Coordinator, Student Field Trips

Requisition Number: 
Youth Education
Job Status: 
The coordinator of Student Field Trips uses the Chicago Botanic Garden as an educational resource to support standards-based plant and environmental science lessons for visiting school groups on-site as well as the off-site Traveling Plant Science Teacher. Responsibilities include developing programs, training facilitators (resource staff and volunteers), occasionally teaching, and coordinating schedules and facilitators so that programs run smoothly. The coordinator also supports other youth education program staff with delivery of weekday and weekend programs during the summer and winter. The job requires high energy, ability to think on one’s feet, and commitment to turning field trips into wonderful experiences for our young visitors.
Duties and Responsibilities: 

In this role you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Set the content and quality of student field trip program offerings including creating a menu of programs for grades preK to 12 around plant and environmental science. Write new programs and revise existing ones.
  • Conduct daily operations of student field trips, organize program schedule, assign duties to resource staff and volunteers, coordinate with other departments including security, visitor services, and all staff needed to make program run smoothly and successfully.
  • Plan programs a year in advance. This includes preparing program descriptions for Garden publications and website and keeping website information up to date. Follow Garden procedures for reserving program spaces on the Garden’s reservation system, EMS, in a timely manner.
  • Promote scholarship opportunities for school groups; organize and review scholarship applications, award scholarship, and assist with scheduling and logistics.
  • Work with registrar to set program dates, ensure updated information is communicated to schools, enforce policies and procedures for scheduling groups, and schedule scholarship groups.
  • Order and maintain all items needed for the program, including plants (nine months in advance), activity props, equipment, student journals, and consumable supplies; work with other staff to keep the supply closet organized for all who need to find supplies.
  • Work with the manager of Teacher and Student Programs to promote programs to area schools and stay appraised of local curricula, adjusting program content and activities as needed, so that our programs continue to be a valuable resource to the community.
  • Hire, train, schedule, and supervise all seasonal/resource instructors, volunteers, and interns facilitating and assisting with student field trips.
  • Record and report program attendance on a monthly basis and as needed by development and other departments; maintain records of program activity.
  • Distribute and collect evaluation forms for all groups and analyze the results to ensure program quality; address problems as they arise; and plan for the future.
  • Create an annual budget and work within an approved annual budget.
  • Work as a team member with other educational program staff in planning and implementing special events, exhibitions, conferences, and other educational events as needed. This includes working some weekends throughout the year.

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’s degree in education or science and a minimum three years of experience teaching children science topics in an educational setting such as a public garden, nature center, museum, or classroom
  • Familiarity with the needs of learners at a range of ages, from preK through high school, as well as different learning styles and abilities
  • Understanding of plant and/or environmental science content
  • Familiarity with NGSS, inquiry-based teaching methods, and how to apply these in an informal setting
  • Experience developing and writing science-focused programs for formal and/or informal settings; curriculum writing experience a plus
  • Experience working as part of a diverse team, including volunteers and/or interns, to achieve successful results; team leadership or supervisory experience a plus
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite; comfort using Google Drive and Google Docs is beneficial
  • Ability to occasionally travel to regional off-site locations for programs
  • Availability to work weekends in the summer and winter
Physical Demands: 
Indoor and outdoor teaching; ability to be outdoors for extended periods of time supervising children’s activities, which may require walking or standing on different kinds of terrain (gravel path, lawn, brick pavers, asphalt, concrete) in various temperatures and weather conditions; ability to lift 30 pounds; use of a two-way radio for communication; use of office equipment including PCs, telephones, copiers, scanners, fax machines. This job is a 37.5 hour workweek, usually with an 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekday schedule, unless programs demand starting earlier, staying later, or weekend coverage.
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.

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.