Looking for playful, responsible, nature-loving FACILITATORS/PLAYWORKERS
for outdoor classes after school
(And Junior Playworkers too!)
Brooklyn Wild, a small nature and adventure play program in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, is seeking part-time facilitators of our outdoor classes for toddlers – 5th grade. Our team is playful, creative, reliable, flexible, and patient. We are comfortable working outdoors every day, in all kinds of weather, and have a deep respect for children’s autonomy and individuality. Facilitators must be interested in using the philosophy of playwork (paid training provided).
Our facilitators bring their passion, creativity and warmth to every class. Fun, flexible and patient, they don't provide structured activities. Instead, they build relationships and respond non-judgmentally to children's ideas and needs. A typical day might include building forts, throwing a ball, storing supplies, watching quietly, taking a walk, reading aloud, climbing or tying knots. Playworkers balance being deeply present for individual children “in the moment” while observing the play site as a whole. Effective communication with other team members and adult caregivers is essential.
Help create and uphold a space and time conducive to free play
Be willing to train in the philosophy of playwork and demonstrate professionalism and best practices, including:
Responding to challenging behavior with compassion, respect and reasonable choices
Respecting children's choices and ideas
Be willing to learn and grow through the reflective process
Ensure the safety of all participants through observation, risk-benefit assessments, an understanding of the weather and positive conflict resolution
Maintain equipment and prepare class materials, including lifting or carrying up to 50 pounds
Conduct daily written reflection on play activities, take photos and attend monthly staff meetings
Commute with students from their schools to our outdoor classroom
Help students with their gear and snack, following all COVID safety guidelines
Be an advocate for free play and nature connection with parents and neighbors
Be willing to accept and act upon feedback, work through challenges as a team, and keep the children’s best interests at heart
Eighteen years or older with at least one year of experience working with children between the ages of 3 and 10.
Ability to communicate and collaborate with a team, and willingness to grow through reflection and professional development
Familiarity with the benefits of independent play and/or nature education
Flexibility, adaptability and patience
Punctuality and reliability, excellent time management and the ability to problem-solve independently
CPR and First Aid certification, or the ability to acquire these certifications before employment
Must pass a background and reference check and be at least 18 years old
Highly desirable, but not required:
Fluency in Spanish, Mandarin, ASL or another language besides English
Photography and video editing skills
Outdoor skills such as knot-tying, building shelters or carpentry
A knowledge and interest in outdoor experiences such as camping, hiking and exploring
Knowledge of local Brooklyn flora, fauna, history and waterways
Familiarity or experience with alternative educational models such as forest schools, democratic schools, nature schools, unschooling or emergent curriculum
Benefits and schedule:
Pay is $20 - $22/hour, depending on experience
Summer hours are three - five days a week, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm, JUly 18th - Sep 2nd. Shifts are assigned in advance and will be as predictable as possible
Potential for the role to go past summer
For the school year, earn one class day of paid leave per semester after 30 days on the job
We follow the public school calendar and are closed for most holidays
Please send a cover letter, resume, and three references to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brooklyn Wild is a mission-driven, low-profit LLC in Sunset Park, Brooklyn that offers the space, time, and permission for children to lead their own play while connecting with nature and community. We operate classes using the principles of forest schools and adventure playgrounds, and advocate for all children’s rights to free play and access to the outdoors. Visit bkwild.com to find out more about our program.