Environmental Science and Garden Teacher & Curriculum Developer

  • 735 Fell St, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA
  • Full-time

Company Description

La Scuola International School is a vibrant Pre-K - 8th Grade international community with a focus on inquiry-based learning, creative expression and language immersion. La Scuola is San Francisco’s first IB-PYP, IB-MYP School and the first Reggio - IB Italian Immersion program in the world. 

We believe our community thrives through diversity of backgrounds, perspectives and realities. Only through a persistent drive to listen and learn from one another, create and promote equitable opportunities and to continue to reflect and evolve will we be able to establish systems which will address the needs of the one and the many.

La Scuola’s mission is to inspire brave learners to shape the future.  La Scuola aims to nurture children’s innate ability to learn by challenging them academically, creatively and innovatively, while immersing them in the Italian language and making them keenly aware of the world around them and their place in it. 

Job Description

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Environmental Science and Garden Teacher reports to Division Directors and leads and plans for garden and environmental science classes in collaboration with classroom teachers, Atelieristas, the IB PYP-MYP Coordinators, Director of Teaching & Learning, Head of School, and develops them within the IB PYP-MYP Curriculum framework and in line with the Reggio Emilia philosophy. The teacher also offers critical support to teachers and students to ensure that a school can maximize and grow the educational potential of the garden.

Essential Duties
• Facilitates joyful and meaningful garden and environmental science learning experiences
• Collaborates closely with classroom teachers/the IB PYP-MYP Coordinators to support classroom teaching and IB PYP-MYP units of inquiry in a range of curriculum areas (science, social studies, mathematics, language arts, etc.)
• Oversees and coordinates students’ hands-on experiences in the garden (planting, tending, harvesting);
• Builds involvement in and commitment to the school garden within the school community, including teachers, administrators, students, parents and community volunteers;
• Builds involvement in and commitment to the school garden outside of the school community;
• Develops teacher skills in outdoor classroom management techniques;
• Maintains the garden, coordinating volunteers and working to secure all needed supplies;
• Oversees the preschool Environmental Science & Garden Teacher and program

Schedule:  The teacher is expected to be onsite for in-person instruction from 8:00AM to 4:00PM
Job Responsibilities:
• Teaches or facilitates classes on school campuses;
• Manages the school garden, plan and prepare for garden work activities, manage planting schedule, ensure availability of tools and other necessary materials;
• Plants and cares for vegetable garden and other planting areas with students or independently, as best and appropriate;
• Maintains composting system;
• Maintains irrigation system and be the point person for outside contractors;
• Attends school wide staff meetings/professional development days/open houses/roundtables;
• Coordinates garden events and parents work days to bring students, families, teachers and community
members together;
• Coordinates school-wide garden events as needed and works with Atelieristas on other specialist events
• Attends K-8 Collaborative planning meetings and planning meetings with teachers/IB Coordinators;
• Monitors, documents, and reports on all activities and extent of student learning;
• Prepares Garden and Environmental Science Newsletters.


Essential Requirements:

  • Flexible and creative approach to teaching and learning
  • Ability to organize work and to function independently
  • Ability to work with children, staff, and parents
  • Excellent writing skills and computer literacy
  • Able to have some flex scheduling of hours and days for a Saturday work day when needed.
  • Experience and comfort in public speaking for parent nights, tours, and other outreach events.
  • Passionate about supporting eco-literacy development in young children.

The Teacher is guided by/expected to meet the following performance standards:

  • Maintaining an awareness of the school’s mission and philosophy;
  • Performing tasks and responsibilities in a complete and timely manner;
  • Maintaining a creative, team-building approach to job performance and seeking to bring a constructive, problem-solving orientation to all tasks;
  • Seeking opportunities to develop skills and create opportunities to teach co-workers;
  • Communicating in a timely, honest and sufficient manner;
  • Exercising professional judgment and discretion; and
  • Working well with a diverse staff and school community.

Additional Information

The School

La Scuola believes that all children are born intelligent and curious, and that families and educators should work collaboratively with their children to shape a better future. Above all, La Scuola believes that learning and living should be joyful; its mantra is Niente senza gioia! (Nothing without joy!). It is a dynamic, innovative and collaborative organisation. 

La Scuola’s curriculum has three pillars: the Reggio Emilia pedagogy, the International Baccalaureate Program framework, and Italian language immersion.  

The Reggio Emilia approach believes that: children are born curious and competent and should be respected and celebrated; they should be protagonists in their learning with parents and teachers serving as collaborators; and they deserve to have beautiful environments in which to explore and construct knowledge. Some essential components of the Reggio Emilia approach in practice are: small class size, project-based learning, classrooms that offer a home-like environment, and learning in the context of real-life issues. Indeed, the classroom itself is considered a teacher. Reggio Emilia inspired spaces (i.e., the learning spaces at La Scuola) also offer an atelier/laboratory where children can experiment and discover, as well as a piazza that serves as a central meeting place. 

