Assistant Instructor, College First Program

Requisition Number: 
Learning and Engagement
Job Status: 
Reports to: 
Manager, Science Career Continuum
Students in College First Program
To support with the delivery of three summer, hands-on science internship program for students in grades 7-12. The assistant instructor will collaborate with the lead College First instructor and program manager to develop and evaluate an environmental science curriculum with emphasis on Sustainability and STEM, for the College First program and oversee logistical operations for the summer. The assistant instructor should be available to work for 37.5 hours/week from June 7 to August 27, 2021.

College First is a six-week hybrid high-school internship program at the Chicago Botanic Garden for 20 Chicago Public Schools students from backgrounds underrepresented in the science field. It is a paid internship that takes place in the summer and includes monthly meetings during the school year. A school bus provides transportation to bring students to the Garden from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, the programming will take place virtually, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students are eligible to receive college credit through Wilbur Wright College, one of the city colleges of Chicago.

Duties and Responsibilities: 

In this role you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Work collaboratively with the College First lead instructor.
  • Co-develop a curriculum emphasizing sustainability, environmental science, STEM skills, and scientific research.
  • Lead youth-development activities and outdoor field investigations at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
  • Help lead instructor monitor the College First students during group and independent learning times, ensuring they are following e-learning guidelines and expectations, reporting any issues to instructors.
  • Assist students in preparing project presentations, which will be presented the last week of the program.
  • Organize and keep track of student pre- and post-assessments, and assist manager with program evaluation and reporting.
  • Provide administrative support for program manager, including scheduling of transportation, tracking loaned equipment, helping with onboarding of high school interns, etc.
  • Assist with other program activities as necessary.

Key Garden competencies/behaviors desired:

  • Communicates in a manner that gains the trust and support of others at all levels.
  • Works effectively with others despite differences of opinion and style; builds alliances.
  • Has a tolerance for opposing points of view.
  • Strives for collaboration. Works cooperatively, as a positive contributor to the team.
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude and shows kindness in all workplace interactions.
  • Makes decisions appropriate for level of responsibility.
  • Can effectively adapt to change; can shift gears comfortably; is flexible, and embraces change with a “can-do” attitude.
  • Is self-aware; knows personal strengths and weaknesses; seeks feedback and is open to negative feedback as an opportunity for improvement.
  • Is cool under pressure; can be counted on to hold things together during tough times; can handle stress; is not knocked off balance by the unexpected; is a settling influence during a crisis.
  • Recognizes problems, constructively identifies and articulates solutions.
  • Picks up garbage when it is seen regardless of position.
  • Follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment and consistently demonstrates safe work behaviors.
  • Is welcoming of new hires.

Our ideal candidate will have the following:

  • A minimum of one-year experience teaching science in either formal and/or informal education settings to high school-aged students.
  • Bachelor’s degree in environmental science, biology, or relate field is required.
  • Knowledge of student development theory, particularly as it pertains to first-generation, low-income, students of color.
  • Previous experience integrating STEM topics in lesson plans and culturally responsive curriculum development.
  • Administrative skills.
  • Bilingual (Spanish).
Physical Demands: 
Indoor and outdoor classroom setting. Frequent standing, walking, bending, listening, speaking, and keyboarding. Use of office equipment including computers, telephones, copiers, scanners, and fax machines. Some requirements for lifting, pushing, or pulling items less than 30 pounds.
Why Apply?: 

Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today. Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.

Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is a M/F, Disabled, and Vet EEO/AA Employer.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the Chicago Botanic Garden does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs or activities, including in employment or admissions. Please call (847) 835-8264 to contact our Title IX coordinator should you have questions or concerns.