2018-2019 ESY Associate Garden Teacher

Location: Langston Hughes Academy



Creating and inspiring great open admissions public schools in New Orleans


About FirstLine Schools


In 1998, FirstLine Schools started the first charter school in New Orleans. FirstLine now operates four K-8th grade schools and a high school.  Our mission is to create and inspire great open admissions public schools in New Orleans. We do this by:


  • Ensuring college and career readiness for all students, as demonstrated by achievement, aspiration, love of learning, and confidence

  • Providing a rich variety of education experiences to nurture our students’ character, health, and active citizenship

  • Developing the skillfulness of our team members

  • Building a sustainable organization that facilitates our long-term success


Our faculty is a diverse and talented group dedicated to our students’ success and to their own growth as teachers.  Our schools are led by leaders who hold themselves accountable for student achievement and teacher development.



Founded in 2006, Edible Schoolyard New Orleans (ESYNOLA) envisions generations of New Orleans children who have healthy relationships with food, the natural world, themselves, and their community.  ESYNOLA's mission is to teach children to make healthy connections through food. Our goal is to improve the long-term well being of our students, families, and school community, by integrating hands-on organic gardening and seasonal cooking into the school curriculum, culture, and cafeteria programs.


We believe that:

  • Food education should be taught in conjunction with core academics

  • Children learn by doing

  • Health and wellness contribute to the success of the whole child

  • Beauty is the language of caring

  • Local farms and sustainable farming practices are vital

  • School food reform is an integral part of the education we offer our students

  • Families and communities are integral to our success


Position Summary:

The ESYNOLA Associate Garden Educator’s role is to teach garden classes as a small group leader for K-8 grade students, assist in preparation and breakdown of classes, contribute to lesson planning and classroom development collaboration, help maintain the garden, and when appropriate, design curriculum and lead garden classes for 1-2 grade levels.


Position Responsibilities:

Teaching & Learning

  • Assist in conducting daily garden classes for the K-8 student population.

  • Lead and manage a small group (10-12 students) during each garden class, delivering content that is academic, sensory, and experiential in nature.

  • Guide students through propagation, planting, cultivation and maintenance of the garden, with the guidance of lead teacher.

  • Guide students to make connections between science standards and the garden, using the garden as a “living laboratory”

  • Prepare for lessons, which include  reading and reflecting on lesson plans provided by the Lead Garden Educator, and implementing individual creativity in the approach and delivery during small group instruction.

  • Assist in the preparation/break down of classes

  • Collaborate with the garden teaching team in class and curriculum planning sessions and lesson plan development

  • As appropriate, participate in after-school programming and/or garden based programming across multiple school sites

  • Model respect and curiosity for learning. Encourage students’ interests and talents.

  • Maintain high expectations for all students in garden classes consistent with school culture. Maintain transparency in all behavioral expectations and consequences.  


Garden & Horticultural

  • Remain engaged, knowledgeable, and “up to date” about the garden as it transitions through seasonal changes

  • Participate in garden walk-throughs and garden planning

  • Assist in garden maintenance, including propagation (planting and sowing), soil fertility, composting, crop rotation, pruning, irrigation and pest and disease management

  • Assist with garden produce distribution projects, including harvest tables

  • Support occasional weekend/holiday garden maintenance


Communication, Professional Development, & Outreach

  • Attend regular Garden Team meetings to review, prepare for and contribute to garden class planning

  • Participate in ESYNOLA all-staff meetings

  • Maintain consistent and constructive communication/feedback with garden teaching team; check email at least once every work day; arrive to work on time, and provide sufficient notice of changes in schedule

  • Assist in communication with classroom teachers (i.e., completing lesson/behavior feedback forms)

  • Participate in all applicable Professional Development sessions and trainings provided by ESYNOLA staff

  • Act as informal “ambassador” to the garden for visitors, volunteers, and school staff; includes answering questions, giving tours, etc

  • Ensure an engaging and rewarding experience for volunteers.  Help orient volunteers to the garden and garden-related responsibilities

  • When appropriate, assist with ESY community and family events, including Open Garden Days (This may require some weekend work)

  • Participate in regular evaluation meetings with the Lead Garden Teacher to establish goals and review performance.


Education & Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree OR 4 years of experience in garden education

  • Experience working with elementary/middle school aged students required

  • Some science instructional background strongly preferred.

  • Experience living and gardening in an urban setting preferred.

  • Experience working with high poverty, minority population preferred, especially in a public/public charter school setting preferred.

  • Strong enthusiasm for experiential, sensory education, with emphasis on garden-based education required.

  • Ability to work with frequent interruption and to simultaneously supervise a variety of tasks.

  • Ability to stand, reach, and bend.  Mobility of arms to reach, 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.

  • Willingness to smell, taste and feel garden produce, to help determine quality of raw food.

  • Willingness to work outdoors under all weather conditions.

  • Willingness to work occasional weekends/special events when needed

  • Working knowledge of basic computer programs including Word and Google applications


Desired Qualities & Characteristics:

  • Believe in every student’s ability to achieve in a rigorous college or career prep curriculum

  • Achieve results based on agreed-upon expectations

  • Take personal responsibility

  • Highly detail-oriented

  • Collaborate effectively with a range of stakeholders

  • Share a commitment to creating great schools in New Orleans

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

  • Model the FirstLine values of Service, Learning, Collaboration and Results


Physical Requirements:

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee may be required to sit, walk, stand, talk, and hear.

  • Light lifting of equipment may be required (up to 20 lbs.)


ASSOCIATE GARDEN EDUCATOR reports to: Lead Garden Educator

How to Apply: Please apply online via: http://www.firstlineschools.org/careers

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. FirstLine Schools offers a comprehensive benefits package with a generous 403b plan.


FirstLine Schools provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws.


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