The International Baccalaureate is a globally recognized curriculum framework for children ages 3-18 that challenges students academically and fosters a sense of duty to their community to be engaged, caring, and respectful global citizens. This curriculum is inquiry based and focuses on concepts and topics that cross subject areas, which enables students to make new and meaningful connections. 

Italian language immersion supports language and cognitive development and appreciation of other cultures. Children who study a second language score higher on verbal standardized tests conducted in English, perform better in math and logic skills testing, have better executive function skills and are better at solving complex problems. La Scuola was recently officially recognized by the Italian Government as an Italian School abroad.


As noted, the curriculum is aligned to the International Baccalaureate-Primary Years Programme (IB-PYP) for students ages 3-12 and the International Baccalaureate-Middle Years Programme for students age 12 to 14.  

Elementary School (K-5)

In the Elementary School, students engage in learning through units of inquiry around a central idea, where learning requires students to develop knowledge and skills across a number of subject areas. Across all subject areas, students investigate through structured and purposeful inquiry, in line with the IB-PYP curriculum framework. Each day, students are encouraged to be curious, ask questions, explore, and interact with the environment physically, socially, and intellectually. The IB-PYP focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside. It is a framework guided by six trans-disciplinary themes of global significance, explored using knowledge and skills derived from six subject areas (language; social studies; mathematics; arts; science; and personal, social, and physical education), as well as trans-disciplinary skills, with a powerful emphasis on inquiry. Instruction is taught in both the English and Italian languages, in which students are expected to become fluent, express themselves, and effectively communicate cross-culturally. Instruction begins as majority Italian language (i.e., 80% of instruction in K-1) and slowly transitions to majority English (i.e., 70% of instruction is in English by eighth grade).

Middle School (6-8)

La Scuola’s first eighth grade class was enrolled this past fall at the beginning of the 2019-20 academic year. The Middle School is currently authorized as an International Baccalaureate for Middle Years (IB MYP) school. The MYP curriculum framework comprises eight subject groups, providing a broad and balanced education for early adolescents.

Technology plays a significant role for all Middle School students; the Middle School offers a one-to-one Chromebook program, as well as exposure to computer science and coding.

Notably, the Middle School curriculum is separated into two paths: the Italian Language Immersion Program and the Italian Language Learners Program.

The Italian Language Immersion Program is for students who have grade-level literacy and communication skills in Italian. Students in the language immersion program study language and literature in both languages and Spanish as a third language. Students in this program become fully literate in Italian and English, and develop reading, writing, and conversational skills in Spanish.

Students in the Italian Language Learners Program are completely new to Italian or are at a beginning to intermediate level of Italian. Students in this program have an enriched Italian as a second language experience that is fully integrated into the International Baccalaureate Program.

Students in both tracks participate in science, math, and other IB MYP required subjects. This ensures that all Middle School students share a common experience and are together when not in language classes.


Currently, the Pre-K, Elementary and Middle School are currently on three different sites. The preschool is located in the sunny Potrero Hill/Dogpatch neighborhood. This is an up-and-coming neighborhood right next to the new Mission Bay UCSF campus. The site is well-served by public transit. The Lower  Elementary Campus (K- 2) is located in the Hayes Valley/Alamo Square lively and happening neighborhood. La Scuola recently signed a 60-year lease with the San Francisco Archdiocese for its new K-8 St. Charles site located in the Mission District. Currently, Grades 3-8 are located here, with the plan for the entire Elementary School to move to the Mission District as well within the next four years or sooner. 


Position receives excellent benefits, including medical, vision and dental coverage. The school also offers group life insurance, employer-matched retirement, long-term disability insurance and commuter benefits. Other fringe benefits include PTO, paid holidays, daily warm lunch and outstanding professional development.

To be considered for the position, please apply here with a letter of intent, a resume and a minimum of 3 references. More information about our school can be found here https://www.lascuolasf.org/. 

Non-Discrimination Policy

In order to provide equal employment and advancement opportunities to all individuals, employment decisions at La Scuola will be based on merit, qualifications and abilities. La Scuola does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition, marital status, veteran status, physical or mental disability (actual or perceived), medical condition, genetic characteristics, political affiliation or any other characteristic protected by state, federal or local law. This policy governs all aspects of employment, including hiring, job assignment, compensation, discipline, termination, layoff, promotion, transfer and access to benefits and training. If you feel you may have been discriminated against on the basis of sex or would like more information, please contact Dani Sollberger, Director of Administration, by email or 415-558-9006 or by mail at 728 20th Street, San Francisco, CA 94107.

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