Urban Farm Teaching Associate

  • 1434 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60642, USA
  • Full-time

Company Description

We are an independent, Montessori school in Chicago serving students and their families, starting at a parent-infant class and up to 8th grade. We are a community of shared values working to fulfill a meaningful mission. NNM faculty, staff and parents strive for an equitable and inclusive school culture through intentional, reflective practice. We work together to challenge all students to think for themselves, pursue their ideas, and become real learners for the real world. 

Job Description

NNM is fortunate to have an urban farm and related spaces throughout the school. The work and lessons within these spaces forward our values of sustainability and are a foundation to students learning in areas such as: outdoor education, food cycles, sustainable farming, science, ecology and more.  Learn more about this part of our program here: https://www.nnms.org/academics/urbanfarm

There is a unique opportunity for someone to join NNM as an Urban Farm Teaching Associate - this is a position that will work closely with our Sustainability and Urban Farm Director along with other faculty members throughout the school year and some reduced hours during the summer. It is a hands on farming role, with some instructional support responsibilities when working with students ages 5 to 14. 

Schedule: Full-time during the school year, approximately Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm; reduced hours during summer break

Some of the specific responsibilities include:

Farm Development & Maintenance

  • Assist with maintenance of NNM urban farm spaces including the rooftop farm, playscape, Urban Farm Room and other related areas 

  • Plant, grow and harvest crops on 4-season urban farm with an eye to maximum food and usable plant product yield 

  • Build and enhance skills necessary to maintain livestock, raised beds, soil bioremediation projects, polyculture of edible perennials, irrigation system, rain barrels, indoor grow labs, and composting programs. Work with supervisor and others to evolve knowledge and skills as the environment changes and develops 

  • Help maintain a safe working and learning environment for all students, staff, parents and visitors

  • Support and facilitate work with farm volunteers and community members throughout the year

Teaching and Student/Faculty Support

  • Teach, assist and supervise students within the urban farm spaces and as needed throughout the school

  • Support curriculum and lessons related to the school’s values around sustainability, nature, outdoor education and related topics in concert with supervisor and other faculty 

  • Communicate with teachers to organize and facilitate visits to farm spaces

  • Work as resource to teachers and students on topics related to the farm, support classroom lessons as appropriate

  • Forward NNM's environmental/sustainability mission and values 

  • Contribute to an atmosphere of congeniality and teamwork in the school 

  • Attend levels meetings or other faculty/staff meetings as requested by academic director or other school leaders

  • Participate in professional development to enhance skills related to teaching and farm maintenance


  • Bachelor's Degree preferred, or work experience equivalent
  • Previous experience working with elementary aged students
  • 2+ years experience with gardening, sustainable agriculture, and/or permaculture

What other skills/abilities are we looking for from successful applicants?

  • Demonstrated ability to provide high level of support and assistance with the ability to juggle multiple tasks
  • Good communication and organization skills with a keen ability to be both responsive and proactive
  • Exhibit a willingness to be flexible and creative with scheduling and working with community members
  • Exhibit high levels of responsibility and initiative, due to the autonomous nature of the position
  • An understanding of and/or willingness to learn Montessori educational philosophy and classroom management skills

Additional Information

Pay within the range of $17-22 per hour, based on experience. Please upload your resume as part of the application. Screening questions are part of the application process as well - provide your answers in the field/s provided at that step. We look forward to hearing from you!