Spring gardening!

 

Spring has sprung at the Radicle Roots school garden. Every day, children are snacking, grazing on lettuce, snap peas, pea shoots, green onions, chives, mint, parsley, cilantro and other herbs. They talk about harvesting “refreshments” — real food for their pretend play. 

The younger class has been hard at work, learning about the lifecycle of plants. How do seeds germinate? What is a sprout, a seedling, vegetative growth? What does “propagation” mean and what different ways do plants reproduce themselves? How do humans help? They planted seeds in trays of compost, transplanted the seedlings into small pots, and then planted them in the garden when the plants reached the vegetative growth stage. Cucumbers, cantaloupe, squash, and tomatoes. As the plants continue to grow in the garden, we will watch them flower and make fruit. If all goes well, we will harvest and eat the fruits of our labor before the school year ends. We even had extra veggie starts left over to sell to raise money for our gardening budget! The kids were so proud of their work and loved getting their hands in real (home made!) compost.

The parent volunteers have also been hard at work in the garden. Weeding and wall-building are such satisfying work, and it’s a fun opportunity to socialize. Garden volunteers get to take home some of the abundance of lettuce that has all but taken over one of the garden beds. Yum!
 *** A special shout out to Angela for her guest post and for all her hard work on the garden***

Now Hiring! Fall 2017 Job Opening: Elementary (2nd-5th) Teacher

 

Update: This position is now filled. Thanks for your interest!

Now Hiring! Fall 2017 Job Opening: Elementary (2nd-5th) Teacher

About Radicle Roots:

The schoolhouse is an experiential, democratic learning community in East Austin where youth have the freedom to pursue meaningful learning, joy, and connection guided with strong and loving mentorship. We are committed to diversity, equity, and accessibility. Learn more about our independent, nature-connected, free-school inspired learning community at www.radicleroots.org before applying.

Position Overview:

Radicle Roots Community Schoolhouse is hiring a full-time teacher for the 2017-2018 school year. Option for 2-3 part time teacher positions available.

We are seeking a new team member who trusts children, who is inspired by collaboration with other teachers, is motivated to design innovative learning experiences, and is dedicated to empowering youth to be self-directed learners. We are looking for someone who is visionary, creative, flexible, and hardworking in their approach to supporting life-long learners.

 

Primary Responsibilities:
Teach

Develop strong relationships with kids based on love and trust. Learn the Radicle Roots methodologies. Encourage students’ strengths and find ways to guide them to master challenges through Coyote Mentoring and inquiry-based interactions. Document observations of children through anecdotal records and photos. Share a love of the outdoors and encourage connection with nature. Provide opportunities for and use language that empowers children to develop all parts of themselves, including social skills / conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, self awareness, and physical development, in addition to academic learning and intellectual growth. Give meaningful feedback to students on their work through written, verbal, and visual means. Be light on your feet!*

*As Chris Mercogliano explains it: “Teachers who are light on their feet are able to see the goodness in every child and we continue to love them even when they are at their most annoying. We don’t get plugged in and instead we try to use humor to change the channel. We respond in unexpected ways if at all possible and try to approach each situation as if it were brand new. This is because responding in patterned ways encourages children to try to drag us into power games… We are flexible and able to tolerate disorder and think on the fly.”
Design curriculum and build the learning environment

Identify children’s growing edges and design appropriate hands-on activities and projects in the Radicle Roots style to help them progress. Use information from observations of students to prepare the learning environment and maximize student initiation of learning activities. Use knowledge of each child’s interests and talents to create engaging curriculum that is not limited to state standards. Seek out community resources and non-traditional ways to encourage learners to follow individual and authentic learning paths.

Collaborate

Work as a team with other teachers through open, honest, and effective communication. Possess self-awareness, self-compassion, and a willingness to examine inner assumptions and patterned actions to continue personal growth and deepen skills as a mentor. Take part in our weekly democratic decision making process with students and staff.

