|Title:||Nature Preschool Educator|
|Reports to:||Executive Director (year 1) then Education Director (year 2)|
|Status:||Exempt, up to 36 hours a week, Mid-August – Mid-June with the option to work summers|
|Salary:||Hourly, $15.25 an hour|
|Posting date:||June 22, 2021|
|Start Date:||August 16, 2021|
Founded in 1978, Eagle Bluff is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. As a year-round residential environmental learning center, we provide accredited education programs and outdoor adventures to over 16,000 children, adults, and families each year. We are located in rural southeastern Minnesota, just a few miles from the small historic town of Lanesboro in Fillmore County. Through hands-on learning in nature, we aim for people to leave Eagle Bluff with experiences that stick with them and inspire them to become lifelong stewards of the environment by:
- Fostering a sense of respect, stewardship and community
- Imparting life skills such as teamwork and problem-solving
- Increasing environmental awareness & academic literacy
- Promoting positive outdoor experiences
- Sparking curiosity and appreciation for the natural world
Eagle Bluff’s newest program is a Nature Preschool is a partnership with Semcac Head Start. Our kindergarten readiness program for children ages 3-5 uses environmental education to support the development of the whole child. We piloted the preschool with just Head Start students during the 2020-2021 school year. For the 2021-2022 school year, we are expanding enrollment to include 7-10 non-Head Start students.
Eagle Bluff is seeking a highly collaborative outdoor educator, specializing in early childhood, to share their passion for the outdoors with young children, ages 3-5 who attend our licensed child care program 4 days a week. The Nature Preschool Educator will work closely with the Head Start Education team to design and facilitate outdoor experiences that align with the curriculum. Our nature preschool aims to nurture a child’s relationship with the outdoors through play, trail walks, games, off-trail exploration, animal encounters, song, and art. An ideal candidate will have a variety of life experiences, patience, previous early childhood experience, sense of humor, and knowledge of the natural world. A typical work week is 36 hours. Friday there is no class however this day can be used for planning. Occasional weekends are scheduled for special events.
- Collaborate with co-teachers to brainstorm and execute outdoor activities
- Co-teach groups of no more than 20 children in mixed age classes of 3-5; depending on the outdoor experience the large group will likely split into two groups while outdoors.
- Embrace outdoor exploration in most weather conditions including winter
- Approach teaching as a facilitator/guide, allowing children to take the lead
- Help create an environment of joy, appreciation, and wonder through words, actions, and presence
- Encourage and supervise child-led wild, on and off-trail nature play
- Foster problem solving, collaboration, confidence building and imagination by providing just enough scaffolded assistance to children
- Develop strong positive partnerships with families, students, and co-teachers
- Communicate clearly, empathetically, and regularly with other staff, families, and interns
- Collaborate with co-teachers to conduct on-going risk analysis and hazard-mitigation
- Maintain supplies through routine cleaning, including possible state-mandated disinfection
- Authentically reflect and evaluate self-practice and programs
- Attend required on-going professional development courses as required by MSDE
- Participate in special Preschool or Eagle Bluff events
- Regularly observe children during all activities to assess growth and inform future planning
- Document learning and activities to share in program specific manners with families
- A Bachelor’s or advanced degree in early childhood education or a Bachelor’s or advanced degree and coursework equivalent to a major relating to early childhood education, with experience teaching preschool-age children.
- 2 years teaching outdoor education
- Experience in nature based programming and demonstrated interest in conservation and environmental education
- Self-motivation, flexibility, enthusiasm, creativity, collaboration, and patience
- Strong emotional intelligence, including empathy and listening skillset.
- Demonstrates working knowledge of hazards and risk assessment as related to the environments of young children
- Current First Aid and CPR certification or ability to complete by end of August, 2021
- Physically able to walk up to 2 miles a day, in all weather, and lift objects of up to 50lbs
- Comfortable with meeting children where they are on a given day at their pace
- Your own reliable transportation
- Must clear background check.
An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above.
Communication, detecting, traversing, and operating skills are needed. The physical demands of this job will vary but typically require:
- Constant movement and use of limbs including but not limited to typing, hauling, bending, pushing, and pulling
- Frequent traversing to a significant degree (2 miles) up/down hills
- Navigating a variety of surfaces, sit, kneel, stoop, crawl, twist, reach above head, climb stairs or ramps, and carry up to 50 lb.
- Frequent communication (speaking and hearing) and information exchange in person and digitally on computers, phones, and radios.
- Frequent interaction with non-living and living creatures not limited to birds, insects, reptiles
- Frequent exposure to weather elements, such as low and high temperatures, precipitation, wind
- Daily Meals (Breakfast, Lunch, and snack)
- 7 paid holidays and 5 flex days; PTO
- The option to receive health insurance; Eagle Bluff pays 60% of premium.
- Health Saving Account: If enrolled in an EB plan, Eagle Bluff will match up to $35 per paycheck.
- If the employee opts out of health insurance and enrolls in another/partner’s plan, Eagle Bluff will pay the employee up to $140 per month.
- Retirement accrual of 4% of gross wages
- Professional development funds
First review of applications will begin on July 12, 2021. To apply, submit cover letter specifying qualifications and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail:
Eagle Bluff ELC
Attention: Colleen Foehrenbacher
28097 Goodview Dr.
Lanesboro, MN 55949
Eagle Bluff ELC does not sponsor work visas, thus, in compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify eligibility to work in the United States by completing the required I-9 form upon hire. Employment will require the selected candidate to pass all background, criminal record, fingerprinting, reference checks.
Eagle Bluff ELC is an equal opportunity employer that promotes and values diversity. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability.
All employees are required to satisfactorily perform the essential functions of their positions. The essential functions listed above are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job. However, no accommodations will be made which may pose serious health or safety risks to the employee or other or which impose undue hardship on the organization.
Job descriptions are not intended as and do not create employment contracts. The organization maintains its status as an at-will employer. Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time. Employees can be terminated for any reason not prohibited by law.