Garden Teacher

Position Description

The Edible Schoolyard Project Garden Teacher supports the garden team in sustaining all aspects of the one-acre, organic Edible Schoolyard garden. They assist in designing and teaching daily garden classes for sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students, participate in lesson and garden planning, and work with the garden staff to develop and maintain a productive and educational garden. The Garden Teacher reports to the Garden Manager and Director of the Edible Schoolyard.

About the Edible Schoolyard Project

The Edible Schoolyard Project (ESYP), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was founded by Alice Waters. ESYP’s mission is to build and share a national food curriculum for the education system. We envision this “edible education,” like physical education, as part of the core curriculum of every school in the country. By providing all students with a free, nutritious lunch and interactive experiences in kitchen and garden classrooms, edible education has the power to transform the health and values of every child in the United States.

The Edible Schoolyard at King Middle School in Berkeley is ESYP’s demonstration site and center for curriculum development. The Edible Schoolyard curriculum is fully integrated into the school day and teaches students how their choices about food affect their health, the environment, and their communities. At ESY, students participate in all aspects of growing, harvesting, and preparing nutritious, seasonal produce during the academic day and in after school classes.

Roles and Responsibilities


  • Teach daily garden classes for sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students
  • Guide students in general maintenance of the garden with specific focus on compost, harvest, propagation, and cultivation
  • Mentor individual students in and out of class, model respect and curiosity for learning, and encourage students’ interests and talents
  • Design and conduct programming for adults participating in the annual Edible Schoolyard Trainings
  • Meet weekly to collaborate with garden staff in the development of garden lessons that are integrated with classroom teaching, ESY standards, social justice, and academic standards


  • Participate in general garden maintenance including but not limited to watering, propagation, greenhouse work, soil fertility, composting, crop rotation, garden planning, pruning, irrigation, pest and disease management, and animal husbandry
  • Meet weekly with garden staff to identify and prioritize garden work, class preparation, and other relevant tasks
  • Work independently during the summer to maintain the garden

Communication, Outreach, and Donor Engagement

  • Participate in ESY staff meetings and professional development
  • Maintain healthy relationships with ESYP staff, King teachers and administrative staff, students, parents, neighbors, partner school garden and kitchen educators
  • Maintain an awareness of, and actively participate in: ESY events, school events, and relevant community events
  • Represent the ESY program to the wider community
  • Give and receive feedback for effective team building and communication
  • Support volunteer and donor stewardship activities, events, and communications
  • Support Spring Plant Sale and Fundraiser, including solicitation of in-kind donations from local businesses and community members
  • Participate in ESYP fund development programs, including donor tours, campaigns, and special events onsite and offsite

Leadership and Training

  • Design and teach a ten week after school class series once a year
  • Develop and facilitate ESYP trainings for educators from all over the world
  • Collaborate with ESYP staff and partners on social justice and anti-oppression practices and policies


The ESYP Garden Teacher has a working understanding of the public education system. They are congenial, with exemplary organizational, communication, and writing skills. The ability to manage short- and long-term projects and perform tasks simultaneously—balancing program vision while tending to the mundane—is key to this position. The Garden Teacher is a self-starter, possesses strong social skills and a keen aesthetic, can make independent decisions, and is comfortable working within a highly diverse public school environment. The Garden Teacher should have insight into the impact of culture and identity on the schooling experience; examine the influence of race, power, and privilege on the educational process; and seek culturally responsive pedagogy and practices to ensure access for all students, especially those historically underserved by the educational system.

In order to perform the basic responsibilities of the job, all ESY staff:

  • Demonstrate excellence in innovative teaching
  • Have the ability to be challenged
  • Support others in the group when we work together
  • Demonstrate clear and strong communication skills
  • Respect each other
  • Are engaged in our professional development
  • Are honest even when embarrassed or scared
  • Are able to professionally address workplace issues
  • Seek to grow their awareness of how their actions impact students, staff, and peers

Qualifications specific to the Garden Teacher role:

  • Experience working with youth
  • Experience or a demonstrated interest with organic gardening
  • Ability to draw equipment and plants relevant to the garden classroom
  • Experience with basic computer programs and writing (especially Google Apps)
  • An ability to work outdoors in a physically demanding environment

Duration and Compensation

The Garden Teacher position is a year-round, full-time position. Competitive compensation package includes salary commensurate with experience, health benefits, and paid vacation.

Application Information

To apply, please submit a cover letter and résumé to Kyle Cornforth at with “Garden Teacher 2017” in the subject line.

Application deadline: ongoing until the position is filled. 
No phone inquiries or drop-ins, please.

The Edible Schoolyard Project believes that good food is a right, not a privilege. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we strongly encourage applicants from a diversity of backgrounds and from marginalized communities most impacted by an unjust food system.