Head Teacher

Posted by

Early Childhood at Manny Cantor Center is helping to build a vision for progressive education on the Lower East Side. We believe that all children make meaning through inquiry, exploration and play in the context of strong relationships and a sense of belonging. Our Head Teachers collaborate with and support children, families, and associate teachers; together, they foster a classroom community based on inquiry, respect, and equity.

Non-Exempt, Full-time

Hours Per Week: Full time, 37.5 hours per week, 8am-4pm, 9am-5pm or 10am-6pm


Early Childhood at Manny Cantor Center is an inspired, responsive and progressive preschool serving children ages 0-5 years old, built on the following principles: all children are competent, capable, and curious; all families have something to contribute; we are stronger together. Our pioneering blended-funding model incorporates Head Start, Early Head Start, Universal Pre-K and tuition funding to serve all families on the Lower East Side and beyond.

Inspired by the schools of Reggio Emilia, our classrooms are joyful and nurturing learning environments that foster inquiry, exploration and reflection. With the support and supervision of our Associate Directors of Education, our teachers work collaboratively with children to co-construct a curriculum that draws inspiration from children’s interests and the world around us.

The Manny Cantor Center is part of Educational Alliance, a non-profit that brings together and partners with diverse communities in Lower Manhattan, offering individuals and families high-quality, multi-generational programs and services that enhance their well-being and socioeconomic opportunities. We are a place where everyone is welcome and where progress is powered one relationship at a time. We are proud of our legacy as a Jewish organization and we provide high-quality, transformational services and programs to all New Yorkers through our network of community centers on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and East Village. As we have for 130 years, we offer best-in-class programming–now across 15 sites—focusing on a mix of education, health and wellness, arts and culture, and civic engagement.



• Lead teaching team in documentation, reflection and planning process to devise emergent curriculum informed by children’s interests, questions, theories and prior knowledge. • Facilitate virtual learning and individualized outreach to families during periods of school

closure. • Work with a diverse community, including a significant Mandarin-speaking population • Build relationships with families and communicate about children’s learning and development in person and through documentation. • Partner with the teaching staff and administration in the overall philosophy and direction of the preschool


Planning, Preparation + Curriculum Development • Co-constructing curriculum, based on children’s interests, questions and development • Documenting, reflecting and planning from observations • Participating in weekly planning meetings with teaching team • Meeting the needs of all children, including English language learners

Facilitate Virtual Learning During Periods of School Closure • Facilitate virtual learning by posting schedules, mini-stories, resources, suggested activities and video “read-alouds” online daily. Lead daily morning meeting and small group sessions for children via video conferencing. • Communicate regularly with families and coworkers via email, Zoom, phone and chat. • Meet with each family at least weekly via phone or video conference to provide individualized support and assess for strengths, challenges, needs and goals. • Develop written support plans for each family covering parenting, education, mental health and basic needs. Update plans on an ongoing basis in collaboration with administration and social work teams. • Through whole group, small group and individual check-ins, empower families during periods of school closure by providing coaching, mentorship and parenting resources on topics including attachment, sleep, feeding, limit-setting, kindergarten transition developmentally appropriate expectations etc.

Classroom Environment • Planning and creating a classroom environment with inquiry, exploration, learning and respect in mind • Nurturing children’s home languages through curated books, materials and the physical environment • Creating a warm and inclusive environment where children and families feel welcome • Organizing physical space and selection of materials in a way that is inviting and accessible to children • Creating visual evidence of the narratives and curriculum occurring in your classroom

Relationships with Teaching Team • Develop schedules and processes to ensure that work is complete in a timely fashion by teaching team. • Lead regular documentation, reflection and planning meetings with teaching team. • Provide feedback, coaching and support to Assistant and Associate Teachers as necessary.

Interactions with Children • Speaking and listening to children with respect and mindfulness • Supervising the whole group, while giving individual attention • Managing classroom procedures including transitions, routines and small groups • Engage students in exploration and ongoing project work • Scaffolding children through conflict and problem solving

Relationships with Families • Building respectful and reciprocal relationships with families • Communicating consistently with families

Professional Responsibilities • Documenting children’s learning, development and progress through mini-stories, written narratives, reflections and observations. Maintain a documentation portfolio for each child. Upload documentation into the DRDP assessment platform and complete assessment checkpoints throughout year. • Maintaining collaborative and professional relationships with colleagues • Mentoring Associate and Assistant teachers • Connect families with housing, employment, college access and medical resources as necessary. Refer families to Manny Cantor Center’s internal Mental Health, Social Work and 2-Generation departments. Check in with support staff as necessary to ensure that families’ needs are being met. • Participating in weekly professional development meetings • Showing professionalism including integrity, ethical conduct and decision making • The candidate will be reflective, ask questions, be willing to take risks and make mistakes


• MA in Early Childhood/ Elementary Education | New York State N-6 or PreK-6 certification or study plan • Minimum 3 years of professional teaching experience in an early childhood setting preferred

• Bilingual Mandarin/English a plus • Excellent written communication skills, including the ability to craft narrative observations and assessments, mini-stories and written reflections, and communicate with families and colleagues regularly via email • Ability to use Outlook, Microsoft Office Suite, Zoom and other online learning platforms as required • Available to work a mix of morning and afternoon shifts (8am-4pm, 9am-5pm or 10am-6pm) to cover extended day • Strong oral communication with children, families and colleagues

Early Childhood at Manny Cantor Center is helping to build a vision for progressive education on the Lower East Side. We believe that all children make meaning through inquiry, exploration and play in the context of strong relationships…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Job Type
  • Start Date
    September 6, 2021

Level of Language Proficiency

Bilingual Mandarin/English a plus.

Bilingual Mandarin/English a plus.


197 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002, USA

Join Idealist

Sign up today to save your favorite jobs and get email alerts when new ones are posted.