Work in partnership with parents
Spend time getting to know the feel of the Radicle Roots community as well as the individual families through informal and formal channels. Communicate what’s going on at the schoolhouse and seek info about what’s happening at home. Identify parent skills and connections that can be utilized for learning opportunities and collaborate with parents to incorporate those talents into the schoolhouse. Prepare for and conduct family conferences three times a year.
Assist with outreach

Table at events, such as the Education Transformation Alliance alternative school fair. Be a positive representative of the schoolhouse and build community connections with diverse populations.

 

Requirements:

  • Minimum 3 years as a lead teacher in a classroom, outdoor education, or other formal learning environment.
  • Experience teaching project-based learning and developing curriculum or activities tailored to student interests.
  • Working knowledge of child developmental stages.
  • Ability and willingness to cultivate real relationships with children and parents.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills including being able to give and receive feedback.
  • A self-starter who can learn on the job, identify opportunities for creativity, take initiative, and follow projects and responsibilities through to completion.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Certified elementary teacher.
  • Bilingual English/Spanish speaker.
  • Experience teaching in multi-age settings, free schools, or Montessori schools.
  • Experience or trained in working with special needs students.
  • Experience using Positive Behavior Support.
  • Experience using non-violent communication and conflict resolution.
  • Experience or training in literacy instruction.
  • Experience or training in student-centered or project-based mathematics.
  • Familiarity with Coyote Mentoring.

Radicle Roots is committed to building a culturally and racially diverse teaching staff, and strongly encourages applicants who identify as people of color to apply. LGBTQIA applicants strongly encouraged to apply. Applicants of the teaching profession minority (aka male-identified) are encouraged to apply.

Start date

Mandatory paid training / planning / preparation weeks begin August 21st.  Option to start immediately to begin training during the Spring semester.  First day of the 2017-2018 school year is Tues Sept. 5th.

Compensation

$25,000-$30,000 annually. Benefits include great coworkers, a health and wellness stipend, and the opportunity to contribute your voice, time, and talents to a growing, mission-driven radical learning community. Work on a beautiful 3-acre campus on the east side of Austin, spend plenty of time outdoors, and bring home fresh organic produce from the schoolhouse garden. Tuition waived for children of teachers. We take 3 months off from June-August, one week at Thanksgiving, two weeks for Winter Holidays, and one week at Spring Break. Schedule generally aligns with AISD.

How to apply

Send your

  • letter of interest including a statement of why you are drawn to work with us,
  • resume,
  • and letter of references

to caitlin@radicleroots.org.

Please reference Teacher in the subject line. Position open until filled.

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Have you met Gaby??

This winter we ushered in the new year with many exciting changes at the schoolhouse.  One of the most exciting additions was welcoming our newest mentor, Gaby!

Though Gaby originally hails from Chile, she and her family come to us most recently from New Hampshire.  Along with Caitlin, this spring she is mentoring in the Garden House, bringing new smiles, enthusiasm and a bilingual twist to our younger classroom.  She’s amazing!  Just check out her bio…………..

Hola, my name is Gabriela Rodriguez and I was born in Arica, Chile.  I left Arica in the year 2000 and began a journey of knowledge and self-awareness. I studied theatre, dance, health coaching, prenatal yoga, and to be a Doula.  I also completed a post graduate degree in music therapy, body awareness and Psychology.

I began my teaching journey with neighborhood children’s classes when I was 14 years old.  From that time on I have been involved in diverse forms of teaching: Spanish tutoring, integrative after school programs, child care, Montessori substitute teaching, as a Baha’í children’s class coordinator, and as a health coach.

My interest in teaching children grows every day, and my hope is to contribute to their future and to help coach them to their brightest potential. I strive to serve humanity and to create a better world by walking my path and taking actions. I enjoy this chance of learning by doing, by making mistakes and growing from them. I challenge myself by keeping a humble and positive attitude in front of our children, especially because I will never stop learning from them.  They are the most sincere mirror I have ever had, and I feel pretty grateful for that.

