Education - School Program Leader

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Position description: 

School Program Leaders facilitate discovery for elementary-aged students during hands-on, activity-based field trips at either VanDusen Botanical Garden or Bloedel Conservatory.


Lead 90-minute environmental education programs for groups of school children from across the lower mainland
Facilitate a safe, fun, and high quality learning experience for students, teachers and chaperones
Conduct programs in accordance with stated educational objectives in content and style



Skills, Attitudes, Knowledge Required:

A love of nature and respect for the environment, with knowledge of ecology or gardening preferred
Previous experience working with children ages 4-12 is desirable
Confident and reliable communicator with children, volunteer team, and staff
Willingness to accept VBGA Education team’s stated educational objectives in content and style
Patient, positive, flexible, fun-loving, and willing to regularly reflect upon personal performance and skill development
Interested in ongoing training and education, both as conducted by the VBGA and independently
Comfortable standing, walking, and kneeling throughout the shift
Must pass a criminal record background check (free for volunteers)

Role is suitable for: 
Additional Information: 

Training and Orientation:

Orientation to VanDusen Garden and Bloedel Conservatory and the roles volunteers play at the VBGA
Role specific training in group management, interpretation skills, program content and teaching methodology will take place before each season. 
For Autumn 2019, training sessions will be offered over September 16-27, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM.

Bloedel Conservatory Training: Sept 16, 23 & 30 
VanDusen Botanical Garden Training: Sept 18, 19, 24 & 25

New volunteers are expected to sign up for and attend as many sessions as possible; returning volunteers will attend a minimum of 3 training sessions per season or as needed. A detailed schedule will be provided in early September for your review. 
We may be able to make alternate arrangements for suitable candidates who are unable to attend specific training sessions.
There will also be ample time to shadow experienced leaders and co-teach before taking out own groups. Shadowing dates will be chosen during training.


Time Commitment:

One shift per week: 

Bloedel Conservatory we are recruiting for Monday 9:30am - 12:30pm or 12:30pm - 3:00pm
VanDusen Botanical Garden we are recruiting for Tuesday to Thursday 9:30am - 12:30pm or 12:30pm - 3:00pm and Friday 9:30am - 12:30pm

Programs run on weekdays during the school year in three seasons: Fall at VanDusen and Bloedel (Oct-Nov), Winter at Bloedel (Jan-Apr) and Spring at VanDusen (Apr-Jun)
Training in September and March
A minimum of one year commitment - either at VanDusen, Bloedel, or both


Supervisory Relationships/liaison: Candidate will be supervised by and liaise with the School Programs Manager.


Authority/Decision Making: Must be comfortable making decisions and problem solving with minimal supervision.


Volunteer Benefits:

An opportunity to inspire and educate children
Enhance teaching and leadership skills 
Opportunity to work with educational professionals in a well-respected non-profit
Contribute your time and talents in an impactful way for a worthwhile cause
Reference letter

How to apply:
Contact person: 
Elise Hall-Meyer
Contact phone: 
Volunteer Centre: 
Cause Tags: 
Education & Research
Environment & Animals
Family & Children
Vision: VanDusen Botanical Garden and Bloedel Conservatory will be cherished locally and renowned internationally for their beauty and for their leadership in plant conservation, biodiversity and sustainability. Mission: To inspire understanding of the vital importance of plants to all life through the excellence of our botanical collections, programs and practices.
Position type:
Skilled Role:
Number of volunteers required:
Position start/end date:
20 Sep 2019
Time Committment:
6 Hours Per Week
Time of day:
Daytime, Weekdays
Work location:
VanDusen Botanical Garden
5251 Oak street
Vancouver, BC V6M 4H1