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K-8 Outdoor Environmental Educator

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A K-12 progressive school tailored for gifted students

K-8 Outdoor Environmental Educator 

Are you an experienced, imaginative, and collaborative educator who believes in progressive education? Do you enjoy creating meaningful learning experiences, and being part of a diverse, supportive and talented community? If so, please consider joining our team at Tessellations. We are currently accepting applications for multiple full-time K-8 Outdoor Environmental Educator positions within our unique Nature Connections program. Successful applicants start Fall 2024. Depending on your situation, we may also be able to start you earlier. Competitive salary and full benefits available.

Tessellations is a progressive PK – 12 non-profit school for gifted learners based in Cupertino, CA. Our mission is to provide challenging experiential education that recognizes and nurtures the individual strengths of gifted learners, empowering them to confidently express who they are and pursue a meaningful life. At Tessellations, community is a core value, as it is the reason our small and mighty school was able to form and thrive despite the global pandemic. Our team consists of passionate, qualified and dedicated staff from diverse backgrounds and includes nationally renowned gifted experts. Our first year was online only. In our second year, we quadrupled in size, and we also added our Nature Campus. We’re in our fourth year with excellent staff and student retention, and extremely high family satisfaction. We moved to a larger campus in order to house our growing population, and in Fall 2024 we will launch our high school.

The Nature Connections program consists of weekly Outdoor Education classes provided to all students grades K-8 and is primarily designed to take place at our Nature Campus located in the nearby foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Outdoor Environmental Educators work with a variety of grade levels and facilitate a wide range of outdoor experiences to allow students to deepen their connection with and sense of belonging in the natural world. Our blossoming Nature Connections curriculum empowers students to become environmental advocates by connecting deeply with themselves and their community through nature, while simultaneously learning and developing mastery of the “Tessie9” competencies. The curriculum aims to amplify, integrate, and complement what students are learning on the main campus, through a combination of project based learning and emergent Nature Connections experiences. We place a strong emphasis on fostering Tessellations values and living our community vision of imaginative, empathetic, productive, and passionate lifelong learners who advance an equitable and sustainable world.

If you join our team you will help us grow our program and continue designing and delivering a rich, immersive learning experience. You will be heard, respected, and celebrated for your talents and efforts. You will work with students who love to learn, engaged parents who are grateful for your work, and supportive colleagues that will help bring out your best.

Primary Responsibilities

Educational Instruction

  • Work collaboratively with the Nature Connections (NC) team, coaches, staff and administration to plan and deliver an educational program in line with the mission, vision, and values of the Tessellations organization.
  • Support the growth and development of the whole child.
  • Create and foster a safe and supportive learning environment for all students.
  • With the support of administration and the NC Team, develop outdoor education  curriculum and related projects that integrate Environmental Education, English Language Arts, Social Studies, Art, Indigenous History, and Science.
  • Plan, implement, and iterate lessons, activities, and assessments while differentiating for  the intellectual, physical, and social-emotional needs of students as they arise.
  • Regularly assess the effectiveness of lessons and the extent to which they achieve instructional outcomes.
  • Regularly use and maintain documentation of multiple forms of assessment to gauge student learning and inform next steps in teaching.
  • Facilitate and document student learning experiences and share with the school community as appropriate.
  • Maintain effective organizational systems in physical and digital space.
  • Maintain engaging and organized learning spaces that reflect school identity, program values, and student identities, voices, and learning.
  • Plan, organize, and lead fieldwork and overnight/camping trips.
  • Prepare newsletters, family communications, and report cards.
  • Lead and contribute to school events and educational experiences, such as Tessie Gatherings, student socials, student and family centered events, field trips, and explorations as needed.
  • Aid in the maintenance and management of school vans and the transportation of students.
  • Obtain and maintain appropriate licensure and safety training to ensure Nature
  • Connections program operations and transportation requirements.

Staff & Family Partnership

  • Regularly communicate with families and colleagues to share program learnings and activities and to make student skill acquisition and learning standards visible.
  • Provide clear and detailed communication about individual student strengths, areas of growth, as well as areas of challenge through formal and informal verbal and written communication (such as conferences, class dojo, emails, report cards).
  • Communicate in a timely manner and with the appropriate protocols (SST, Alma Incidents, admin consultations, family communications, etc) when you have cause for concern about a student.
  • Response to family concern is handled professionally and with cultural sensitivity.

Collaborative Professionalism

  • Arrive on time to classes, meetings, and supervision assignments.
  • Ensure proper supervision of all students under your care.
  • Utilize curiosity, questions, respect, and empathy in community conversations.
  • Honor professional commitments.
  • Seek out opportunities for professional development and/or make an effort to conduct action research and/or try new strategies and approaches.
  • Welcome feedback from colleagues and supervisors and take action.
  • Actively participate in committee and department meetings, always offering suggestions and helping to carry out action items.
  • Seek support and utilize resources as needed to ensure execution of educational program and professional commitments.
  • Model and foster respectful and collaborative communication practices across the community.
  • Support the Tessellations admissions and hiring processes as needed.
  • Be proactive in serving the community (such as picking up trash, supporting a colleague, volunteering to help cover an emergency absence, etc.).
  • Complete other duties and responsibilities as required to ensure student safety and educational instruction.


  • Teaching credential, related masters degree, and/or evidence of similar training and expertise
  • Prior experience teaching students in Elementary and Middle School
  • Prior experience teaching in the outdoors
  • Prior experience learning and teaching Natural History and science
  • Prior experience and training in Project Based Learning and backwards design
  • Prior experience coordinating and leading fieldwork and overnight/camping experiences with students
  • Curriculum development experience for programs spanning one semester or longer
  • Familiarity with and commitment to DEIJ work and restorative justice practices
  • Proficiency with technology (Google Suite in particular)
  • Willingness to drive a 12-passenger vehicle to transport students, if able
  • Strong verbal, written, and executive functioning skills
  • Values collegial collaboration and individual improvement
  • Social-emotional teaching experience
  • Enthusiastic life-long learner
  • Experience in a fast paced school setting
  • Openness and flexibility in designing improved learning experiences
  • Passing a criminal background check upon hire

Bonus Points

  • Experience teaching students grades K-12
  • Experience teaching gifted learners
  • Experience using a competency based learning framework
  • Work experience in the Earth and/or Life Sciences
  • Class B driver’s license with 15 passenger endorsement, or willingness to get one if able to do so


Salary range: $70,000 – $95,000

Benefits include medical, dental, vision, life, 401(k), flexible spending account, paid time off, holidays, and school breaks.

To Apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume to careers@tessellations.school. For more information about our school, visit http://www.tessellations.school.

Tessellations is an Equal Opportunity Employer — we do not discriminate against any employee or job applicant on the bases of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, sex, or reproductive health decision making.

To apply for this job email your details to careers@tessellations.school

K-8 Outdoor Environmental Educator
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