The Head Start Assistant Teacher I in collaboration with the Head Start Teacher provides support in effective instructional strategies, classroom management, learning, assessment, evaluation and related research for children 3-5 years old. The Head Start Assistant Teacher I 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.
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.
Scope of Responsibilities:
- Support high-quality teaching and learning in the classroom that promotes academic readiness.
- Maintain awareness and supervision of the needs of all children and ensures their health and physical safety at all times.
- Demonstrate enthusiasm and interpersonal skills in order to relate well with children, parents, co-workers, administrators and community.
- Aid in the guidance and support of all children including dual language learners and those with special needs.
- Assist and support classroom Teacher in the implementation of English Language Learner programs to inform linguistic and culturally responsive practices.
- Utilize available resources to adapt and apply different instructional methods to support children’s varying needs.
- Assumes the lead in selected activities throughout periods of the day.
- Model and promote appropriate grammar, language, positive interactions and discipline for children and parents.
- Establish and maintain a cooperative attitude of working together with adults assigned to the classroom in planning and implementing activities.
- Assist with preparations for Parent Meetings, Parent/Teacher Conferences, Parent/Child Activities and other classroom/center events.
- Aid in completion of all necessary paperwork for classroom activities.
- Annually complete at least thirty clock hours of professional development, through participation in offered trainings, workshops, in-service days, all staff conferences and maintain log of professional development requirements, including documents supporting completion.
- Participate and support agency/center efforts toward recruitment, enrollment, attendance and retention of eligible families.
- Adhere to Head Start Performance Standards, Developmentally Appropriate Practices and the Creative Curriculum for Preschool.
- Observe and respect issues of confidentiality.
Lesson Planning and Classroom Management
- Collaborate with Teacher to create and utilize lesson plans for children that integrate parental and cultural influences, health, nutrition, and disabilities; and indoor/outdoor activities that facilitate learning and promote the social, emotional, physical and cognitive development of each child.
- Collectively prepare classroom materials to support developmentally appropriate curriculum plans and in-depth investigation of a topic over time, based upon children’s interests and experiences; create and change learning centers to support needed.
- Support teacher to follow a consistent schedule which includes small and large group experiences, choice time, outdoor play, meals and effective transitions between activities; and interact with in order to guide and reinforce learning concepts.
- Follow plans for English Language Learners that will support children’s academic and linguistic development.
- Provide the necessary interactions and environment that facilitates maximum child development and involvement.
- Takes the lead in the absence of teacher and provides guidance to the supporting staff, substitute/volunteer who will act as assistant teacher during that period.
- Aid with maintaining boards and displaying children’s work to help develop perceptual skills.
- Ensure routines such as toileting, hand washing and meals are handled promptly and consistently with state and local regulations.
- Model and implement family style eating during meal times.
- Assist Teacher to maintain an engaging classroom environment which includes positive guidance techniques and that encourages children's independence and self-selection of activities.
- Assume joint share of the classroom team to regularly sanitize all surfaces, classroom toys, equipment and laundry and maintain safe and clean environment.
- Assists with classroom management, arrangement, organization, inventory of equipment and supplies and labeling materials to maintain and encourage new learning.
Evaluations, Assessments, and Reports
- Assume joint responsibility to observe, gather photos, recordings, document and assess children’s health, skills, behavior, growth and development.
- Adhere to established system for collecting and managing daily observations of children, including weekly entries on-line.
- Assist teacher to gather and maintain written documentation for the assessment of each child according to Head Start guidelines and the methods of Teaching Strategies GOLD.
- Assist to Input classroom data into appropriate information systems, as required and upon request.
- Adhere to timelines to complete child assessment information, four times annually.
- Complete all necessary paperwork for classroom activities including attendance and meal count sheets.
- Assume joint share of the classroom team to maintain and ensure accurate and up- to- date planning and assessment binder and education folders and portfolios for each child.
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
- Associate’s Degree in Child Development/Early Childhood Education
- At least 3 months experience working in a classroom setting. Experience working with children ages 3-5 years old preferred.
- Commitment to, and a passion for, the YMCA of Metro Chicago’s mission
- Demonstrated understanding of child growth and development
- Proficient verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to clearly and concisely present ideas and concepts and tailor communication to different audiences
- Ability to build rapport with children, parents and families of high risk
- Continuous learner who leverages opportunities for learning and applies new knowledge and skills
- Ability to organize and prioritize multiple, competing priorities to maximize personal and team effectiveness.
- Ability to keep detailed, accurate and complete records and documentation as needed.
- Intermediate proficiency in Microsoft Office Word, email and the ability to learn and adapt to new technology.