-to-date child education file and portfolio progress and development.
- Enter individual child and classroom data into appropriate information systems according to established guidelines and timeframes.
- Complete and timely submit required paperwork (e.g. health check, attendance, meals, communication logs, lesson plans, and monthly reports).
- Observe and respect issues of confidentiality
- Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education with two Infant/Toddler courses (minimum 6 college credit hours)
- Level 4 Gateways Infant/Toddler Certification or Erikson Institute Infant/Toddler Certification
- 1 -3 years in an early childhood classroom required, preferably in a NAEYC accredited program and/or an Early Head Start or Prevention Initiative funded program
- Must pass DCFS background check and maintain clearance throughout employment
- Must meet annual physical exam requirements
- Experience using Creative Curriculum and Teaching Strategies Gold preferred
- Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum design and teaching and instruction for children ages 0-3
- Ability to analyze and interpret Head Start Standards, State and local licensing requirements
- Ability to build rapport with children, parents and families of high risk
- Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Word and experience with database and/or recordkeeping software
- Computer literacy required; must be ab
- le to navigate basic computer functions, complete online trainings and communicate by email independently
- 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