Nature's Classroom
Employment

Thank you for your interest in Nature's Classroom!

We hire qualified, energetic people who are committed to the value of outdoor education. We take pride in our staff, and look forward to hearing from you. Please read over this page thoroughly and follow the link at the bottom to the Application Process page.

Staff Vibe:

Over the years, Nature’s Classroom staff members have had a wide variety of previous experiences, but most of our staff come from a strong background in outdoor recreation, education, or related fields. All Teachers are college graduates, but we do provide one Intern Teacher position each semester for a student who has not yet completed their degree. Most Intern Teachers are in their final year or semester of college.

Nature’s Classroom serves schools from all over the southeast, predominately working with grades 3-7. Therefore, teachers who love teaching, enjoy children, and appreciate the natural environment are key to the success of the program. Nature’s Classroom provides opportunities to grow as a leader through facilitation of small and large group activities. Our staff lead educational hikes, teach environmental ethics, and facilitate hands-on classes in all academic areas. Activities focus on cooperation, communication, and team-building using group initiatives and the low challenge course. Other activities include: archery, canoeing, night hikes, climbing tower, and various high challenge course elements. All staff members continually strive to better the program and themselves through in-service training days, providing feedback for each other, and sharing personal knowledge and experience.

The Nature’s Classroom staff is a close-knit group. Staff members live, work, and play in close quarters; adaptation to communal living is a must. More often than not, staff members spend much of their time off together, pursuing the many outdoor passions they share.

Qualifications:
  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Have a Bachelor's Degree in any subject (Intern Teacher working towards a degree)
  • Be willing to be certified in First Aid and CPR (provided, if not currently certified)
  • Be willing to undergo a criminal background check
  • Have verbal and auditory ability to communicate
  • Be fluent and literate in English
  • Have an adequate level of physical fitness for hiking through rough terrain and leading active classes, games, and other activities
  • Have previous experience working with children
  • Have a strong commitment to outdoor experiential education
  • Be creative, flexible, fun, and have good communication skills
  • Have a strong commitment to children and learning

General Responsibilities:

  • Lead and instruct participants during: educational hikes, hands-on classes, evening activities, large group activities, teambuilding, canoeing, archery, climbing tower, as well as the low and high challenge courses
  • Plan and facilitate activities in a manner that promotes safety and success for all participants
  • Observe student behavior, assess its appropriateness, enforce appropriate safety regulations and emergency procedures, and apply appropriate behavior management techniques
  • Cooperate with all other staff and visiting adults to complete tasks and support the goals of Nature’s Classroom
  • Represent Nature’s Classroom to participants, guests, and the public with kindness, integrity, and professionalism
  • Assume responsibility for the safety of participants and staff and respond to critical incidents and emergency situations in accordance with Nature’s Classroom policies and procedures
  • Act as a liaison between adult participants and other staff, including: other teachers, administration, kitchen staff, maintenance staff, and housekeeping staff
Time Commitment:

While most of Nature’s Classroom staff return for multiple semesters (or multiple years!), all contracts for Teachers and Interns are for one academic semester at a time. The fall semester usually starts in late Aug or early Sept and ends in early Dec. The spring semester typically starts in late February and ends in late May. Staff generally works 4-5-day weeks, usually weekdays only, but the occasional weekend group can result in a rare 6 or 7-day work week. The hours worked each day also vary quite a bit with workdays ranging in length from 7-13 hours.

Perks, Benefits, and Wages:


Weekly salary for staff is calculated based on daily pay rate. Each staff member’s starting daily pay rate is determined based on their education, certifications, and experience. Most work weeks are 5-days (usually Mon-Fri), but there are a few 4-day work weeks each semester, which result in a few 3-day weekends! There is also occasionally a 6 or 7-day work week when we have a weekend program, which is usually only once or twice a semester. The salary is adjusted up or down accordingly on those weeks based on the daily rate and the number of days worked. Teaching staff receive a $5 raise in their daily rate every semester they return and a $200 bonus for signing on for the next semester prior to the end of the semester. In addition to salary, staff receive room and board, including: meals, private bedroom, paid training, and use of phone, internet, and washer/dryer. Other benefits include a location within a short distance of great caving, climbing, mountain biking, hiking, and whitewater paddling.


What is Close By:

  • Mentone, AL - (5 minute drive) Small town with: gas station, post office, small (but delicious) restaurants, antique shops, local artisan festivals, public library, farmers market, and DeSoto Falls Park.
  • Valley Head, AL - (5 minute drive) Small town with Dollar General, community parks with nature trails, medical clinic, small diners, and a pharmacy.
  • Desoto State Park - (10 minute drive) Alabama State Park with opportunities for hiking, waterfalls, mountain biking, bouldering, geocaching, nature programs, and historic destinations.
  • Little River Canyon National Preserve - (20 minute drive) Operated by the National Park Service with opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, bouldering, whitewater kayaking, scenic drive with many overlooks, nature programs, waterfalls, and an education center.
  • Fort Payne, AL - (20 minute drive) Small city with Wal-mart, K-Mart, multiple pharmacies, multiple medical clinics, hospital, grocery stores, various local and chain restaurants, Alabama Fan Club & Museum, Trail of Tears historic sites, city parks, post office, etc.
  • Chattanooga, TN - (45 minute drive) Larger city with many tourist destinations, active downtown area, Target, McKay’s (used books), Earthfare, Starbucks, lots of local and chain restaurants, Tennessee Aquarium, minor league baseball team, parks, hiking trails, Chattanooga Nature Center, rock climbing, mountain biking, etc.
  • If you have further questions you can email them to natures@hiwaay.net

Click here to Apply Now Current Staff
P.O. Box 400 - Mentone, AL - 35984 - natures@hiwaay.net - (800) 995-4769