Seasonal Ecology Instructor (spring with opportunity to extend to other seasons)
30-40 Hours Per Week: April 12-June 18
The Program Instructor will design and lead outdoor science adventures for kids in K-12th grade at outdoor-only sites throughout the North Shore, with some programs and some meetings occurring remotely over video chat platforms. We teach natural science through direct, student centered investigations in the natural world, and creative projects. Our approach is to use connection to small local wild places and to plants and animals as touchpoints for understanding science, building community, and nurturing emotional health. All our programs are focused on original observations, thoughtful understanding, and students’ ideas. We are silly and playful and also very serious about learning and teaching. This position is for one season, from approximately April through June, with the possibility of extending for additional seasons. The hours are variable and will be discussed during the (virtual) interview phase. We don’t do any in person meetings of instructors at this time. Instructor scheduling preferences are taken into account to the best of our ability. Your work will be a mix of solo in person teaching and collaborative video teaching. Some programs may be one hour and occur only once, while others will involve working with groups regularly throughout the semester. All programs are custom tailored to the audience.
Principal Duties and Responsibilities:
• Collaborate (remotely) with other education staff to custom -build experiential science and nature programs for schools and other groups
• Facilitate outdoor ecology programs for students in preschool through high school, to be custom designed for each group
• Cultivate students’ science process skills and ecological literacy; mentoring them to ask and answer questions, and to use direct observation, analytical thinking, and collaborative design to do so
• Facilitate the development of outdoor skills such as fire crafting, compass navigation, and shelter building, using our ForestBook Skills Tracker.
• Maintain excellent group management and build a strong learning culture that values ideas, creativity, real science, and inclusion
• Care for student physical and emotional safety in outdoor settings
• Travel to sites to instruct programs, in your own vehicle
• Pick up supplies from our storage unit and thoroughly clean and organize them when finished using them
• Participate fully in preparation and thorough debrief of each day of classes
•Other relevant tasks as needed
•Undergraduate or advanced degree in education or environmental field, or equivalent experience
•2 or more years experience teaching children in classroom and/or field settings, or experience as a field naturalist or field biologist along with a natural affinity for education and a high comfort level instructing groups of young children
•Experience teaching in - depth, cumulative science skills and natural history, ideally using essential questions and adapting lessons to students’ ideas, interests, skills, and spontaneous events in nature.
•Willingness to relinquish some predictability and control in favor of authentic student voice and genuine inquiry
• Trust in children’s ability to construct learning and meaning for themselves with guidance, and ability to provide flexible enough learning experiences to allow them to do so
•Comfort handling small, harmless wildlife, including insects, amphibians, and reptiles.
•Strong interest or background in New England natural history
• A supportive and non-punitive approach to group and behavior management
• A willingness, confidence, and ability to strongly enforce rules and boundaries
•Ability to carry up to 30 pounds, and to walk uphill on or off trails up to 2 miles a day, in all weather (though we rarely walk more than a mile on any school program)
•Strong concern for the natural environment and an interest in working towards its protection by educating young people •Reliable vehicle with ample empty space for transporting teaching equipment, and a clean driver's license
• Ready willingness to accept both positive and constructive feedback, and to be part of a culture that values supportive feedback and constant professional growth for all
• Ability to teach and make decisions as part of a collaborative team
• Enthusiasm for the process of teaching and willingness to be a reflective educator, constantly fine tuning your skills and lesson plans
COVID-19 Response: We take covid-19 prevention very seriously. Programs will take place entirely outdoors or remotely, with both masks and distancing for everyone, on all in - person programs. We will schedule programs with school, homeschool, and family groups as requested. The nature of the in person position is that you will instruct solo, with substantial (remote) support from the Program Director, and also that, by necessity, there will only be work hours available when we are able to schedule programs. We will do our best to support your safety and your teaching and naturalist practice. We believe that learning outdoors is a safer alternative for children than indoor learning, and we are looking forward to working with our local communities to assist them in putting substantial outdoor science learning in place this year, and into the future.