St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School is a Nursery to Grade 8 school enrolling more than 480 students on two campuses in the Palisades section of northwest Washington, D.C. Located on the main Whitehaven Campus, the Nursery School includes Nursery and PK classes with approximately 60 students enrolled. The Nursery School is one of three divisions, along with the Lower School (Kindergarten to Grade 3) and the Upper School (Grades 4 to 8), that comprise St. Patrick’s. Upon graduation from St. Patrick’s, our students, whose families live throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, go on to a variety of fine independent schools.
The Nursery School enrolls children ages three through five. It encompasses five classes—two Nursery classes for younger children (three years of age by September 1 of their enrolling year) and three PK classes (four years of age by September 1 of their enrolling year). All PK students attend a full-day program, which begins at 8:30 am and, Monday through Thursday, concludes at 2:50 pm. On Fridays, the PK program concludes at noon, providing shared professional time during the afternoon for Nursery School teachers. There is an 8:30 am to noon program, plus optional afternoon classes until 2:50 pm except on Fridays, for three-year-old Nursery students, although most Nursery families choose to enroll their children in the full-day program. A Head Teacher and an Assistant Teacher lead each of the Nursery School classes. The current opportunity is for a PK Assistant Teacher.
Nursery School Teachers arrive by 7:45 am in order to set up classroom centers, prepare materials and, in the case of Head Teachers, confer with Assistant Teachers before sharing responsibilities supervising the 8:00 to 8:30 am student arrival. Similarly, after dismissal and attendant carpool duties, teachers often stay to work in their classrooms or, on occasion, to attend meetings. All Nursery School Teachers report to and are evaluated by the Head of Nursery School. In addition, Head Teachers provide guidance, training, and supervision for their cooperating Assistant Teachers. Please note that, in the description that follows, specific Assistant Teacher responsibilities vary classroom to classroom.
While each Nursery School Head Teacher has the ultimate responsibility for designing and implementing classroom curriculum—in a manner consistent with the Day School Mission Statement, Statement of Philosophy, and Mission Statement for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion as well as an ever-growing knowledge of how children learn best and an understanding of individual children’s developmental abilities, needs, and interests—s/he relies on the involvement of the Assistant Teacher in planning and implementing activities in the classroom and elsewhere. The Nursery School curriculum is exploration- and play-based, grounded in a thorough knowledge of early childhood development, and incorporates school initiatives—i.e. Exceptional Literacy, as described in Setting Compass, available on the website under Who We Are/Welcome to St. Patrick’s; Responsive Classroom; Positive Discipline; global and multicultural awareness; equity, diversity, and inclusion; character education; and community-building. Thematic units address the needs and interests of the children and promote the development of individual social-emotional, cognitive, language, and motor goals. To promote the smooth implementation of planned curriculum activities, the Assistant Teacher helps the Head Teacher build classroom community, establish effective routines and structure, and foster rapport with each child.
In truth, curriculum is “everything that happens” within the walls and on the playground of the Nursery School. To that end, the Assistant Teacher does much of his/her curriculum work in helping to maintain a smooth classroom routine and effectively attending to his/her part of classroom duties. As noted above, the Assistant Teacher arrives at school by 7:45 am in order to confer with the Head Teacher before they begin arrival duties at 8:00 am. On a five-week, rotating basis with the other Nursery School Assistant Teachers, the Assistant Teacher arrives at 7:30 am to supervise our 7:35 am early arrivals, mostly children of faculty and staff. At the start of the regular school day, the Assistant Teacher joins the Head Teacher in greeting each child and helping him/her settle belongings. The Assistant Teacher remains alert to the needs of the children and intervenes, as necessary, to provide assistance.
Among the activities in which the Assistant Teacher may become involved during the day are:
The Assistant Teacher may be needed to set up materials during group time or snack during story time, or a team may decide that the Assistant Teacher needs to participate with the group at these times, modeling appropriate responses and attending to children who need particular support.
When children leave the classroom for special classes, the Assistant Teacher may be asked to accompany them and participate in the class or to remain in the room and attend to routine cleaning and rearranging.
In all circumstances in the classroom, in special classes, and on the playground, the Assistant Teacher actively interacts with the children to support their development and supervises them to ensure their safety.
Further, the Assistant Teacher actively observes the children and shares observations regarding their skill, behavior, and development with the teacher.
At the end of the day, the Assistant Teacher helps clean and organize the room.
A successful candidate for the position of Nursery School Assistant Teacher will demonstrate:
the attainment of at least a bachelor’s degree;
a determination to engage in and learn more about the education of young children, particularly between the ages of three and five years old, including their cognitive, social-emotional, spiritual, and motor development;
the desire and potential to grow in the knowledge and understanding of the particular needs, across developmental domains, of young children;
an enjoyment of working with young children, in all of their wonderful diversity and across those developmental domains, and the patience, good humor, and developing insight to help them grow as individuals and members of a larger community;
a highly collaborative and collegial manner and a willingness to work under the direction of the Head Teacher, as outlined above; and
the ability to express ideas effectively both verbally and in writing
Candidates with experience, training, and/or undergraduate or graduate work in early childhood education will receive preference in the appointment process.
Candidates for the position of Nursery School Assistant Teacher should mail or email (email@example.com) in a pdf format a cover letter, resume, and list of names and telephone numbers of at least three professional references to Paul Lorenzo-Giguere, Head of Nursery School, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School, 4700 Whitehaven Parkway, NW, Washington, D.C., 20007.
About St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School
St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School is an independent, coeducational, parish day school located in the Palisades section of Northwest Washington, D.C., serving more than 480 students from three-year-old Nursery through Grade 8. For more than 60 years, St. Patrick's has been providing a vibrant, challenging coeducational school environment that balances tradition and innovation in an educational program that emphasizes the acquisition of essential skills, integration of disciplines, and active learning. It seeks to educate young people who will grow in intellectual and academic strength, personal integrity, openness to change, commitment to service, and confident and ethical involvement in the world. St. Patrick's students, whose families live throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, go on to a variety of fine schools - including local independent day schools, boarding schools largely in the Middle Atlantic and New England regions and, less frequently, public schools - upon graduation.
Campuses include the Whitehaven Campus, home to Nursery through Grade 5, and the MacArthur Campus, home to Grades 6, 7, and 8. There are three divisions: Nursery School (Nursery and PK), Lower School (Kindergarten to Grade 3), and Upper School (Grades 4 through 8).