Apply below after reading the full description.
If you feel you need more experience, consider our seasonal camp positions.
Forest School Teacher: Elementary School
Join Trackers Earth and work outdoors and in nature. We seek mentors and educators who see the wilderness as a teacher. This is a full-time, year-round position that goes beyond being simply a job and connects you to a community.
When & Where
Full-time, Year-Round. Apply to start June 2019. East Bay Area, California.
We welcome applicants from all areas and regions (everywhere).
Micro-School elementary school teacher. Teach in our summer camps June - August, then join our Micro-School staff for Elementary age in Fall 2019.
Experience & Skills
Individuals interested in and qualified for a full-time outdoor educator position.
Experience in education and long-term mentoring essential.
Experience in teaching literacy greatly preferred.
Formal training in teaching literacy greatly preferred.
Traditional and outdoor skills experience preferred.
$39,000 - $42,000 yearly depending on experience. Excellent medical benefits package.
The Forest is Our Classroom
We are a school of community and nature. Students learn with each other and their mentors. The forest is our classroom. When kids go outside every day, learning becomes an adventure, blending academics with hands-on experiential education. Our curriculum centers around observation and participation with the natural world.
Learn more about our innovative micro-school program!
We prepare students for a deeply meaningful and engaged life by teaching them to pay attention to life around them and to shift they worldview beyond the strictly human.
The following is a likely schedule for this position. (However, Trackers is a dynamic organization: Always expect the unexpected.)
The School Year:
The school year extends September through May. During this time you’ll be teaching and planning in the Micro-School program, and also spending some admin time preparing for summer camp.
- Work with our core staff to deliver an ongoing curriculum for different programs, potentially including but not limited to the following: Micro-School (3 day a week outdoor Forest School), Homeschool, Youth Weekend Apprenticeships.
- Most schedules for this position run Tuesday to Saturday, with 2 consecutive days off.
- Develop essential community connections with parents in order to create a thoughtful, collaborative relationship for mentoring.
- Build upon your own skill sets. Perfect your practice of traditional skills and level up your pedagogy
- Pitch in with other programs or community events as needed when your schedule allows.
- Contribute to developing internal and external learning resources for students.
- Perform community outreach for the future longevity of our programs through open houses and other events.
Summer and School breaks:
- Manage or work on a camp team teaching outdoor skills to students on a variety of subjects and themes.
You take direct feedback from core members of Trackers Earth's leadership team, our Regional Director, staff with long-time experience in our curriculum, and all participants.
Experience & Skills
Real world experience and competency competence are more important to us than certifications and degrees. We are looking for a very strong background in a relevant educational setting as well as wilderness skills (preferably both).
- At least 3 years of outdoor education experience and training.
- At least 2 years teaching experience in an outdoor classroom or indoor classroom.
- Possess an excellent driving record and the willingness to get your Commercial Drivers License.
The list of useful skills encompasses teaching, bushcraft, wilderness survival, primitive skills, and nature awareness. Other skills could include but not be limited to the following:
- Educational experience thoughtfully managing groups of younger children outdoors.
- Competent risk management skill-sets tools for diverse outdoor educational settings.
- Natural history and ecology knowledge.
- Practical navigation with and without compass and maps.
- Identifying and sustainably harvesting wild edible plants.
- Experience with primitive, bushcraft and wilderness survival skills.
- Comfort in all weather conditions. Ability to scale all-weather training to develop more rugged capacity in all students.
- Respectful care for tools and equipment.
- Exemplary communication skills with students, parents, and colleagues.
- Stellar attention to detail and administrative skills as an organizational Jedi.
- Exceptional reliability, and punctuality: You will be the clock by which all others on our team are set.
- Comfort using various technological communications to collaborate with local and cross-regional colleagues including methods such as phone, email, Google Apps, carrier pigeon, etc.
- Ability to continuously stand, hike backcountry terrain on and off-trail, bend, squat, climb stairs/hills, lift up to 50 lbs
- Pre-employment checks: criminal background, reference, requirements in MVR Policy, Alcohol/Drug Test for drivers
- CPR/First Aid certified (or ability to complete before position begins)
- Anaphylaxis & Epinephrine Auto-Injector certified - Online Course here
- Food handlers certified (or ability to complete before position begins)
- State fishing license (if working with programs that fish)
Our Four Guilds
Trackers Earth has its own lore that makes its curriculum more interesting. Our programs feature Four Guilds. Nerdy yes, but it works. Here’s the story of the guilds. They have their own integrated logos and style. When the story is useful, we use it. When it’s not, we go with better ideas. One of our core values:
All models are wrong, some are useful.
So we present our own wrong but useful model:
The Rangers Guild survives as the hunters and protectors of the Village. Versed in the arts of Forest Craft, they train in wilderness survival, tracking, and awareness. They are the eyes and ears of the Village, living completely with the land and tending to it, invisible as the Wind.
The Wilders Guild lives as caretakers, restoring the land to what it once was... and beyond. Through Folk Craft and Wisdom they tend to the balance of the Village, guiding the needs of the people into harmony with the rhythms of life in all seasons, rooted in the Earth.
The Mariners Guild fish and tend to the creeks, rivers, and oceans. Mariners chart their course by the stars, currents, and tides. In trade and salty wisdom, they demand Respect for all the life found in the depths of the Waters.
The Artisans Guild opens our eyes to noble purpose and possibilities. They act as our story keepers; travelers bare-of-foot, walking and sleeping under the twilight sky. They ask one and all: Always keep the hearth fire burning, Remember our story.
The Code of Common Sense
Pay Attention: Push the edges of your awareness: eyes, ears, and all your senses. Keep an open mind and heart. Don't restrict yourself with a narrow view of things. The challenges and opportunities Nature offers often go unseen. Pay Attention to the spaces and places most people ignore.
Be Truly Helpful: Understand the difference between what you believe is helpful and what is Truly Helpful. Complaining about being cold and hungry is not helpful. Building a campfire or catching fish is helpful. When you put the needs of your community first, you become Truly Helpful.
Respect: Many think surviving in nature means struggling against it. Yet, like a Mariner sailing the currents of the sea, we can Flow with nature. Take the time to experience the true way of things: creeks, plants, animals, birds, trees, the wind, clouds, stars, the sun, and the moon. By giving your time, appreciation and Respect, you become part of their Flow.
We're doing it wrong, let's do it better: Perfect is boring. There's no perfect way to shoot a bow or weave a basket. There is only progress. Be excited that you're always doing it wrong and there are countless ways to improve. Like the plants, animals and even mountains, you never stop growing. You can always Do It Better! This one ethos is what makes Trackers Earth very difficult to work with for some people and incredibly relevant for others.
This is by far not the perfect description of this job. In fact, your role will be far more nuanced and in-depth. You’re getting more than a job. You’re creating a healthy and thoughtful livelihood with an excellent community of people. If you get what we mean by this, you may well be a good fit.
If you feel you need more experience, we also have seasonal camp positions.