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Education – School Program Leader

School Program Leaders engage K-4 students in interactive outdoor field trips at the Garden. Leaders work with small groups of children during 90-minute programs in the fall and spring, rain or shine. New leaders receive hands-on training in September and March, plus ample time to shadow experienced leaders before taking their own groups.


  • Lead 90-minute environmental education programs for groups of school children during fall and spring, rain or shine.
  • 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 5-12 is desirable
  • Confident and reliable communicator with children, volunteer team, and staff
  • 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 VanDusen and independently
  • Comfortable standing, walking, and kneeling throughout the shift
  • Must pass a criminal record background check

Training and Orientation:

  • Orientation to VanDusen Garden and the roles volunteers play at the VBGA: September 10th (time to be determined)
  • Shadow Dates (chosen at training) – September 10th -17th, 2018
  • Role specific training in group management, interpretation skills, program content and teaching methodology will take place Monday September 10th – Friday September 14th from 9:30am-3:00pm each day. Note, we may be able to make alternate arrangements for suitable candidates who are unable to attend all 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: 9:30am – 12pm or 12pm – 2:30pm weekdays Oct- Nov, and April-June. Plus, training in September and March as noted above
  • A minimum of one year commitment

Supervisory Relationships/liaison: Candidate will be supervised by, and liaise with, the School Programs Coordinator and the Director, Education.

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


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