Teachers- Your Stay at Foothill Horizons


Where will I stay and how can I be reached?

During your time at Foothill Horizons you will be housed in the Teachers’ Retreat, a fully furnished building with fireplace, fridge, microwave, coffee maker and double occupancy rooms. There are six rooms, each with two beds, a sink, and a bathroom shared with another room. You will need to bring your own bedding and toiletry articles. See photos of the Teacher's Retreat here.
You can be reached by phone at the Teachers’ Retreat: (209) 588-0532,
or, in case of an emergency, at Foothill Horizons’ main line: (209) 532-6673.
If you bring your cell phone to Foothill Horizons, we request that you not use it in front of counselors or students. Please also be aware that many cell phone providers do not offer coverage in this area.
Wi-Fi is currently available for your use in the Teacher’s Retreat.

What responsibilities are outlined for me by SCOE?

Your main responsibility is ensuring the safety of your students. This means you will be disciplining students, assisting with group management and emotionally supporting kids in need (eg. homesick). You will also be making connections between the outdoor education experience and the classroom. The kids' experience at Foothill Horizons is directly proportional to your involvement as a teacher.
Please read the "Teacher Responsibilities" as outlined in the contract between your district/school and Stanislaus County Office of Education.
Foothill Horizons is a school site and is under the jurisdiction of the California Education Code.
Classroom teachers and other supervisory personnel remain on site with the students. On your night off you will leave at 5:15 pm and return by 9:00 pm. Upon your return, please check in at the Health Office for an update on your students’ status.

What should I expect on the first day at Foothill Horizons?

The morning of the first day
Your students will be divided into their activity groups by their naturalists. They will be having a hike/lesson together until lunch time, while you have your orientation with the director in the Staff Office near the Health Office.

After lunch
You will meet with your naturalist and counselors in the Staff Office. This will be your opportunity to share with your naturalist and counselors the classroom preparation you have done with your students, what you want your students to gain from the outdoor school experience, and the follow-up you have planned when you return to school. Please also share with them the expectations you have for your students as far as behavior, journal work, etc. Are you grading the journal? Check in with the Health Office regarding your students’ medications.

Afternoon schedule
12:00 Lunch; supervise a table of students.
Escort students who have packed their medicine in their luggage to their luggage. Assist them in bringing the medicine to the Health Office.
1:45 Check in with the Health Office regarding your students’ medications
2:00 Lessons begin. Your naturalist will indicate where to meet. Supervise students.
3:45 Lessons end; return to the Dining Hall.
3:55 Meet with the Director in the retreat. Please bring your binder.
4:00 Counselors and the Evening Naturalist will join us in the Dining Hall.
4:45 Meeting ends; you will be free until 5:30.
5:30 Fire drill. This will be your signal to go to the flagpole and supervise the students while a staff member gives them directions. Please bring your class list.
5:45 Dinner. Please supervise a table of students.
7:00 Campfire at campfire circle located behind Teachers’ Retreat. Supervise students.
8:00 Class meetings. This is a good time to remind your students about being “Superior”, write letters home and take a group picture.

What is the schedule for a typical day?
The activity schedule you receive upon arrival will indicate which naturalist will be your teaching partner, as well as what activities you and your group will be participating in each day. Click on the link below to see a sample teacher schedule.
Teacher Daily Schedule

