So you want to work for T.R.E.E.’s Overnight programs …
To have some idea of what you’re getting yourself into, read on!
Since 1995, T.R.E.E., Teaching Responsible Earth Education, has been teaching 4th, 5th and 7th graders about the Earth in a place where they can touch it, at an age where they get it – and in a way they remember.
T.R.E.E. offers 2 overnight programs:
Sunship EarthTM for 5th graders: 5 day/4 night overnight experience. A class of 5th grade students (35 or fewer) comes from the New Orleans area with their classroom teacher and 5 parents/other adult chaperones, to our Outdoor Classroom in Covington, LA.
Sunship IIITM for 7th graders: 3 day/2 night overnight experience. Similar arrangement to 5th grade program listed above, but entirely different curriculum.
Your role as Earth Educator:
This is not summer camp! Your job as a staff educator for both of these programs is to teach solid life science concepts to students from diverse backgrounds and school settings. Our curriculum is rigorous and engaging and is aligned with the new LA state curriculum requirements in science.
Primarily, you are a teacher. The curriculum has already been written (hooray no lesson planning!). You are responsible for learning the ‘script’ – for that’s the product into which T.R.E.E.’s lessons have been tweaked and perfected. You must know your part and then teach it, so that the students get it! Additionally, you’re responsible for managing behavior and guiding the adults accompanying the students so that they are most effective. Our scripts and management techniques allow you to do effective teaching.
You will be very well trained and incredibly well supported. The nature of this demanding work requires that all of the staff work very closely and cohesively together. We depend on each other and support one another. And it works. To work at T.R.E.E. you must be a team player – in that you give your best, expect the best of others and are willing to do what it takes to make both of those realities happen.
In addition to teaching science-based stations in the woods, you are ‘on’ from when you rise early in the morning until you go to bed (later than you’d like). At meals you may need to help serve food and will wipe tables, in addition to eating with the kids. And then you will enthusiastically jump up after the meal to lead a post-meal activity. At all times of the day, in all activities we maintain the same expectation for behavior from the students for which ample training is provided. At night T.R.E.E. staff members make the students feel comfortable by getting them ready for bed and in the mornings we wake them again to start another wonderful day of learning and experiences.
A TYPICAL DAY WITH STUDENTS MAY INVOLVE:
Helping students feel comfortable touching the earth by crawling on their hands and knees, lying down, and participating in fun yet structured lessons
Teaching a 30-60 minute activity through creative acting while following a well structured script
Constant monitoring of students for behavior and discipline all the time – yes, we know that’s redundant!
Exploring the woods off the trail
Setting up your station and taking it down, independently, in an expeditious manner – may involve lifting, hammering, wheel barrowing and other physical tasks
Helping students enjoy sitting in the woods daily in an individual, quiet place when this may be their first time in nature.
Giving directions to other adults
Walking with kids at night in the woods
Guiding students as they make discoveries and helping them answer their own questions; facilitating, so that students creatively solve problems for themselves
Waking up early to be on duty at 7am
Leading an assigned post-meal activity
Taking children (sometimes) to the bathroom in the woods
Teaching a song
Sitting at a campfire and roasting marshmallows with kids while monitoring for safety
Putting kids to bed: ensuring they are comfortable, have enough blankets, etc.
Maintaining a pleasant disposition even after 4 days of little rest and lots of work
Leading by example for all we teach
And, of course, smiling (genuinely) while completing all of these activities in the rain, heat, cold, mosquitoes and unexpected turns of events!
If all of this sounds like a lot, it is. And, the rewards of working so long and hard ----incredible! For many of the students, this is their first time spending time in the woods, their first time away from home for such a long duration, and their first exposure to new teaching and learning methods. Introducing kids to new places, new ideas, new science, and new experiences is thrilling. Kids who have a hard time in a traditional classroom often thrive in this setting and thereby discover the joy of learning. And the students, though they are demanding, give you energy with their boundless depths of creativity, ingenuity, cleverness, silliness and love of life. The demands and the rewards are both high.
If you think you’ve got what it takes, if you love working with kids and you would love teaching them about how the Earth works, please contact us.
Then email, fax or mail your cover letter and resume to the number or address below.
Please direct application to Sue Brown and include that the application is for the Sunship position.
T.R.E.E. does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in employment or in its programs or activities.