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Gazebo Internship Program

Gazebo is a nature-based early childhood program for children ages one through six.

We offer a residential three to six-month internship program for students, educators, and individuals working with children and families. Interns will learn first-hand our unique educational philosophy and Gestalt-based approach to healthy growth and development. Interns also gain valuable experience in our nature-based setting, learning practical skills in gardening and animal stewardship. The program balances observation, self-reflection, study, and hands-on participation. 

Our Teaching Philosophy

The role of the Gazebo teacher is one of a facilitator, land steward, and model: "caretakers who teach by taking care of, and taking care in, whatever they do." (Janet Lederman, founder.) Interns are curious, self-motivated, and committed to their own learning and growth. At Gazebo, we honor the innate wisdom of the "inner teacher," supporting the natural unfolding of the individual's development. With that in mind, we have designed the internship program to allow space to cultivate and explore what becomes "foreground," or of interest, in response to the present moment.

Program Structure

Our internship program follows a flexible structure to guide and support the intern's experience. The first month focuses on observation and reflection as interns develop a connection to the environment and become familiar with our approach. In the second month, interns begin to interact with the children and engage in daily Park activities. The third month incorporates a self-designed focus in the Park, and additional months are an opportunity to deepen the experience and work towards a final project.

It is our hope that the internship experience is one of self-renewal, growth, and inspiration. As part of the greater Esalen community, interns are also given the opportunity to partake in daily movement classes, residential education offerings, and community events as the schedule allows. On days off, we encourage exploring the surrounding natural beauty of Big Sur, as well as the hot springs and redwood grove that grace our property.

Program Requirements

California State law mandates that all adults participating in childcare program have LIVESCAN (background check) clearance, as well as up to date vaccination records (MMR, TDaP, and Influenza) and a negative TB test taken within the last 12 months.

  • Experience working with young children and the outdoors is highly preferred.
  • Interns must be fully present and committed to the Gazebo program during their stay.
  • Housing is shared with Gazebo staff in the Farmhouse, which is used as the schoolhouse during the day. With this privilege comes the responsibility of maintaining a safe and appropriate space for children in accordance with state licensing regulations at all times.
  • Interns are responsible for feeding the animals on the weekends (training provided).
  • The internship fee is $450 per month, and includes room, board, and Esalen staff/student amenities.

To Apply

Applications are accepted year-round and positions are filled on a rolling basis. Please let us know the dates of your availability, complete the PDF application and the supplemental questions, and send to:

Gazebo School Park
Esalen Institute
55000 Highway One
Big Sur, CA 93920

Goats at Gazebo


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