Assistant Preschool Teacher (A-B)

Requisition Number: 
Job Status: 
Reports to: 
Manager of early childhood programs, Preschool director
Assist the lead teacher to deliver a high quality, mission-based, early childhood educational program. Implement developmentally appropriate lessons to children ages 3 to 5 in a nature-based setting. We have two positions available that are for ten months, from the end of August 2021 to an anticipated end date of May 2022. Assistant Preschool Teacher A: Resource, approximately 14.5 hours per week; Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 8:15 a.m. to12:45 p.m. Assistant Preschool Teacher B: Resource, approximately 8.5 hours per week; Tuesday/Thursday, 8:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Duties and Responsibilities: 

In this role you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Assist lead teacher and/or volunteers.
  • Plan activities that are developmentally appropriate for the class with the lead teacher.
  • Carry out curriculum outside and inside.
  • Prepare and clean up materials used during the day.
  • Monitor safety and perform risk assessments.
  • Support the lead teacher to make sure all children are making progress in their learning, allowing for differences in abilities.
  • Be willing to learn about best practices in nature-based settings.


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:

  • Bachelor of arts degree in elementary education, early childhood education concentration, or at least three years’ experience working with preschool-age children preferred. Type 04 certification preferred.
  • Associate's degree in early childhood education or the equivalent of 640 documented experiences within the past five years working with children ages birth to 6 in a public- or private-operated nursery school, kindergarten, or licensed day-care center. Required. (Transcripts will be requested.)
  • Background knowledge in nature-based and/or play-based education. Experience in either a plus.
  • A love of nature and teaching outdoors. Experience or knowledge of informal education, science or horticulture, and outdoor and environmental education.
  • Ability to communicate with parents professionally both in person and via electronic means.
  • Able to handle situations tactfully and with confidentiality.
  • Ability to work as part of an educational team.
  • Ability and enjoyment working outdoors with children for several hours a day under all types of weather conditions.
  • CPR/First Aid required. Willingness to attain after hire.
  • Newly hired staff shall become members of Gateways to Opportunity within 30 days of hire.
  • Newly employed staff shall submit a report of a physical examination completed no more than six months prior to employment that provides evidence that they are free of communicable disease, including active tuberculosis and physical and mental conditions that could affect their ability to perform assigned duties. This examination shall include a test for tuberculosis by the Manatoux method.
  • Newly employed staff will be subject to background checks, submit to fingerprinting, and must authorize the background checks required by 89 Ill. Adm. Code 385 Background Checks.


Physical Demands: 
Must be able to lift 40 pounds, enjoy working primarily outdoors in all weather and be comfortable standing for long periods of time. Must be able to assume postures in low-level positions that allow physical and visual contact with children, bend to perform numerous tasks, stoop, and sit on the floor. Must be able to sustain high level of energy and have the ability to perform all activities with children (dance, jump, walk, run) for extended periods of time. Work week may include some evenings and weekends, as needed.
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, or 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.