Forest Kindergarten Associate Teachers

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Deadline to Apply:

Thursday, August 13, 2020, 12:00pm



Los Angeles, CA
United States

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Job Type:


Job Description:

Apply by reaching out to

Teacher Job Description - In the time of CoVid-19, outside the safest environment to work in. We will also provide Shieldkerchiefs and a few fabric masks we will decorate together as a team, and some decorated by the students. Please know, our teacher’s health is of the utmost importance and we will not put in danger.

About our program: At Northeast LA Forest School we seek to reverse the "indoorification of childhood" by providing real life, inquiry based explorations in nature. Children will be able to indulge their curiosity, let it guide their explorations, and build their scientific thinking through trial-and-error style play. Early literacy and math skills can be seen throughout our meaningful play. We go deeper into local parks to find climbing trees, mud pits, and ponds. Whenever possible we stop our hikes to explore off the beaten path. Our group play requires empathy, listening skills, and learning different forms of conflict resolution thus building social-emotional skills. Through play our children begin to discover their sense of self and others. Our group circle times are a time for reflection and conversation about our daily adventures. In additions to explorations our daily structure allows for snacks and lunch, songs, and diving into a few good books.

General Position Description

The teacher is responsible for aiding the lead teacher in the application of an age-appropriate, nature- based, emergent curriculum for 2-5 year olds enrolled in a 100% outdoor urban forest school.Teacher must model a healthy relationship with curiosity for the natural world . Teachers must understand children’s cognitive, social- emotional and physical development in order to ensure a safe and stimulating learning environment. The assistant teacher must be skilled in communicating with both children and adults in order to meet the needs of the children and resolve parental concerns.

This position reports to Director Becca Hackett-Levy.

Key Responsibilities

  • Able to follow Forest Kindergarten pedagogy. Our school is inspired by methods from Erin E. Kenny’s “The Cedar Song Way”, The Academy of Forest Kindergarten Teachers, Scandinavian practitioners Rikke Rosengren, and the Nature-Based, Play Based educational books by David Sobel. Some training and resources provided.
  • Be ready to learn, prepare, and perform, as part of a team, our programs Disaster Resilience plan. (training provided).
  • Be prepared to stay in CoVid-19 school bubble with no outside employment (often teachers can partner with families for after school care share jobs with children enrolled in our school “pod”) See other CoVid-19 Health Policies provided.
  • Be prepared to facilitate “messy and risky” play.
  • Lead by example.
  • Assist lead teacher with individual and group age-appropriate activities. Must be observant.
  • Able to record observations in journals provided while maintaining observation of students. Maintain frequent communications with parents through informal discussions and verbal progress
  • Reports at drop off and pick up.
  • Be able to administer ‘symptoms’ check in and take touch-less temperatures at drop off.
  • Ensure all school policies and state regulations are met.
  • Ensure a healthy learning environment – including maintaining appropriate hygiene and cleanliness standards and safety and security of children.
  • Aid children in hygiene and bathroom activities in public restrooms.
  • Help with daily activities such as arrival, welcome circle and songs, snacks, hike, lunch, storytelling, and dismissal etc.
  • Help maintain accurate records, forms and files.
  • Participate in creation of Benefit Risk Assessment/Site Assessments - and discussions of those in
  • the ‘Binder’
  • Maintain personal professional development plan to ensure continuous quality improvement.
  • Attend occasional parent outreach events, community celebrations, and get-togethers
  • Comfortable with changing diapers
  • Comfortable changing children with messy or soiled clothes (gloves provided)
  • Must be physically able to aid in toilet training ( bending, carrying).
  • Physically Able to fill, carry, and bring to base camp 2-3 large bottles of water for mud kitchen
  • Willing to do weekly laundry for school (blankets) (not every weekend, all teachers trade off).
  • Willing to do simple take home dish washing (not every night, teachers trade off)
  • Paid on the job trial and training to secure position
  • Able to “Learn new tricks”
  • You will be trained in language and techniques for facilitating risky play and alternative language used around child vs. child conflict.

Additional Knowledge, Skills and Experience Required

  • Minimum of 2 years of in an early childhood classroom a must.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills and basic computer skills.
  • Ability to work well with others (staff, children, and parents) and to foster a team environment.
  • A strong understanding of child development. Previous experience in or knowledge of Waldorf or Reggio Emilia a plus.
  • Crafts and/or survival skill knowledge a plus.
  • Infant/child CPR and First Aid certification (we will reimburse you for your class) Must have car and be able to carry some safety and care items in your car.
  • Must clear full background check and must pass health screening.
  • Must have 3 professional references.
  • Educational Requirements
  • Bachelor Degree in Education and/or Human Development a plus.
  • If no Bachelors, must show 8+ credits in early childhood credentialing, certification program, or master program.

Physical Requirements

  • Must be comfortable working outdoors in all weather conditions.
  • Must be comfortable getting dirty, able to sit on the ground.
  • Must be comfortable with occasional handling of bugs and other small living things.
  • Must be able to crouch, dance, dig, carry a backpack, climb, hike, and carry up to 40lbs.

Employment Type

Part-Time: 8:00-1:30 M-F

$15-$17 depending on experience.

When seeking to join our team, please considering we are a growing school with opportunities for advancement. We are looking for team members who want to learn new ways to work with children that removed the punitive nature of language between children and adults. We want children to want to try things because of the actual process of the activity, not what the product will be. We want them to want to achieve for themselves, not to make us happy. We are teaching the next generation of brave, strong, self aware, self sufficient, earth loving, community engaged creatures.

Examples from our staff handbook:

Roles of Teachers:

Observer: we can help children grow their own ability to assess risk by stepping back and observing their social interactions and explorations and only intervening when we observe a risk to be greater than a child can handle. We can remove said risk or, through narration of what we see, help children assess it for themselves and navigate accordingly

Silent by example: We want these children to understand that quiet is ok and in that silence they can learn GALLONS of information about their surroundings.

Not a playmate but a guide: Encouraging play between kids or solo play, we can pull back from becoming part of the imaginary play to open that space for them to create the play. In the times where you feel ineffective, model collecting of natural materials, hand-crafts, silent observation, or just watch. Observe them and recount later during meetings. It is ok to just observe and be there in case you are needed. Just always be engaged visually.

Preserver of childhood: academics will come in the everyday play with books, language in conversation, environmental print and more. Writing, reading, vocabulary skills grow in our play and exploration- we do not need to do direct teacher directed investigations of letters, let them play and find it themselves. When they express hunger for letters and numbers we will provide them. Until then, wait for the cue.

Position Start Date:

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Job Duration:


How to Apply:

Apply by reaching out to with your resume and a cover letter speaking to why working in nature with early childhood children is something that sounds wonderful to you!

Job Compensation:


Compensation Information:

$15-$17/hr with 27.5-30 hrs a week.

Paid Sick Time

Paid Vacations (during school breaks)

$225 stipend every year to attend professional development and classes.

Acess to consistant afterschool work within our school pod (CoVid saftey measure) if you want!

PPEs provided.