Forest School Educator

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Stick children

Deadline to Apply:

Saturday, May 21, 2022, 11:30pm



Friday Harbor, WA
United States

Job Category:


Job Type:


Job Description:

Are you ready to help create magical moments in an enchanted forest with curious little ones? Do you love 3-7 year olds, their play, passions and investigations? Do you enjoy, nature exploration, arts and song, storytelling and bush crafts? This is a wonderful opportunity to joyfully guide children in their own learning journeys, in the beautiful forest landscapes of the San Juan Islands, Washington.

A rental exchange is available on the property.


Our Vision

Childhood is a magical time of curiosity, exploration, discovery and wonderment. In the presence of a loving educator and in mother nature’s arms, this natural state can thrive. At Little House the Forest, we focus on the holistic needs of the children: their social skills, resilience, creativity and self-esteem, to help them succeed, in any setting, throughout their lives.

Little House in the Forest, trusts that children will naturally gravitate towards the learning they seek, when given ample time for free play in the forest environment. We believe in creating a supportive multi-age (3 - 7) community in which children are mentoring, learning from and collaborating with one another.

The children in our care, are encouraged to express compassion for themselves, one another, and for our world, by connecting to the tiniest ant, the vastness of the universe and everything in between.

Our practices draw on knowledge of Forest School, Reggio Emilia & Waldorf approaches, and most importantly, are guided by the unique culture that is created by the learning community and the flow of each class. We observe, listen and respond to our learner’s needs as they engage in free play, nature exploration, optional activities, teamwork and their passions, throughout the rhythms of the year.

Child to Educator ratio: 5:1 Maximum

Job Description

As an educator at Little House in the Forest, you will be a companion, role model and mentor to around 15 children aged 3 - 7 years old.

They will invite you to tell them stories, work in a mud pie restaurant, experiment and get messy with natural paints, whittle a hazel twig, spot them climb a tree, open a store, make sun prints, create a fairy house, crack walnuts with rocks, build a playground with ropes in the trees, make dolls with natural materials, watch their shadow puppet show, make fires and cook on them, pretend to be an animal, unicorn, dragon, monster, construct natural shelters, play hide and seek, collect pine cones and rocks, be a rough and tumble play referee, roll over a log and investigate mini beasts, make lemon balm tea, sing in the rain, plant in the garden, forage chickweed and dandelions, eat salmonberries, lie in the grass and gaze at the clouds, jump in a muddy puddle, watch a tree frog whizz through the grass, marvel at a maple seed spinning, listen to the call of the eagles and the buzz of a hummingbird…..

In all of this, you will be a play investigator, understanding the rich purpose and learning that is taking place.

The ideal candidate will love children and their play, have at least two years experience working with ages 3 - 7 years old, be passionate about the Forest School approach, the natural world, and enjoy being outdoors in whatever conditions the weather offers!

The candidate must have a strong belief in free play and informal, flow-based approaches to education. The ethos allows the school community to take ownership of their own learning journey and focuses on the personal, holistic development of the learners.

At Little House in the Forest, teamwork, flexibility, open communication, the ability to reflect and a growth mindset are essential to creating a successful, co-operative teaching team - the foundation for our learners. The chosen candidate will have the opportunity to share their unique talents, as appropriate, with the learners and their co-workers.


Role and duties:

    •    Assist the director in undertaking dynamic assessments of each student’s development.

    •    Observe and record children’s interests, learning styles and holistic development.

    •    Participate in meetings with director to identify learners’ needs and help plan for experiences.

    •    Assist in the preparation and creation of experiences and projects.

    •    Purchasing school supplies.

    •    Purchasing and preparing snack foods.

    •    Assisting in preparation for family festivals.

    •    Create documentation during class, upload photos and learning stories for children and parents to access.

    •    Maintain an active interest in Forest School and holistic educational approaches.

    •    Reflect regularly on own practice & growth..

    •    Ensure risk assessment, safeguarding and health and safety policies and procedures are adhered to and applied at all times.

    •    Establish and gently maintain clear boundaries and agreements with the learners.

    •    Ensure the children receive appropriate gentle care, loving kindness, and supervision at all times.

    •    Assist children with conflict resolution and developing social / emotional skills.

    •    Through sensitive and careful interactions (modeling, coaching, observing) support the children in setting and achieving their own aims.

    •    Assist children in safely managing risky play.

    •    Demonstrate high expectations of the children in all aspects of their development, from self-care to communication and language.

    •    Form caring, loving and appropriate relationships with the children in our care.

    •    Form positive relationships with the parents of our children.

    •    Ensure that all children are offered equal opportunities.

    •    Help set up class, packing away afterwards and generally keeping site and equipment maintained. To include installing tarpaulins during wet weather, helping prepare camp fires, helping with trail building, making simple constructions etc. Tiding and cleaning our bell tent, supplies and storage area.

    •    Undertake all the practical aspects of looking after 3–7 year-olds and ensuring their wellbeing; e.g. helping them change, ensuring hands are washed, helping them at meal times, making sure they are warm enough, protected from the sun, offering comfort in times of distress, etc.

    •    Regularly communicate with parents and carers, giving them feedback about their child’s day.

    •    Carry out all duties and planned activities to a high standard every time, within the agreed hours.


Qualifications Required:

    •    At least two years experience working in an educational setting with ages 3 - 7 years

    •    Love of children’s play and playful learning adventures

    •    Ability to assist in conflict resolution, and help children with social / emotional skills

    •    Love of the outdoors come rain or shine. Sharing enthusiasm and protection for nature

    •    Ability to lift at least 50lbs

    •    Ability to work as both a team and be self-motivated to work alone

    •    Comfortable switching between lead role and assistant role, as needed

    •    A reflective approach to professional and personal growth

    •    Good practical sensibility: camp fires, use of tools, installing shelters, cleaning, organizing, maintaining trails etc.

    •    First Aid (or willingness to obtain certificate)

    •    Current Food Handlers license (or willingness to obtain)

    •    A background check would need to done


Qualifications Desired (but not required):

    •    A qualification and / or experience in Forest School, Environmental Education, Reggio Emilia, or Waldorf.

    •    Qualification in Child Development

    •    Knowledge of Flora and Fauna of the San Juan Islands


Dates: September 1st 2022 - late June 2023 (We hope that you will stay for a number of years!)

(summer program dates to be confirmed).

Hours: 8:30am - 1:30pm Monday - Friday.

With at least 3 additional hours per week for planning and preparations. There may also be the opportunity for some extra hours working on administration.


Pay: $18 - $21 per hour depending on experience

Paid Leave: You will be paid for 2 extra weeks in December.

Gear Stipend: $150


Professional Development: Funding available for relevant training programs / conferences


Housing: A rental exchange is available on the property (cute, handcrafted cabin!). We can also assist with other housing options and additional part time employment on the island.

Position Start Date:

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Job Duration:


How to Apply:

Please email two or three paragraphs expressing your interest with your resume to:

Job Compensation:


Compensation Information:

$18 - $21 depending on expereince.

Paid leave

Gear stipend

Low rental housing exchange

Contact Name:

Amy Plant

Contact Phone:

360 298 5699

Contact Email: