2019-20 ESY Associate Garden Educator

Location: Phillis Wheatley Community School



FirstLine Schools:  ASSOCIATE GARDEN EDUCATOR - Upper Elementary & Middle School

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:

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 upper elementary through 8th grade students, assist in preparation and breakdown of classes, contribute to lesson planning and classroom development collaboration, support the development and maintain of the garden.


Position Responsibilities:


Teaching & Learning

  • Teach daily garden classes for upper elementary through 8th grade students
  • Lead and manage a group (10-1 5 students) during each garden class, delivering content that is experiential, inquiry driven, academic, & sensory based
  • Support students’ development of social and emotional skills, such as self-awareness, social awareness, and relationship skills
  • 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
  • Model respect and curiosity for learning. Encourage students’ interests and talent s
  • Maintain high expectations for all students in garden classes consistent with school culture
  • Follow the FirstLine network and school specific procedures for student management


Garden & Horticultural (minimum of 10 hours per week)

  • Support garden maintenance and development, including: propagation (planting and sowing), soil fertility, crop rotation, pruning, irrigation, compost processing, and pest and disease management
  • Remain engaged, knowledgeable, and “up to date” about the garden as it transitions through seasonal changes
  • Assist with garden produce distribution projects, including harvest tables
  • Support occasional weekend/holiday garden maintenance


Communication, Professional Development, & Outreach

  • Participate in all FLS and ESYNOLA all professional learning time
  • Attend regular Garden Team meetings to review, prepare for and contribute to garden class planning
  • Maintain consistent and constructive communication/feedback with teammates
  • Assist with ESY community, family, and fundraising events, including Open Garden Days (This may require some weekend work)
  • 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


Education & Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree OR 4 years of experience in garden education required
  • Experience working with elementary/middle school aged students required
  • Science instructional background strongly preferred
  • Experience living and gardening in an urban setting
  • Experience working in a public/public charter school setting preferre d


Desired Qualities & Characteristics:

  • Belief that every student has the ability to achieve in a rigorous college or career prep curriculum
  • Strong enthusiasm for experiential, sensory education, with emphasis on garden-based education
  • Ability to work with frequent interruption and to simultaneously supervise a variety of tasks
  • Willingness to work occasional weekends/special events when needed
  • Working knowledge of basic computer programs, including Google applications
  • Take personal responsibility
  • Highly detail-oriented
  • Collaborate effectively with a range of stakeholders
  • Share a commitment to creating great schools in New Orleans
  • Model the FirstLine values of Service, Learning, Collaboration, Safekeeping, and Results


Physical Requirements:

  • Ability to lift, push and/or pull objects, which may be approximately 50 pounds
  • Willingness to work outdoors under all safe weather conditions
  • Ability to stand for long periods of time
  • Ability to stand, reach, and bend.  Mobility of arms to reach, dexterity of hands to grasp and manipulate large and small objects
  • Lifting of equipment may be required (up to 40 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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