The Lead Teacher provides effective instructional strategies, classroom management, learning, assessment, evaluation and related research for children ages 3-5 years old. The Lead Teacher is responsible for providing developmentally appropriate learning experiences, supervision of children assigned in the classroom, and providing a supportive and positive classroom climate. This role ensures that we are meeting the individual needs of the children as mandated by DCFS, ExceleRate Illinois, NAEYC, federal, state and local standards, and YMCA standards and policies, as applicable.
Scope of Responsibilities:
- Promotes and models high quality teaching and learning in the classroom that fosters academic readiness.
- Demonstrates culturally and linguistically appropriate practices that values all children and families and makes them feel welcomed and an essential part of the program
- Maintains awareness and supervision of children’s needs and ensure their physical health and safety, at all times.
- Communicates and develops effective partnerships with parents and families, encouraging parent involvement.
- Abides by DCFS and all quality standards for maintaining safe, high quality programming
- Collaborates regularly with classroom team including: families, volunteers and all staff.
- Collects and uses multiple data sources, both formative and summative, to inform instruction and child centered learning and development.
- Completes routine professional development annually; utilizes continuous quality improvement (CQI); and identifies different instructional resources and methods to meet children's varying needs and improve the classroom experience for children and families.
- Participates and supports association/center efforts towards recruitment, enrollment, attendance and retention of families while supporting the YMCA's mission and center operations as needed.
Lesson Planning and Classroom Management:
- Develops lesson plans with goals, objectives, activities and outcomes for children that integrate health, nutrition, mental health, disabilities and parent involvement.
- Implements high quality, developmentally appropriate instructional activities and curriculum approaches (like Creative Curriculum™) that facilitate active learning experiences and promote the social, emotional, physical and cognitive development of each child; while ensuring the program follows DCFS, YMCA, ExceleRate Illinois™, and NAEYC accreditation standards, if applicable.
- Researches, plans, and implements appropriate studies/projects for an in-depth investigation of a topic over time.
- 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.
- Leverages the physical environment and pedagogical documentation to support teaching and learning practices.
- Uses observational and child data to plan developmentally appropriate and engaging early learning experiences based upon the emergent needs of the 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
Commitment to Inclusion
- Supports the YMCA’s commitment to inclusion of all members as required by Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Job responsibilities may include implementing program modifications for persons with cognitive, behavioral or physical disabilities, including but not limited to the injection of medical glucagon to members with Type 1 diabetes in emergency situations. Appropriate training and development will be provided to YMCA team members based on your role and responsibilities.
- Creates an inclusive classroom environment that will integrate and assist children with special needs.
Minimum Requirements, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Must meet DCFS licensing, and program related accreditation/credentialing requirements; Associates Degree or higher in Early Childhood Education preferred
- Must provide documentation of Gateways credentialing or apply within 90 days of employment.
- Passion for and commitment to the YMCA’s mission and serving the needs of children and families
- Demonstrated knowledge and ability to implement developmentally appropriate practices to promote early learning and social-emotional development
- Ability to apply early learning best practices to create a child-centered, supportive, inclusive and positive classroom environment to meet the needs of diverse children.
- One year experience teaching or equivalent in a preschool classroom strongly preferred.
- Knowledge of how to design and implement the Creative Curriculum and other high quality curriculum approaches preferred.