Forest Playschool Aprenticeship Program 

The Forest Playschool, at North Park Village Nature Center, is an outdoor preschool in a 12-acre natural area.  Our days are structured to enable long periods of unstructured flow learning via exploration and play.  Teachers take the role of maker, helper, and guide.  Our child-led methodology nurtures the development of critical thinking skills, patience, compassion, risk-assessment, resilience, and an intimate connection with the living earth.

Forest Schools are becoming more common in the United States.  The Forest Playschool wishes to support the development of the larger Forest School movement by training future practitioners.  Teaching outdoors in a natural area is entirely different from teaching in a classroom.  The Forest Playschool has created an Apprenticeship Position for applicants who wish to practice in the field with support from an experienced mentor.

To apply, send resume and cover letter to Teresa Weed, Lead Teacher, at


Duties and Responsibilities

  • Create play areas, remove litter and hazards, and other physical tasks to maintain the forest site
  • Support children using tools
  • Support unstructured play
  • Outdoor kitchen chores
  • Gardening tasks
  • Errands such as shopping and laundry
  • Engage in a course of study focusing on early childhood education, play, and nature


  • Ability to work outdoors in all weather
  • Ability to lift 40lbs and remain active for extended periods of time.
  • Self-starter
  • Ability to take risks and solve problems creatively
  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to pass a background check
  • Science background, gardening skills, sewing, cooking, and/or carpentry helpful


Apprentices are invited to commit to either a M-T, W-TH-F, or M-F schedule. The work day runs from 8:30am to 2:00pm.  Apprentices will be hired for approximately 5 month sessions.  The Forest Playschool is currently hiring for February-June 2017, and for September-January 2018.

Pay $12/hour