What will be my duties during the week?
• Supervise Students
• Assist with Group Management & Discipline
• Support Homesick Students
• Foster Connections between Learning at Foothill Horizons and Learning in the Classroom
• Communicate with Naturalist:
-Goals you have for your students
-Favorite activities
-Class management techniques
-How you prepared your students for outdoor ed / relevant curriculum
During Class:
-Walk at the end of the line
-Support your naturalist with group management
-Pull kids aside to correct behavior
-Separate off task children
Instructional responsibilities
During hikes and lessons your main responsibility will be to supervise students and manage their behavior as needed. Such support will allow your naturalist to devote all of his or her energy to instruction. If you want to lead a particular activity during the week, just let your naturalist know in advance. We welcome your involvement in lessons to whatever degree you are comfortable.
Teacher- led activities
Teachers have time alone with their students for half an hour two days after lunch. They also lead two 1-hour evening sessions over the course of their stay at Foothill Horizons.
“Teacher times” are perfect times for you to check in with your students, write letters home, practice presentations (on 5-day weeks), or lead activities that tie in with your classroom studies.
Although your naturalist may have some suggestions for “teacher time” activities, you are encouraged to plan at least one lesson prior to your arrival at Foothill Horizons.
**Please note that counselors are never present during “teacher times”.
Teacher Time Activities
Out-of-class supervising responsibilities
Dining Hall Meals
During meals in the dining hall, teachers sit with students and help to supervise tables throughout the entire meal.
Teachers inspect the dormitories every morning after breakfast. The goals of inspection are to encourage students to be responsible for their own living space and to learn to work together.
Two teachers will supervise freeplay (recess) each day from 4:00 to 4:45 p.m. If you are the teacher signed up for detention duty, you will supervise detention during the first 15 minutes of freeplay, and then join the other adult supervising the yard (see the Discipline section for more on detention).
Students do not shower on their first and last days at Foothill Horizons. On all other days, teachers are responsible for supervising 3-minute showers in the dorms. This is usually a one-time duty, but depends on the male/female ratio of students and teachers.
Evenings in the Dormitories
Teachers are responsible for supervising students in the dormitories from 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Monday through Thursday evenings. You will assist the students in getting ready for bed and determine which dorms are Superior (silent after 9:30 p.m.).

What are the goals of this program and what can I expect from the lessons?
Class Descriptions (PDF)
Common Core at Foothill Horizons
Next Generation Science Standards at Foothill Horizons

What are Thursday night presentations and Friday enrichments?
Campfire Presentations
On Thursday nights, each dorm delivers a creative, 2-3 minute presentation to their peers. The topic for this presentation is selected by the dorm’s naturalist and the students are provided with time to practice throughout the week (including “teacher time”, if desired). Counselors frequently take charge when it comes to presentations, but your support may also be necessary.
Each Friday morning, naturalists and teachers offer a one-hour lesson for 10-15 students. Students pick the enrichment of their choice based on total Superior and inspection points earned throughout the week. We welcome your creativity! Standard enrichments that Foothill Horizons has supplies for include but are not limited to:
Art at the sky tower
Art with Osi
Bird feeders
Advanced Blind walk
Compass treasure hunt
Endurance hike
Frisbee Golf
Me-wuk Bracelets

Do I get any time off during my stay at Foothill Horizons?
Yes! Teachers have an hour off during on-site picnic lunches (11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.). You will also get one evening off per week (provided your class is here for more than three days total). On your evening off you may leave the site at 5:15 p.m., but must return by no later than 9:00 p.m.

Who takes responsibility for discipline issues and is there a code of conduct?
Teachers are the primary people responsible for discipline and teaching students how to behave appropriately. The director or evening naturalist will lend support if necessary.
Foothill Horizons is a school and student behavior is expected to be school appropriate at all times. Students will be made aware of rules specific to our site on their first day here.
For minor infractions, counselors, naturalists and teachers can take away up to 15 minutes from freeplay time. For anything more serious (or for repeated minor infractions), Foothill Horizons follows a three “step” policy. Teachers (often in consultation with Foothill staff) are the only people who can put a student on a step. A discipline contract is included on student health forms and must be signed by every student and parent prior to your arrival at outdoor school.
Please read our "Discipline Rubric" and "Step Policy" before you attend.

What if a student has an emergency?
If a student has an emergency, is injured, or becomes so ill that it is necessary to take him or her to the hospital, you will accompany your student to the hospital along with a Foothill Horizons staff member.

Do I have to supervise counselors?
The naturalist, teacher and counselors in each hiking group form a leadership team. This team meets together every day to discuss goals and expectations for the week. On the second day, teachers get student feedback on counselors during a standardized “teacher time” activity.
Please address minor concerns directly and privately with your counselors. They will benefit from your constructive criticism and mentoring. Be sure to praise them for a job well done as well.
If serious concerns arise regarding your counselors, please include the director and/or evening naturalist in your discussions with them.