Woodlawn High School Urban Farm Education Director
Jones Valley Teaching Farm designs innovative, hands-on food education programs that improve student learning and increase access to healthy food. Through JVTF’s urban farms and partnerships with schools, more than 15,000 students have been impacted through our programs over the last three years.
Good School Food, our in-school food education model, is a Pre-K–12 initiative that connects students to real-world food issues through cross-curricular, standards-based content during the school day. Good School Food launched in its first school during the 2012–13 school year and has since grown to 6 total Birmingham City Schools.
Our work in schools is guided by these principles:
1. Education should be holistic and student centered. Every student’s voice matters.
2. Public schools are community hubs capable of great things.
3. Investing directly in teachers maximizes impact on students.
4. Hands-on, experiential, and project-based education improves students’ content retention and attitudes toward learning.
5. Design-thinking strategies can be used in education to prototype, test, and refine ideas quickly to discover the best solutions for students.
Woodlawn High School
In 2015, we will expand our program to 9th-12th grade, creating a comprehensive model for food education within a focused network of schools covering Pre-K–12. In partnership with the Academy of Arts & Environmental Science and the Academy of Business & Finance at Woodlawn High School, JVTF will offer an in-school program beginning in August 2015 anchored by two core components: an urban farm and a student-designed social business.
The Woodlawn High School Urban Farm, located behind the school, will be a place where students have the opportunity to receive real-world context for environmental science concepts explored both in and outside of the classroom. Students will engage in active, hands-on experiential learning and develop a deep understanding of the social, cultural, environmental and economic impact of food on communities locally and globally. Students will have responsibilities in designing and managing every element of urban agricultural production, providing access to local sustainably-grown produce for the surrounding community.
The farm will also provide students with the platform to operate a social business. Students will develop and practice business management and entrepreneurial skills while engaging in civically-minded work around food access and sustainable agriculture. Over the course of a school year, students will work collaboratively to design, implement, and manage all elements of their chosen business venture—from research and development, to branding and marketing, operations and logistics, and finances.
The WHS Urban Farm Education Director role is a demanding one; it is also an exciting one. While the Education Director will have strong support from the JVTF team, much of the work requires a high degree of self-reliance, confidence, and initiative. In many ways, you will act as an educational entrepreneur, building a program from the ground up as you teach, mentor, and develop high school students.
A successful candidate must possess extraordinary professionalism, flexibility, intuitiveness, and organizational skills. In addition, the person in this role must enjoy collaboration with an energetic, high performing team, and be comfortable with developing original and innovative content that is relevant and effective in a traditional urban public school environment.
The WHS Urban Farm Education Director will work with the Farm Director and the Coordinator of the Woodlawn High School Academy of Arts and Environmental Science to develop and implement a rigorous and innovative program for students that brings core environmental science content to life while supporting student development in subject matter and skills that contribute to their overall social-emotional development, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and leadership and communication abilities.
Responsibilities will include:
- Leading the implementation and delivery of an urban agriculture-focused Environmental Science Education track at Woodlawn High School
- Collaborating with JVTF staff to develop relevant course material and design
- Collaborating with the Farm Director and the WHS Field Manager on student-centered farm management
- Collaborating with the Farm Director, WHS Field Manager, and Teaching Farm Fellow on the development and implementation of a student driven social business
- Creating a dynamic, empathetic, and functional learning environment
- Communicating effectively and engaging the entire school community, as well as the surrounding community
- Adhering to school system rules, administrative procedures, local board policies, and state and federal rules and regulations that are a regular part of a public school system
- Actively evaluating and assessing program and student progress through the development and implementation of the program and curricula
Qualified applicants will possess:
- A bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university.
- A valid Teacher’s Certificate.
- 2+years experience in teaching at the high school level.
- A background in Environmental Science or Biology.
- A belief in the power of food with a demonstrated interest in sustainable agriculture.
- A willingness to innovate and contribute to the growth and evolution of JVTF as an organization.
- Self-direction, self-motivation, and openness to assessing and improving their work.
- Attention to detail and strong written and oral communication skills.
- A demonstrated history of service.
- Growth: This is a true opportunity for working at the community level, making real decisions that impact the growth and development of a nonprofit with ambitious goals. Through this job, you will have an immediate platform for fast but thoughtful professional and personal growth.
- Culture: We take care of one another at JVTF. You are not expected to be anyone but yourself.
- Good Food: We have one of the most robust and productive urban farms in the country, and our staff has access to fresh organic produce all year long.
Salary commensurate with experience.
Applicants should send their cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.