Environmental Educator

Nature's Classroom Institute

Lake Geneva , Wisconsin

NATURE'S CLASSROOM INSTITUTE is a non-profit five-day residential outdoor education organization providing innovative, multidisciplinary instruction to students in 1st through 8th grade. We are currently seeking college graduates with a strong commitment to bettering children and the environment to join our team and teach in a supportive and energetic program that goes beyond traditional environmental education. Please visit our website for more information: www.discovernci.org

Summary: Seeking energetic and passionate educators for 9 month outdoor school in Lake Geneva, WI (approximately an hour from Milwaukee, Madison, and Chicago)

  • $70/day ($350 per five days) plus room and board. No overnight or weekend duties with students
  • Housing: Onsite communal living in shared housing. Washer and dryer provided. Small fee for WiFi required for the season. Food provided when program is in session (weekdays)
  • Hours: Typically Monday-Thursday 8AM-10PM, Friday 8AM-2PM (this can vary due to group size, weekly schedule and experience, subject to change throughout the season).
  • Teach topics you're interested in - not from a set curriculum.
  • Always looking to create a diverse staff of various backgrounds, genders and ethnicities.
  • All educational backgrounds are welcomed and encouraged as long as you have an enthusiasm for teaching children and being outside.

Responsibilities and Experiences Gained:

  • Lead hands-on field studies for students ages 5-15 in a variety of environments such as woodlands, lakes and prairies.
  • Develop and strengthen your skills as an educator by teaching students with a wide variety of socio-economic backgrounds, special needs and school cultures.
  • Flexibility to choose and develop engaging curriculum based upon your own personal interests and educational background.
  • Facilitate teambuilding initiatives and low-ropes challenges.
  • Participate in large group activities that include topics such as social simulations, historical reenactments, ecological concepts, team/character building and invasive species removal with students.
  • Take the opportunity to become part of a supportive, diverse community of teachers and support staff.
  • Opportunity to inspire over 3,000 students from 60 local schools over the school year
  • Gain public speaking skills by introducing activities, processing information and leading meals in front of large groups of students, teachers and fellow instructors.
  • Strengthen leadership abilities by coordinating supplies, logistics and roles of staff before, during and after large group activities.
  • Plus many more!

Required Qualifications:

  • Recent (up to five years) Bachelor's degree in education, any of the sciences, environmental education, history, English, sociology and/or related field.
  • Strong commitment to spending long days with children of various age ranges
  • Willingness to expand creativity, interest in motivational learning and community awareness.
  • Advocate for the environment and conservation of natural resources.
  • On-site residence is required. Must be willing to live in communal housing with a shared bedroom with minimum one other person. (Sorry – We do not allow furry pets)
  • Ability to work effectively with co-workers and supervisors to achieve the goals of the program.
  • Demonstrated enthusiasm for the outdoors and outdoor education, even when long days and conditions are challenging.
  • Flexibility and the ability to deal with the unexpected and quickly changing nature of outdoor activities and children.
  • Demonstrated professionalism as related to the field.
  • Pass a background check

Preferred Qualifications:          

  • Special skills such as music, storytelling, role playing, and teambuilding are helpful.
  • Ability to work independently, be a team player, and be a motivated, self-starter
  • Ability to work with a wide range of people and attitudes.
  • Ability to effectively engage in behavior management that maintains students’ interest and participation in outdoor classes and activities.
  • Must have basic public speaking skills such as enthusiasm, voice inflection and varied facial expressions.
  • Must exhibit consistent professional characteristics such as a positive attitude, initiative, emotional maturity, self-responsibility and a desire to develop professional skills.
  • Experience working with children from various socio-economic backgrounds, special needs, and cultures.
  • Background in Montessori (or related) teaching philosophies
  • CPR/First Aid training (provided if necessary) and Wilderness First Aid training (not necessary but nice to have).

Physical Requirements:

  • Walk up to two miles at a time with small breaks on relatively flat terrain  
  • Run for short spurts at a time
  • Lift and carry up to twenty pounds
  • Carry a full backpack for up to two hours at a time
  • Work outside in varied weather conditions such as snow, rain, intense heat and buggy conditions
  • Bend, squat and sit on the floor for various lengths of time


Dates: Staff contracted until the end of the school year (summers off) with last week ending in a camping trip to Devil’s Lake, Wisconsin. Staying for two seasons is encouraged (but not required) to fully develop your skills as an educator. We are looking for someone to start as soon as possible.

-Latest desired start date: April 9, 2018; End Date: June 8, 2018 with the potential to stay on for the following school year.

Serious/final applicants have the opportunity to speak to current instructors regarding our program.

How to Apply: Email an updated resume and cover letter highlighting experience working with children and why you would be a good fit for the position to Kristen Mehl, Education Director, titled “Environmental Educator – First and Last Name.” (Email – eedirector@nciw.org) Any questions will happily be answered via email.

  • All applicants must be capable of an hour long phone interview with a director and/or current staff member.
  • Applicants will hear back from the director via email.
Latest Research News