California: Slide Ranch seeks Program Assistant

1 May

Reports to:     Program Manager

Available:        May 1, 2011 (posting date: April 28, 2011)

Residence:      One bedroom house

Compensation:  $17,000 – $19,000/ year + housing, health benefits, food

Position:         Full Time, Resident position

Slide Ranch – Mission and Background

Slide Ranch teaches visitors the impact our choices have on food, health, and the environment, through hands-on activities and independent exploration of our farm and coastal wild lands. 

Founded in 1970, Slide Ranch is a non-profit agriculture and environmental education center.  Overlooking the Pacific Ocean just north of San Francisco within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) between Muir Beach and Stinson Beach, the facility sits on a 134-acre historic dairy farm that is over 100 years old. Organic gardens, goats, sheep, and chickens, along with the coastal wild lands and tide-pools, provide an ideal outdoor setting for teaching environmental awareness. 

We customize our educational programs to meet the learning needs of groups of all ages, ethnicities, cultures, and backgrounds, focusing particularly on elementary school-aged children. Approximately one-third of our programs support under-served populations.  Throughout the school year children from urban and suburban areas travel to the Ranch and encounter the animals and gardens that are the source of foods they buy at the corner store or grocery store.  Slide Ranch’s educational programs are taught by teaching interns, who spend 10 and 1/2 months living and working on site.

Position Summary:

The Program Assistant reports to the Program Manager and is responsible for helping to train and supervise our teaching interns and coordinate the day to day implementation of Slide Ranch programs.  This position helps coordinate our teachers’ work schedule, ongoing professional development, and non-teaching work responsibilities.  The Program Coordinator works with the Program Manager to refine existing programs, create new programs and/or curricula, and conduct outreach to the public.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Maintain or exceed the present high standard of safety and quality of education at Slide Ranch on a day to day basis
  • Participate in hiring new teaching interns
  • Help plan and conduct 3-week teacher training and 1-week summer camp teacher training, in collaboration with Program Manager and relevant staff
  • Communicate with all group leaders prior to their visit to discuss program content and logistics of field trip
  • Help coordinate the teachers-in-residence daily and weekly schedule, including teaching responsibilities, chores, and non-teaching responsibilities (e.g. garden and ranch work, site rental hosting, etc.), and help facilitate effective, positive communication between all departments involved
  • Help coordinate professional development days to other farms and educational programs as well as on-site professional development and ranch related activities for teachers-in-residence throughout the year
  • Help facilitate weekly Program Meetings of teachers-in-residence
  • Provide continual support to the formation of a healthy, supportive, and productive teaching team through sharing skills of communication and conflict resolution, and facilitating cooperation and mutual respect
  • Supervise accurate collection of daily program statistics and assist in collection of additional information needed by particular grants
  • Review participant evaluation forms and present them to resident teachers and other Slide Ranch staff at program meetings, summarizing key feedback.  Make appropriate program-related improvements, and communicate any relevant feedback to other departments.
  • Resolve problems regarding structure or quality of programs, safety of program participants, and well-being and performance of teachers-in-residence, consulting with Program Manager as needed, and working with other appropriate staff to resolve problems as needed
  • Assist Program Manager in producing Special Events and programs
  • Conduct teaching observations and evaluations with teachers-in-residence
  • Collaborate with Slide Ranch staff to ensure professional coordination of programs and teacher administrative responsibilities
  • Help coordinate and conduct in-site presentations at schools that come to Slide Ranch for overnights or other special programs
  • Purchase program supplies
  • Teach when needed
  • Make improvements and updates to curriculum and program-related materials, time permitting
  • Serve as a reference for teachers-in-residence for future jobs and school applications

Other Responsibilities:

  • Participate in Board Meetings as needed
  • Represent Slide Ranch at special events and outreach opportunities
  • Answer phones & provide other administrative support to Program Manager and other office and operations staff
  • As part of the residential aspect of the position, participate in residential chores, monthly resident meetings, and cooking dinner for fellow residents twice each month
  • Help train new teaching interns in residential aspects of working at Slide Ranch
  • Other duties as assigned


  • A passionate commitment to children’s learning and well-being, to environmental education, and to sustainable agriculture
  • Demonstrated ability to function well as a team member
  • Outstanding communication skills, both written and oral
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills
  • Ability to both be detail-oriented and see the larger picture in order to prioritize
  • Computer proficiency with Microsoft Office programs and experience with data entry to a database program (we use Filemaker Pro)
  • Ability to communicate effectively with people of diverse backgrounds and ages
  • Bachelor’s degree or progressively responsible equivalent work experience in related field
  • Training and mentoring skills
  • Self motivated and hard working
  • Emotionally mature
  • Ability to maintain positive attitude under stressful circumstances, be solution-oriented, de-escalate conflict, and lead by example
  • Ability to relate to the public and represent the organization with warmth and professionalism
  • Some supervisory and/or leadership experience

Desired Qualifications:

  • Awareness of environmental justice issues in low-income, urban communities
  • Bilingual skills, especially Spanish
  • Experience working with people from diverse cultures, socio-economic backgrounds, languages, nationalities, sexual preferences, gender identities, religions, and ethnicities
  • Experience in the field of progressive education and/or teacher training
  • Experience teaching in and/or supervising environmental and agriculture-based education programs, including summer camps
  • Some gardening and/or animal care experience
  • Prior experience living and working with the same group of people, particularly in a rural setting


This is a full time, residential position.  Room and board, health and dental benefits, paid holidays and vacation, with additional salary of $17k to $19k per year depending on experience.  Food is mainly organic and housing is on-site and rustic, in a spectacular location on the coast just north of San Francisco.

To Apply:

Please mail, email, or fax your resume, cover letter and three references.  This position is open until filled. We expect to fill it quickly. In the cover letter, indicate why this position is of interest to you; describe any relevant experience in supervising, teaching, environmental education, agriculture, and previous experience living in a community.

Please mail, fax or email complete application to: Slide Ranch, Attn: Program Assistant Search, 2025 Shoreline Highway, Muir Beach CA 94965, email, fax 415-381-5762.  For more information about our programs, please visit

*Please note that Slide Ranch emphasizes diversity in both our programs and our staff.  People of all colors, cultures, class, genders, and sexual orientations are encouraged to apply. 

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