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Year Round Science/Nature Program Instructor

Kestrel Educational Adventures

Beverly, Massachusetts

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $20-$23
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

Begins Immediately. We are looking for BOTH a salaried, 80% FTE educator with benefits, and a per diem educator. The schedule for both is flexible. Both must commit to completing the seasons signed up for.  Per hour pay and responsibilities for both are similar. Both positions must start absolutely no later than April 1st, 2024, preferably sooner.

The Science/Nature Program Instructor will co-design and lead science adventures for kids in K-12th grade at outdoor sites throughout the North Shore. Most classes are for elementary and middle school school students. Classes are largely outdoors, with some indoor project components. The instructor will also be core instructional staff at our wilderness nature camps in the summer and during vacation weeks. As Kestrel is a very small organization, the instructors will work with the Program Director on the day- to- day operation of the organization and have substantial voice in new initiatives. This position has a great deal of responsibility as well as opportunities for creativity and leadership. We're looking for someone excited to take on the challenge.

We teach natural science and adventure education 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 touch points 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. Our instructors are skilled naturalists who understand and are unendingly curious about the natural world, and about our students and their ideas. We use a constructivist, inquiry based learning model and child-led learning. We do not use "turnkey" activities with pre planned outcomes, or lecture type teaching. We allow the natural world itself to inspire care and passion for conservation, rather than teaching values explicitly. Our programs are fun, exploratory, messy, muddy, sandy, wild, and different every day.

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 with other education staff to custom -build outdoor, experiential science and nature programs for schools and other groups
  • Collaborate with other staff to write curriculum for and instruct wilderness day camps in both the summer and winter, using original stories to tie together learning about the natural world and outdoor survival skills
  • Facilitate outdoor and indoor in person 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
  • Commit to working against racism, homophobia, and other forms of systemic injustice through culturally responsive teaching and group management practices
  • Travel to sites throughout the North Shore of Massachusetts to instruct programs, in your own vehicle 
  • Pack up supplies from our office and storage shed, and thoroughly clean, disinfect, and organize them when finished using them
  • Participate fully in preparation and thorough debrief of each day of classes
  • Other tasks relevant to the operation of programming, to possibly include organization and care of equipment, ordering and purchase of materials, basic care of grounds and building, assistance with enrollment, registration, and outreach, care of small animals, upkeep of website, and maintenance of social media presence. (Most of these tasks are shared among our small staff, as we have only program staff and no executive or maintenance staff).

Qualifications

  • Undergraduate or advanced degree in education or environmental field, OR equivalent experience
  • CPR/First Aid current certification required, lifeguarding certificate strongly preferred but not required - Can be acquired after hire
  • Fully vaccinated against covid-19, including booster shot as recommended, as well as all other childhood vaccines required for educators and students in MA.
  • Strong knowledge of New England Natural History, or the natural history of a similar region. We strongly prefer a candidate who has the ability to recognize and identify local plants and animals in the field.
  • Significant 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
  • 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.
  • A supportive and non-punitive approach to group and behavior management, along with ability to provide structure and boundaries to students to support positive behaviors.
  • Willingness to work towards systemic equality
  • 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
  • An appreciation of all living things and the natural environment, and a hardy willingness to properly prepare for and enjoy outdoor explorations in any weather
  • Your own reliable vehicle with ample empty space for transporting teaching equipment, and a clean driver's license. (We pay for your mileage and hours to and from job sites, starting from the office).
  • 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

About Kestrel: Kestrel Educational Adventures is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based out of Beverly, Massachusetts. We offer place-based natural science adventures for schools, family groups, and the general public. Our participants learn through direct experiences in the local natural world, guided by qualified instructors with flexible plans. We believe in building a better and more sustainable world through excellent, student – centered natural science education. Our program instructors guide children in developing their abilities to make and share original discoveries and understand complex natural systems, or sometimes just to find nature connection nearby. We believe that everyone should develop their own values through experience, and that this is the most powerful route to sustainability and conservation action. We teach everyone that they should wander, explore, touch, imagine, and live in the natural world. Because of our small size, we do not have any any staff housing facilities. Also as a result of our small size, our staff all are involved in making big decisions and shaping Kestrel.

HOW TO APPLY

To Apply: Email a resume and cover letter, detailing why you are interested in Kestrel specifically, and how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position. We are more interested in a story or two that illustrates your interest and fit for the specific position than a repeat of resume points.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Environmental Education, Outdoor Recreation
Tags Naturalist, Outreach