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Family Drop-in Programs Instructor

Requisition Number: 
Job Status: 
To facilitate and develop a range of free, hands-on, nature-themed education activities and programs for children and families in the Nature Play Garden. Weekend hours required.
Duties and Responsibilities: 

In this role, you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Facilitate and implement free, drop-in family nature-play programs to a wide-range of Garden visitors. This might include leading a nature walk, doing a story reading, or facilitating building a fort.
  • Learn to apply museum education best practices and knowledge of learning theories to assist in ongoing development of a diverse range of family-friendly programs.
  • Work with other staff, including volunteers, in facilitation of programs. 
  • Assist with other youth and family programs as interest and opportunity present.

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:

  • It is essential that the individual who fills this position loves creative outdoor PLAY. This individual should have a background and interest in children and education.
  • Confidence to instruct children and adults, independence and flexibility to adjust program offerings to accommodate changing audience and weather on a daily basis.
  • Superb customer service skills.
  • Ability to communicate with a diverse public.
  • Knowledge of nature play, science, horticulture, outdoor education, or environmental education preferred. 
Physical Demands: 
Must be able to lift 25 pounds, enjoy working outdoors for six-hour shifts, rain or shine, and be comfortable standing and/or moving for long periods of time. Weekend work is required.
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, 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.