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 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 Assistant Teacher in collaboration with the Lead Teacher provides support in effective instructional strategies, classroom management, learning, assessment, evaluation and related research for children 3-5 years old. The Assistant Teacher 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 DCFS, ExceleRate Illinois, NAEYC, federal, state and local standards, as applicable.
Scope of Responsibilities:
- Demonstrates enthusiasm and interpersonal skills in order to relate well with children, parents, co-workers, administrators and the community.
- Supports and models high-quality teaching and learning in the classroom that promotes academic readiness.
- Maintains awareness and supervision of the needs of all children and ensures their health and physical safety, at all times.
- Interacts and assists children individually or in small groups in order to guide and reinforce learning concepts.
- Supports the Lead Teacher in planning for at least two parent/teacher conferences per program year.
- Identifies different instructional resources and methods to meet children’s varying needs.
- Organizes and supervises games and other activities to promote physical, mental and social development.
- Guides and supports all children, including dual language learners and those with special needs.
- Demonstrates culturally and linguistically appropriate practices that values all children and families and makes them feel welcomed and an essential part of the program.
- Models and promotes appropriate grammar, language, positive interactions and discipline and interactions for children and parents.
- Establishes a professional rapport and work cooperatively with adults assigned to the classroom (i.e., Teacher, Aide, Parents, and Volunteers), establishing clear expectations for roles and responsibilities.
- Develops effective partnerships with families and encourages parent involvement through a variety of methods (e.g., classroom parent meetings & events, center-wide activities).
- Annually completes 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.
- Reports and maintains a log of professional development requirements, including documents supporting completion through the Gateways Registry system.
- Utilizes continuous quality improvement (CQI) strategies to improve the classroom experience for children and families.
- Participates and supports agency/center efforts toward recruitment, enrollment, attendance and retention of families.
Lesson Planning and Classroom Management
- Collaborates with the Lead Teacher to develop lesson plans with goals, objectives, activities and outcomes for children that integrate health, nutrition, mental health, disabilities and parent involvement.
- Assists the Lead Teacher in implementation of high quality, developmentally appropriate curriculum approaches (like Creative Curriculum™) while ensuring the program follows DCFS, YMCA, ExceleRate Illinois™, and NAEYC accreditation standards, if applicable.
- Plans, prepares and delivers age appropriate instructional activities that facilitate active learning experiences and promotes the social, emotional, physical and cognitive development of each child. Takes the lead in absence of the lead teacher.
- With the support of the Lead Teacher, uses observational and child data to assist in planning developmentally appropriate and engaging early learning experiences based upon the emergent needs of the child.
- Assists the Lead Teacher in planning and adapting the early learning environment using researched based tools (like CLASS, ERS and Rosie) and children’s interests to maximize their experiences.
- Supports and implements planned studies/projects for an in-depth investigation of a topic over time, based upon children’s interest and experiences.
- Helps to create an inclusive classroom environment that will integrate and assist children with special needs.
- Participates in planning and implementation of developmentally age appropriate indoor/outdoor activities that will enhance the social, emotional, physical and cognitive development of each child.
- Gathers, arranges and displays children’s work to help develop perceptual skills and in a manner appropriate for their eye level.
- Ensures routines such as toileting, hand washing and meals are handled promptly and consistently within state and local regulations.
- Establishes and maintains an attractive, clean, safe and engaging classroom environment which includes positive guidance techniques and that encourages children's independence and self-selection of activities.
- Models and implements family style eating during meal times, if applicable.
- Regularly sanitize all surfaces, classroom toys, equipment and laundry.
- Assists with classroom management, arrangement, organization, and labeling materials.
- Assumes joint share of classroom team to maintain a safe, clean, environment, and practice good personal hygiene and frequent hand washing.
- Assists with completion of classroom inventory quarterly; and the selection of materials and equipment to support instruction and children’s learning using environmental assessments to guide decisions.
- Issues and changes furnishings and materials to maintain and encourage new learning based upon children’s interests.
Evaluations, Assessments, and Reports
- Timely and accurately administers required screening
- Observes, documents and assesses children’s health, skills, behavior, growth and development.
- Follows the established system for collecting and managing daily/weekly observations of children.
- Take pictures and maintain anecdotal notes, written observations, and other approved forms of documentation for each child.
- Maintains documentation of each child’s progress and growth according to established guidelines.
- Inputs classroom data into appropriate information systems, as required.
- Adheres to timelines and completes child assessment information, at least four times annually.
- Completes all necessary paperwork for classroom activities including attendance and meal count sheets, as applicable.
- Assumes joint share of the classroom team to maintain and ensure accurate and up to date child enrollment files and portfolios for each child.
- Observes and respects issues of confidentiality.
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
- High School Diploma or equivalent (GED) and a minimum of 15 college credit hours in Early Childhood Education required
- Associate’s Degree or equivalent in Early Childhood Education or related degree preferred
- ExceleRate Illinois Level 3 or 4 ECE Credential highly preferred
- At least 6-12 months experience working in a classroom setting required.
- Experience working with children ages 3-5 years old preferred
- Ability to read, comprehend and interpret documents such as policies and procedures.
- Demonstrated understanding of child growth and development.
- Ability to build rapport with children, families and colleagues.
- Knowledge of how to design and implement the Creative Curriculum and other high quality curriculum approaches preferred.