Who are we?
Wildflower schools are 1-2-room, teacher-led, shopfront Montessori schools that support teachers, children and families as they follow life’s unfolding journey. Each microschool is embedded in its neighborhood, physically and spiritually, and draws people together from diverse backgrounds to create inclusive learning environments committed to equity and mindfulness practices. The Wildflower Foundation nurtures the conditions for Wildflower schools to organically grow across the U.S. and, eventually, around the world.
Wildflower started in 2014 as a single school affiliated with the MIT Media Lab, and has since grown into a decentralized network of 31 schools in Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Indiana, Kentucky and New Jersey, with many more under development in communities across the country.
The Role of Wildflower School Start-Up Coach
The Wildflower Foundation is looking for an entrepreneurial leader for a 1-2-year project to nurture the growth of the first Wildflower school in northern New Jersey (Bergen/Passaic/Hudson/Essex/Morris counties). Working closely with the existing New Jersey Wildflower hub, your role will be to find and help guide our first northern New Jersey-area teacher-leaders through a journey of starting and running a beautiful, diverse, storefront, authentic, nonprofit one-classroom Montessori preschool.
What will you do?
- Invite Montessori teacher-leaders to start the first Wildflower school in the northern New Jersey area. Support their exploration of Wildflower, and guide them through Wildflower’s School Start- Up Journey.
- Offer guidance to new school leaders regarding all aspects of the school start-up process, with support from the resources developed by the Wildflower Foundation. This includes a budgeting/financial model, partner recruitment, finding space, building out space, licensing, family recruitment and retention.
- Bring together the coaches and advisors that will support teacher-leaders as they launch their schools. You will work closely with the central New Jersey Wildflower site entrepreneur, as well as the national Wildflower Foundation, to draw on existing expertise, resources and their current coaching network.
- Foster professional development opportunities and collaboration for new teachers in the northern New Jersey area, tapping into existing opportunities in the emerging New Jersey and New York networks of Wildflower teacher-leaders and schools.
- Cultivate our current funding partner relationship and expand funding opportunities for Wildflower schools in northern New Jersey.
Who are we looking for?
Successful Wildflower start-up coaches are natural coalition-builders, advocates and, of course, coaches, dedicated to seeing their community thrive and passionate about the role Wildflower can play in supporting that. Key skills and orientations include:
- Belief in the Montessori method, intentional diversity and teacher leadership.
- Ability to build energy and momentum around a cause by articulating a vision, recruiting new people and cultivating their ongoing engagement. A track record of success bringing new initiatives to life is necessary, and because teachers and donors are two critical parts of the necessary coalition, direct teacher recruitment and fundraising experience are both very helpful.
- Ability to coach teachers/professionals to successfully take on new challenges and to learn and grow.
- Ability to work in a non-hierarchical, self-managed environment: self-starting, creative, advice-seeking, resourceful, independent, flexible and open-minded. Ability to manage your own activities, plan a project and carry it out and follow through on commitments.
- Ability to communicate effectively and compellingly, in writing and orally in one-on-one, small-group and large-group settings.
- Experience working toward educational equity — as an educator, social entrepreneur, advocate or in a related capacity.
- Experience working alongside diverse colleagues in an environment committed to equity, diversity and inclusion.
- Comfortable using collaborative online tools that connect the Wildflower community.
The Wildflower School Start-Up Coach role is a 1-2-year, part-time, contract position with Wildflower schools with the possibility to grow the role and team as the region progresses. The hourly rate is competitive and negotiable. Our experience in other communities suggests that this will require 25-30 hours a week initially. The ideal candidate is based in Bergen, Passaic, Hudson, Essex or Morris County, and is comfortable working from home and traveling to other parts of New Jersey from time to time.
How to apply
For more information or to apply, please send a cover letter and résumé to Angie Schiavoni at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Wildflower, visit wildflowerschools.org.