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 Early Head Start Assistant Teacher assists the Early Head Start Teacher in providing effective instructional strategies, classroom management, learning, assessment, evaluation and related research for children ages 6 weeks-3 years old. The Early Head Start Assistant Teacher is responsible for assisting the Early Head Start Teacher in 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:
- Demonstrate enthusiasm and interpersonal skills in order to relate well with children, parents, co-workers, administrators and community.
- Model and promote high-quality teaching and learning in the classroom that promotes academic readiness.
- Obtain information regarding families’ social-cultural background and design meaningful learning experiences for children based on their findings.
- Responsive to, and respectful of, children’s culture and home language. Integrates collaborative partnership with parents and families to address individual needs.
- Support and embrace the agency written plan for continuity of care.
- Assist the Early Head Start Teacher in rigorous academic instruction for English Language Learners (ELLs) that will support children’s academic, intellectual and linguistic development.
- Assist the Early Head Start Teacher in utilizing fidelity measures to support curriculum implementation and informing linguistic and culturally responsive practices.
- Maintain awareness and supervision of the needs of the entire classroom and ensure the health and physical safety of children, at all times.
- Interact with, and assist, children individually or in small groups in order to guide and reinforce learning concepts.
- Organize and supervise games and other recreational activities to promote physical, mental and social development.
- Guide and support all children, including dual language learners and those with special needs.
- Model and promote appropriate English grammar, language, positive interactions and discipline and interactions for children and parents.
- Establish 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.
- Develop effective partnerships with families and encourage parent involvement through a variety of methods (e.g., classroom parent meetings & events, center-wide activities).
- 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.
- Adhere to Head Start Performance Standards, Developmentally Appropriate Practices and the Creative Curriculum for Infants, Toddlers and Two’s.
Lesson Planning and Classroom Management
- Collaborate with classroom team members to develop lesson plans with goals, objectives, activities and outcomes for children that integrate health, nutrition, mental health, disabilities and parent involvement.
- Assist in the planning, preparation and delivery of age appropriate instructional activities that facilitate active learning experiences and promote the social, emotional, physical and cognitive development of each child. This includes both indoor and outdoor activities.
- Gather, arrange and display children’s work to help develop perceptual skills and in a manner appropriate for their eye level
- Establish and maintain an attractive, clean, safe and engaging classroom environment which includes positive guidance techniques and that encourages children's independence and self-selection of activities.
- Model and implement family style eating during meal times.
- Regularly sanitize all surfaces, classroom toys, equipment and laundry.
- Assist with classroom management, arrangement, organization, and labeling materials.
- Assume joint share of classroom team to maintain a safe, clean, environment, and practice good personal hygiene and frequent hand washing.
- Assist with completion of classroom inventory quarterly; and the selection of materials and equipment to support instruction and children’s learning.
- Issue and change furnishings and materials to maintain and encourage new learning.
Assist in Evaluations, Assessments, and Reports
- Timely and accurately administer required screenings.
- Observe, document and assess children’s health, skills, behavior, growth and development.
- Follow established system for collecting and managing daily observations of children, including weekly entries on-line.
- Take pictures and maintain anecdotal notes, written observations, and other approved forms of documentation for each child.
- Maintain documentation of each child’s progress and growth according to Head Start guidelines and the methods of Teaching Strategies GOLD.
- Input classroom data into appropriate information systems, as required (TSG, Home Visits and Parent/Teacher Conferences).
- Adhere to timelines and complete child assessment information, at least 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 education folders and portfolios for each child.
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 or related field, with a minimum of 15 college credit hours in early childhood education
- Must obtain a minimum of Gateways Level II Infant Toddler Certification within first 12 months of employment
- At least 3 months in a classroom required
- Experience working with children 6 weeks to 3 years old
- Must pass DCFS background check and maintain clearance throughout employment
- Must meet annual physical requirements
- Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Word and experience with database and/or recordkeeping software
- Computer literacy required; must be able to navigate basic computer functions, complete online trainings and communicate by email independently
- 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, parents and families of high risk