The Garden and Kitchen Teacher (GKT) conducts daily, regular garden and kitchen education classes for the students of their school and helps in the maintenance and operation of the garden and kitchen classrooms. The GKT also participates in ESYNYC outreach activities, including professional development, extracurricular and family/community events. The teacher works collaboratively with the other ESYNYC staff members on site to create and implement programming and works with the school staff to ensure that this program is fully integrated within the school community. The position reports jointly to the Program Manager and the Director of Program and Education. This is a unionized position with CWA 1180.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Teach or co-teach daily garden and kitchen classes to a diverse, urban pre-K-8 student population in accordance with the ESYNYC teaching philosophy: an emphasis on culturally responsive curriculum, hands-on instruction, social-emotional learning, and student-centered education. Teachers are expected to plan and prep for all classes as well. (Note: on average, ESYNYC teachers teach 16 lessons per week during a typical school year.)
- For garden classes, lead a group of students in exploratory academic activities or garden jobs, such as planting, soil cultivation, compost work, weeding, watering, and other garden maintenance tasks.
- For kitchen classes, prepare for and lead a group of students in the completion of the day’s recipe and related educational activities, including culinary skills such as knife skills, cooking methods, produce identification, and recipe literacy. All foods prepared in the program are vegetarian and plant-based.
- Create a strong classroom culture centered around consistent routines, positive reinforcement, and respect for one another and our educational space.
- Strengthen students’ understanding of garden and kitchen connections, as well as how the food we grow affects their health, their community, and their planet.
- Work with school faculty to collaborate on curriculum.
- Write kitchen and garden curricula in collaboration with the Director of Programs and Education and program teaching staff.
- Maintain an updated archive of lesson plans and class materials.
- Develop and teach extracurricular programming, including family workshops and after school classes.
- Maintain functional, safe classroom teaching spaces, including ordering, proper handling, and storing of equipment and ingredients.
- Teach and participate in Professional Development trainings in collaboration with the Director of Programs and Education to help educators throughout the area learn how to bring “edible education” to their own school sites.
- Work on optional projects to support program development as appropriate (ex. curriculum, professional development, garden management and evaluation projects).
- Ensure that the garden is properly prepped for classes, and properly cleaned up after classes.
- Handle and store all garden tools and equipment properly.
- Together with the school-based team and the Garden Managers, ensure that the garden is maintained in order to host garden classes as well as production of ample produce for use in the kitchen classroom, school community, and special events. Maintain facilities and equipment in good working order, including: tool shed, greenhouse, irrigation system, and tools.
- Support garden planning
- Support year-round propagation, soil fertility, composting, crop rotation, pruning, irrigation, and pest and disease management.
- Support all garden events and activities, including regular community Farm Stand, food distribution, and Corporate Workdays.
MANAGEMENT, COMMUNICATION, AND OUTREACH
- All staff participate in organization-wide activities such as internal committee work, development and evaluation support.
- Actively participate in a community of learning with ESYNYC colleagues to give and receive feedback, improve curricula and teaching practices, and deepen teaching skills.
- Maintain effective communication with ESYNYC staff, school staff, and the extended community of parents, neighbors and school garden educators.
- Participate in ESYNYC staff meetings, staff development days, and program development meetings and participate in internal committee work as well
- Support program evaluation initiatives, including accurate tracking of program information in online database on a weekly basis and support for implementation of student, parent, and staff surveys when relevant.
- Stay informed of school events and activities. Be an active presence in the school community and attend school meetings and events as appropriate.
- Actively support a culture of wellness at the school.
- Welcome visitors to the program and be prepared to be observed while teaching class.
- When necessary, lead garden and kitchen tours and participate in development activities in collaboration with our Development Team.
- Participate in ESYNYC events and community outreach efforts.
- Build relationships with teachers, staff, students, and families in the partner school community.
- Prior teaching experience required. This may include formal teaching positions, FoodCorps service, camp counseling, and youth development experience.
- Prior gardening or cooking experience is preferred.
- Experience working in an urban public school setting is preferred.
- Strong commitment to a teaching philosophy that values students, is adaptive to different learning styles, and empowers students to become active participants in their schools and communities.
- A demonstrated commitment to an organizational culture that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Collaborative and committed to working in a small team environment.
- Organized, energetic and flexible.
- Fluency in Spanish and ability to translate educational materials is preferred.
- Familiarity with food justice, social justice, social emotional learning is preferred.
PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS AND WORKING CONDITIONS
- Ability to work with frequent interruption and to simultaneously supervise a variety of tasks.
- Ability to stand, stoop, reach and bend. Mobility of arms to reach and dexterity of hands to grasp and manipulate large and small objects.
- Ability to stand for long periods.
- Ability to lift, push, and/or pull objects which may be approximately 50 pounds.
- Ability to work outdoors and tolerate varying weather conditions.
- Willingness to smell, taste and eat with students in a kitchen classroom setting or family engagement event (if conditions allow).
- May be required to work around loud noise.
- All staff must follow DOE site guidelines when on school sites, such as COVID safety protocols.
- COVID-19 vaccination required.
Edible Schoolyard NYC is committed to a diverse workplace. People of color, racial and ethnic minorities, women, people with disabilities, veterans, and LGBTQ+ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
Edible Schoolyard is an equal opportunity employer committed to a policy of equal treatment and opportunity in every aspect of its recruitment and hiring process without regard to age, race, ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, disability, veteran status, gender and/or gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, unemployment status, or any other legally protected basis. Edible Schoolyard NYC provides reasonable accommodation to applicants and employees as required by law. Applicants with disabilities may request reasonable accommodation at any point in the employment process.