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 Non-critical staff to leave Esalen this week due to weather and road conditions. Read more.


Gazebo School Park Early Childhood Teacher

Job Summary

Gazebo School Park is currently seeking a dynamic teacher who enjoys working outdoors with young children (infants - 6 years). This is a full time, year-round co-teaching position with the option of living at Esalen, only if housing is available at time of hire. 

Program Description

Esalen’s Gazebo School Park, founded by Janet Lederman in 1977, is a state licensed infant/toddler and preschool program, specializing in nature-based education for the whole child.

The Place

The Gazebo Park is a beautiful and safe children’s park overlooking the Pacific Ocean on the grounds of Esalen Institute. Our outdoor classroom spans over one acre of gardens, meadows and orchards with reading nooks, art spaces, children’s theater and climbing structures throughout. We prepare homemade organic meals with much of the produce coming from on-site gardens.


Gazebo offers a play and inquiry-based curriculum that promotes inner-directed learning and fosters a healthy sense of self. We hold a holistic view of the child, honoring the individual's learning and growth in relationship to self, to others, and to the environment. We are a nature-based program that encourages contact with the natural world, with opportunities for exploration and participation in caring for the land and gardens. We value respecting children’s pace, supporting independent exploration and nurturing positive communication, self-expression and group collaboration. Gazebo teachers model clear and positive communication using Gestalt principles. Teachers also help children to further their knowledge through literacy, project work and the expressive arts.  See our webpage for more information about the school.

Areas of Responsibility

  • Providing quality care in the Gazebo method for children in the Big Sur community as well as visiting Esalen workshop participants/leaders
  • Fostering positive connections with the Parent Community
  • Fostering connections between Gazebo, Esalen and beyond to the Big Sur communities
  • Maintaining Park grounds and Farmhouse as outlined in the daily routine
  • Overseeing care of animals and gardens
  • Directing and guiding interns
  • Participation in meetings, group process, planning, and reflective practice
  • Commitment to ongoing growth and professional development
  • Participation in Fundraising efforts


  1. Must either:
         a)  possess a Child Development Teacher or Master Teacher Permit issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing
    or  b)  have completed 4 specific ECE courses: Child Development; Child, Family, and Community; Programs and Curriculum; and 3 units of Infant/Toddler coursework.
  2. Experience teaching in an early childhood program
  3. Gardening, outdoor and/or animal experience preferred
  4. Certification in pediatric CPR and First Aid
  5. Must submit to and successfully pass a background check
  6. Current negative TB test and immunizations
  7. Understanding of or a willingness to learn Gestalt Awareness Practice
  8. Strong collaboration, time management, problem-solving, and communication skills. Flexible and resourceful working style with willingness to take initiative. Reliability and punctuality are a must.
  9. Ability to provide care to both infants and pre-school age children

Miscellaneous Requirements

  • Willingness to work mostly outdoors in hot, cold, or wet weather
  • Ability to stand for prolonged periods of time and to move quickly and easily from sitting to standing
  • Ability to kneel and/or bend at the waist for lifting/interacting with children and/or equipment up to 50 lbs
  • Ability to walk hilly and/or uneven terrain
  • Ability to visually scan large spaces to ensure child safety indoors and out


The pay for this position is commensurate with experience. This position includes a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, and paid time off. Esalen provides access to an extensive range of educational and community benefits, including movement classes, ongoing in-house programs, and discounts and scholarship for workshops, bodywork, and other Esalen services. Living at Esalen is only an option if there is available housing at time of hire.

About Esalen

Established in 1962, Esalen is a leading center for exploring and realizing human potential through experience, education, and research. We work toward the realization of a more just, creative, and sustainable world, seeking answers to questions unlikely to be explored by traditional universities and religions. We sponsor pioneering initiatives and offer personal, spiritual, and social transformation programs for residents, interns, and workshop participants. To learn more about our history, browse our program and workshop offerings, please explore this website.

To Apply

Submit resume, including cover letter, detailing your qualifications, experience, and interest by email to

Application Deadline

Open until filled.


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