Education Program Guide - Part-time (2-3 positions)

Lisle, IL
Part Time

Position Summary:  Implement nature programs for schools, scouts, and families by using the Arboretum’s natural resources. Help children discover the basic science concepts related to plant and animal life, interrelationships among species, and human influences on the environment, through engaging interpretive techniques and by following education program outlines. 

Essential Functions: 

  • Present tours/programs, outreach, and other activities to Preschool – 12th grade students, scout groups, and other informal youth groups by following program goals or outlines. 

  • Present concepts related to the Arboretum’s natural and horticultural areas, special exhibits and events, and plant collections by using engaging interpretive and inquiry based teaching techniques, both in person and virtually.

  • Guide groups on a variety of Arboretum trails, being alert to weather conditions, students’ level of understanding, and physical capabilities.

  • Understand and communicate the Arboretum’s mission, vision, strategic plan, programs, and structure in a positive, constructive, and effective manner.

  • May serve as point of contact with teachers for assigned school programs.

  • Participate in required training sessions, mentoring assignments, staff meetings, planning sessions, and guide meetings. 

  • Assist in the daily clean up and set up of programs as needed.

  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree required. 1+ years experience teaching/interpreting to children in formal or informal programs required. Coursework and/or experience in areas such as ecology, botany, biology, environmental science, general science, child development, interpretation or teaching methods preferred. Excellent oral presentation skills and the ability to engage and project enthusiasm about learning and nature to youth audiences required. Experience with English Language Learners or special needs students a plus. Must present professional image to the public by following the Arboretum/Education Program Guide dress code. Must possess a valid driver’s license, which is subject to insurability and an annual Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) report. Must become certified and maintain certification in First Aid and CPR (classes provided). Proficiency with Google applications preferred. 

Success Factors: Possess significant cultural appreciation for the mission of the Arboretum and the work of a botanical museum. Public service attitude and genuine enthusiasm for working with students and the public. Maintain a flexible, constructive, courteous approach to teachers, parents, children, and other guides. Sense of responsibility in the area of safety, including appropriate radio use and basic safety measures. Ability to check email and program content regularly for communication with supervisors and other staff. Stamina and ability to lead and deliver programs outdoors in various weather conditions. Ability to embrace and align with the Arboretum’s employee core values to be inclusive, take ownership, work together, keep learning, and make the Arboretum exceptional.

Physical Demands and Work Environment: The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.
  • Physical Demands: Requires some physical activity:  limited lifting and carrying (up to 30 lbs.), ability to travel over one mile on paved, wood-chipped, and dirt paths over varied and uneven terrain.

  • Work Environment: Work is performed primarily outdoors in various weather conditions throughout the four seasons. This position requires regular on-site presence.

  • Equipment: General office equipment, microscopes, two-way radio, assorted science equipment, individual backpacks with necessary materials and equipment are provided for Guides to use during programs.

  • Schedule Expectations:

    • A typical shift for an Education Program Guide is between two and half and five hours. 

    • Position requires availability up to four days per week during spring and fall, and up to one or two days per week in the summer and winter. 

    • Availability requirements may change due to need. Availability is provided prior to the start of each season, but assignment to tours depends on audience demand. Amount of actual work is based on registration levels from season to season and year to year. Capacity for programs is often met, but is not a guarantee. 

    • May require evenings and weekends, up to once per month, after six months of starting in the position.

    • This position is eligible to be a Summer Science Camp Instructor in the summer months, as well as support other education programs. 

The starting rate for this position is $16.75/hour.

For consideration, please include cover letter and resume with your application.


All Arboretum employees will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of that status in order to maintain their employment.

The Morton Arboretum is a champion of diversity, supporting a culture of inclusion that attracts, inspires, and engages people to achieve success. The Arboretum is committed to hire and develop employees based on job-related qualifications irrespective of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or veteran status. To increase diversity in professions related to the public garden realm, we encourage applications from underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans.  

The Morton Arboretum is dedicated to complying with our obligations as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All applicants are guaranteed equal consideration for employment. 

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