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Kindergarten and Early Childhood

Forest Kindergarten lead teacher

Jul 02 2017 | Taproot School | Oakridge, Oregon

Taproot School is seeking a lead teacher and an assistant teacher for the 2017/18 school year.

Taproot School is an outdoor preschool, rooted in Waldorf traditions, in a forest setting. We serve a group of 12 children, ages 3-6, September through June. Located on private land just outside Oakridge, OR, the school offers children access to forest with trails, a tree house, and other play areas, a lakefront area, small creeks, vegetable and flower gardens, and chickens. Covered outdoor spaces include areas for imaginative play, arts, music, and sharing meals. The school was started, and is directed by Erika Coyer. Erika has a Masters in Education, a Waldorf Teachers Certificate, and extensive experience with outdoor environmental education.
Taproot School is modeled to be a “forest kindergarten” that celebrates the many benefits of outdoor learning. Forest Kindergartens began in Denmark in the 1950’s and are steadily growing in popularity across Europe and the US. The growth of this movement is fueled by a wealth of research proclaiming the many benefits of free play in nature. Studies note increased cognitive flexibility, use of imagination, emotional capacity, creativity, self-discipline, and much more. Children who spend significant time outside daily tend to be more harmonious, cooperative and imaginative and have improved motor skill development and sensory integration. In short, they are happier and healthier!

The program will be all outdoors from mid September through June. It is a Waldorf based program with a focus on wilderness awareness and developing social skills through creative play. There will be 12 students, ages 3-6.
The school operates Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 9-1. Either the lead or assistant will also work with a smaller group during the extended day option from 8-9 and 1-3 (possibly coming inside on cold afternoons). For the right person, opportunities to expand the program and take on a greater leadership role are available.

Lead teacher applicants should have:
• Training and experience in early childhood Waldorf education, but other holistic education methods will be considered.
• Experience facilitating meaningful outdoor experiences with groups of children
• Willingness to collaborate with the director, assistant teacher, and parents to attune the program to the needs of the students
• Excellent communication skills, both with colleagues and children
• Ability to work independently at times
• Physical stamina to hike with a backpack, carry children, etc.

Assistant teacher applicants should have:
• Experience working with early childhood education
• A love for being outdoors and experiencing nature
• Excellent communication skills, both with colleagues and children
• Ability to work independently at times
• Physical stamina to hike with a backpack, carry children, etc.

Lead teacher will be paid $14-$18 per hour dependent on experience.
Assistant teacher will be paid $10-12 per hour, DOE

Oakridge is a small mountain community, the nexus of five rivers, surrounded by enchanted forested mountains. Recreation opportunities abound on trails, rivers, and lakes. The school is a 1-hour commute from Eugene. There is a studio apartment available on the property for the right applicant.

Please send a letter of interest and resume to Erika Coyer, director, at
[email protected]

You can also check out the Taproot School facebook page,

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