Forest School Teacher: Kindergarten or Elementary

Job Description

Forest School Teacher: Kindergarten & Early Elementary

Join Trackers Earth and work outdoors and in nature. We seek mentors and teachers who see the wilderness as a teacher. This position is full-time, year-round. It goes beyond 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) who are genuinely excited to relocate to the East Bay Area.

Open Position
Teach in our summer camps June - August, then join our Micro-School staff for Kindergarten or 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.
Forest craft, primitive skills, and outdoor skills greatly preferred.

After reading through this post, click here to apply online.

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, and kids go outside every day. Learning becomes an adventure, blending academics with hands-on learning. Our curriculum centers around observation and participation with nature.  

Learn more about our innovative micro-school program!

We prepare students to live in the human world and the more-than-human one. They become lifelong practitioners of Forest Craft with a deep affinity for natural history, outdoor and primitive skills, folk art, and animal tracking.

Your Schedule

The following is a likely schedule for this position; however, because Trackers Earth is a dynamic organization, always expect the unexpected.

The School Year:

This is where you put in the most time. Our team of full-time educators help you learn the ropes.

  • 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.
  • Schedule for this position runs Tuesday to Saturday, with 2 consecutive days off.
  • With parents, develop essential community connections and create a thoughtful, collaborative relationship for mentoring.
  • You build upon your own skill sets, especially in the realm of Forest Craft.
  • You 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:

  • You 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 are more important to us than certifications and degrees. We look for a very strong background in a relevant educational setting with 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.
  • REQUIRED: Possess a current valid drivers license, an excellent driving record, and the willingness to get your Commercial Drivers License for vans and short buses.

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 out of doors.
  • Competent risk management skill-sets for diverse outdoor educational settings and beyond.
  • Natural history and ecology knowledge.
  • Practical navigation with and without compass and maps.
  • Wild edible plants for safety and subsistence.
  • 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.
  • Experience teaching early literacy, writing, and critical thinking skills in a classroom context
  • Respectful and almost obsessive 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.
  • Freaking hilarious: but NOT in jock-like, make fun of others way. More in wry, deep appreciation of life and the ultimate heat-death of the universe.
  • 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

    Required Certifications

  • 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.

Final Words

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.

Apply Online

If you feel you need more experience, we also have seasonal camp positions.

Application Closing Date: 
Not Specified
Employment Type: 
Job Region: 
Job Location: 
Berkeley, CA
Job Salary Range: 
Job Experience: 
3 - 5 years
Job Starting Date: 

Job Details

Job Details: 
Outdoor Skills School
Private School
Job Population: