Nature Preschool Assistant Teacher


Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education

Job status

Job Category

Job Type

Job Duration

Job Compensation Type



Contact Name

Sarah Watrud

Contact Email

Contact Phone



Philadelphia, PA
United States

The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, a leading environmental education provider for the Philadelphia region, seeks a passionate and energetic early childhood educator to engage our Nature Preschool children through meaningful and innovative learning experiences in nature. The ideal candidate will have experience teaching in a progressive preschool as well as experience in, and a passion for, using nature as a context for learning. This is a full time position for 40 hours per week that runs late August 2024 through mid-June 2025.


The assistant teacher supports the teachers and the director by helping to create a caring and safe environment for the children and assisting in activities to improve the overall care and quality of education.  Assistant teachers should communicate, listen, and work well with others in a team environment. Assistant teachers are responsible for implementing developmentally appropriate activities based on children’s interests and needs under the direction of the teacher and the director. 

Duties and Responsibilities 

  • Assist in the implementation of emergent curriculum activities and encourage participation by children.
  • Interact with children for extended periods of time.
  • Actively engage in activities; manage cleanliness, order, and availability of classroom materials.
  • Interact with children to encourage positive self-concept and enthusiasm for the discovery process.
  • Encourage self-help and good hygiene through behavior modeling.
  • Help ensure smooth transitions throughout the day.
  • Follow all center policies and state regulations.
  • Complete the required training and professional development through the course of the school year and attend monthly staff meetings.
  • Ability to communicate clearly and professionally with parents, guardians and colleagues.

Expected Competencies 

  • Interest in the natural sciences, local flora and fauna, and nature-based education.
  • High energy. 
  • Ability to work well with others. 
  • Strong oral and written communication skills and basic computer skills. 
  • Understanding of early childhood development, the different stages of growth, and an awareness of young children’s needs. 
  • Excellent leadership, organizational, and interpersonal skills. 
  • Adapt and be flexible with quickly changing environments.

Physical Demands/Work Environment 

During most of the year, Preschool staff spend the better part of their day outdoors. The employee must be able to: 

  • Spend multiple hours outdoors in all weather (Heat, cold, rain, snow).
  • Hike 2-5 miles a day on rough terrain, keeping pace with the children in their care.
  • Engage in sustained physical activity throughout the day.
  • Lift up to 50 pounds (size of a small child).
  • Be able to hear, see, and guide children at all times.

Education, Experience, and Qualifications 

  • Must be 18 years of age or older.
  • High School Diploma or GED and college credit in early childhood education or related field of study. CDA or 6 hours of ECE credit preferred.
  • Minimum of 2 years of professional child care experience.
  • Must clear a full background check.
  • Must provide current documentation of a health screening and TB test.
  • The successful candidate must provide proof of vaccination status. An exception to the COVID vaccine requirement may be considered for religious or medical reasons.

To Apply 

Submit a cover letter and resume along with contact information to Sarah Watrud, Director of Early Childhood Education,

The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education is dedicated to being an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by law and our core values.

Compensation Information

Starting at $18.50 to $20.00 per hour commensurate with experience.

Full-time position come with a full range of benefits, including vacation, health, dental, vision, and retirement.