When I’m not at the schoolhouse, usually you will find me spending time with my family, Elijah (my husband) and my kids, Aayan and Amaya.  We like to spend time in the woods, camping, walking, exploring… Or with friends, sharing a delicious meal, talking or playing games. I personally love to dance (I feel that when the body dances, the mind rests).  I also enjoy spending time alone admiring nature. I like keeping myself connected with my friends from all over the world, and I feel pretty grateful for technology that helps me to keep them close to my heart every day. I also love to talk to my mom, brother and my little nephews in Chile.

Calling All Kindergartners!



Choosing where your child attends school is a major life decision.  Private, public, or charter; the lottery system; curriculum styles; teacher to student ratio; dual language or bilingual programs; work/life schedules; costs; individual personalities and learning styles……..  Needless to say there are a lot of factors that impact your schooling decisions!
 
Just like other schools, the Radicle Roots Community Schoolhouse is in the midst of enrollment for the 2017-2018 school year.  Unlike more traditional schools, however, we really strive to ensure that our learning community is the right fit for the student and their family. We know it can be an overwhelming feeling, and we’re here to help you navigate it! Please browse our website for a more in-depth understanding of our philosophy, curriculum, program specifics and get to know our mentors.  Our application page details the steps in our enrollment process.
Curious about what a democratic, experiential kindergarten looks like?
Come to our Kindergarten OPEN HOUSE next week!
Wednesday 3/8
4-6pm
3701 E. MLK Jr Blvd, Unit #3 78721
Drop by to meet our teachers, participate in sample learning centers, find out about our daily circle time and try your hands on our projects class.
Refreshments provided.
Here are some FAQs for our 2017-2018 kindergarten enrollment:
1. How does a multi-aged environment work for kindergarten?
We love the blend of 5 and 6 year-olds (kindergarten and first grade) that meets in the Garden House. The Garden House class spends mornings with a regular routine of circle time and learning centers. Up the hill, the 7-11 year-olds class meets in the Sunshine House. There is ample time for the Garden House class to interact with the Sunshine House class during the afternoon. This multi-age environment ensures opportunities for students to learn from older peers and model for younger ones, just like real life!
2.  Are there openings? How big is the class?
For the 2017-2018 year we will have about 7 available spots for kindergarten.  We aim to enroll an even boy/girl ratio for each learning cohort (although we leave room for flexible gender expression). The four rising 1st graders will remain in the Garden House along with the new cohort of kindergartners. There are about 3 available spots for 1st grade. We are aiming for a size of 15 K-1st kids. We are currently full for the 7-11 year old Sunshine House class, or 2nd-5th grade cohort for next school year, but we welcome waiting list submissions.
 
3.  When is the deadline to enroll?
Our enrollment deadline is Friday March 3, 2017. Yikes, coming up fast!! There is a $20 late fee to enroll after that, if spots are available.
4.  Can my four year old start?
We feel it is best to start students when they are emotionally ready for school rather than strictly by age.  Ideally our new students start when they are 5 years old, but if there are late 4 year olds (i.e. students turning 5 in the fall semester) who are ready we will consider them.  Just like other students we will follow our standard application process to decide together if early enrollment works.
5.  Do you offer part-time?
We do not offer a part-time program as we feel it can be disruptive to the dynamics and the cohesion of the group, and we aim to meet the needs of working families with our schedule.
 
6.  How can I get started?
Tours run alternate Wednesdays at 10am and you can register online here. We also welcome interest emails or phone calls at any time. Please drop by our Kindergarten Open House next Wednesday 3/8 from 4-6pm! Families will be able to tour the facilities, ask questions, meet Gaby, Caitlin, and Laura, and give you a feel for Radicle Roots kindergarten!
Hope to hear from you soon!
 

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2017!

We are all back from our winter breaks and excited to be ushering in a new year. 2017 has brought the schoolhouse some exciting changes, including five new students (we now have 22 kids!!) and our newest teacher, Gabriela Rodriguez.

Gaby originally hails from Chile, but comes to us most recently from New Hampshire. Along with Caitlin, Gaby will be working with the younger students in the Garden house. We are excited to have her and eager to have her background, enthusiasm for teaching and her bilingual skills complimenting our program.

Please join us in welcoming Gaby, her husband Elijah and their two children who are also two of our new students, Aayan and Amaya, into our community.

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