The Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center (OEC) is a great place to start your career in environmental education! Each year, we hire Naturalist Teacher Interns who spend the school year teaching students hands-on science in the woods; they are provided with ongoing training and support to help them become the best educators they can be, as well as explore and learn about other environmental career paths.
Naturalist teacher interns transform the Glen Helen Nature Preserve into a thousand acre classroom, teaching elementary students standards-aligned science lessons, facilitating community building, and providing a connection to the natural world during their residential program at Glen Helen Outdoor School! Ongoing training and support is provided as part of this community learning experience.
The Glen Helen Naturalist Teacher Internship begins with 2 weeks of intensive training, and segues into a semester-long practicum, an intensive learning experience that merges theory and practice. Naturalist Teacher Interns teach elementary students standards-aligned, science lessons; facilitate community building; and provide students with an experience-based connection to the natural world during a transformative multi-day residential program at Glen Helen Outdoor School, all the while cultivating community and student growth!
We are committed to fostering lifelong learning at the Glen Helen OEC, and thus ongoing training, professional development, and mentorship is provided throughout the entire program. Interns live and practice within the Glen Helen Nature Preserve. This internship will provide you with real-world experience in preparation for employment as a naturalist or educator; our alumni can be found in parks and environmental learning centers across the country.
Our curriculum is aligned with Ohio Education Standards, and Naturalist Teachers have the freedom to creatively develop individual lesson plans to hone their teaching style and persona. Lesson topics include observation, questioning, senses, wildlife, succession, nocturnal animals, forest ecology, stream ecology, geology, environmental problem solving, cultural history, cooperation and team building.
To qualify for the Naturalist Teacher Internship program, an individual must be able to perform each primary responsibility. The Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center aims to make reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform primary responsibilities. The Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center 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.
Naturalist Teacher Interns are required to regularly stand for long periods of time and walk up to 5 miles per day on uneven terrain, while carrying a 25-lb backpack in all weather conditions. Naturalists must be able to verbally communicate and have visual abilities that allow them to deliver programs safely.
If you are interested in and passionate about our work, please do consider applying, even if you do not meet all the requirements; we would still like to hear from you and learn about how we can make this field more accessible to all.
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