About the Role
Special Education Teacher Position Description:
The Special Education Teacher serves as an instructional champion for our students with special needs by providing direct instructional support to increase student achievement of TNS students with special needs.
The Special Education Teaching Model represents a change in the way time and expertise is used and will result in a renewed focus on student achievement and more individualized support for special education teachers and students with disabilities utilizing our unique curriculum. We expect that our Special Education Teacher will spend their time in our school partnering with our growing team of teachers and specialists to drive instructional strategy and provide instructional support to increase student achievement of our students with special needs. The remainder of the Special Education Teacher’s time will be used for principal support, committee and team meetings, and ensuring TNS maintains compliance with special education rules, regulations, and procedures.
Responsibilities (include, but not limited to):
• Collaborate with teachers, school leaders, and other experts to improve learning outcomes for students with disabilities. This collaboration includes but is not limited to direct instructional coaching, professional development, analysis of progress data, seeking out academic and behavioral instructional strategies, and assisting with implementation;
• Understand and engage in collaborative work with other personnel to improve achievement and growth for all students, while carrying out their primary responsibilities of improving learning for students with disabilities;
• Develop and empower teachers to write strong IEPs, behavior plans and to facilitate efficient and effective case conferences/manifestation determinations as essential tools to accelerate learning and protect the rights of students with disabilities and their families;
• Attend weekly M-Team meetings;
• With the support of administration and leadership, monitor school suspensions, expulsions, seclusion and restraints, and academic data for students with special needs in assigned buildings and develop action plans as needed;
• Consistently revisit special education program and service procedures to ensure continuity services and foresight of potential issues;
• Communicate effectively, and in a timely manner, with parents and guardians of special needs students to address complaints, issues and concerns;
• Commit to continued professional development in providing exemplary outdoor education to children
Supervisory Responsibilities/Direct Reports:
The Special Education Teacher works directly with staff to support special education needs at TNS, provides resources and direct coaching to staff in need, and develops strong relationships with staff. This position works closely with the Head of School.
Personal Work Relationships:
The individual in this position works with a wide range of staff, partners, administrators and service providers on routine and diverse problems encountered to fulfill its special education duties. The individual must possess and employ a variety of personal and interpersonal skills in the discharge of the position's responsibilities. This position requires a positive attitude when dealing with staff and TNS constituents. Good judgment, discretion and individual initiative are necessary for the effective discharge of the position's significant responsibilities.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel; talk or hear. The employee frequently is required to stand and walk. The employee is occasionally required to sit; reach with hands and arms; and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.
The work environment characteristics described in this document are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is often exposed to outside weather conditions. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
The Nature School of Central Indiana is a Public Charter school located around Indianapolis, Indiana.
The Nature School of Central Indiana is chartered through Trine University/Education1, and registered and recognized by the Indiana Department of Education as a public charter school. TNS is a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is a non-sectarian, non-profit, corporation managed by a Board of Trustees.
All applications will be reviewed confidentially and interviews will be conducted by the Head of School and/or Board Chair and the Board of Trustees.
After a careful review of applicants, the Search Committee will select semi-finalists who will be interviewed by Zoom. Finalists will be invited to a more comprehensive series of interviews. Ideally, a final selection will be made no later than August 1, 2023.
TNS will keep all applicants informed of their status throughout the process.
The Nature School of Central Indiana does not discriminate in their educational programs, hiring, or activities on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, sexual identity, age, religion, ability or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state or local law.
Critical core competencies for successful performance in this role are:
• Highly-developed communications skills (written/verbal) and interpersonal savvy
• Results/action-orientation; project management skills
• Organizational agility; developed negotiation skills
• Unquestionable personal code of ethics, integrity, diversity and trust
• Able to successfully navigate within varying degrees of ambiguity in a fast-paced environment
• Strong strategic analysis skills
The successful candidate will be discrete, high-energy, agile-minded, strategic, proactive, a direct communicator, highly-organized and committed to the vision and mission of TNS and the developing TNS Special Education Team. In addition, the following standards will generally define the successful incumbent:
• Special Education certification;
• Working knowledge of federal and state special education rules, regulations, and practices (Article 7 and IDEA);
• Broad knowledge of the theories, principles, practices and methodology of special education;
• Working knowledge of Indiana special education policies, procedures and programs;
• Ability to be creative in developing alternatives to meet special education needs at each school;
• A track record of developing and maintaining strong working relationships with and among a diverse group of actors;
• Excellent communication skills and strong analytical and writing capabilities;
• Close attention to detail coupled with the ability to exercise good judgment;
• Strong organizational, oral and written communication, and interpersonal skills;
• Proactive nature; able to anticipate conflicts before they arise;
• Ability to work well independently as well as collaboratively;
• Ability to execute meetings, calls and emails with professionalism, courtesy and accuracy;
• Personal qualities of maturity, humility, strong work ethic, sense of humor, and diligence; and
• Ability to effectively allocate and prioritize time to several tasks to ensure completion of all.
About the Company
The Nature School of Central Indiana students follow their natural interests as they explore their world, discovering the interconnectedness of personal responsibility, environmental stewardship, and social equity. Students learn how to work interdependently and collaboratively, experiencing a transformative education as they grow into the next generation of engaged, global thinkers who compassionately challenge the status quo. We strive to be a nurturing, diverse, and inclusive community and to provide all of our learners with an exemplary education.
The Nature School of Central Indiana: Changing the world for the better, one learner at a time.
The Nature School of Central Indiana approaches education with time-tested philosophies of Montessori and Waldorf education with a focus on nature-based learning, honoring the child as a whole, fostering a local community and global mindset, with a commitment to educational leadership and institutional longevity.