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Job Detail: Urban Roots Summer Teaching Assistant

About Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance:

The Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance (GPCA) is a community oriented non-profit organization involved in a unique partnership with the Chicago Park District and its historic plant conservatory. The Department of Programs and Interpretation supports the mission of the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance by connecting people to nature, and is dedicated to developing, implementing, and facilitating a heightened interest and deeper understanding of the plant world, both inside and beyond the Conservatory’s glass walls. We believe this plant excitement fosters a deeper respect for family, community, environmental awareness, and stewardship of the planet, and encourages life-long learners.

The Urban Roots Teen Docent Program employs over twenty students from Garfield Park’s Al Raby High School to provide tours and interpretation of the Conservatory’s plant collection to visitors. The Urban Roots Program makes it possible for visiting school and camp groups to receive tailored tours from local teen docents while providing the teen docents with personal and professional development, financial compensation, academic support and real-world STEM experience over the course of a three-year program cycle.

To develop into docents, the students begin the program with intensive, hands-on summer training in growing and interpretation. During this summer training, teens complete an engaging, hands-on curriculum in STEM, horticulture, interpretation and community building that prepares them to ultimately design and lead tours of the Conservatory’s plant collection.  After completing the summer training, teens return to the Conservatory over the next three years to continue to provide tours to visitors while receiving academic and personal support from the Conservatory.


Position Summary:

The Summer Teaching Assistant will help facilitate the teen docent summer training portion of the Urban Roots Program at the Garfield Park Conservatory. The Summer Teaching Assistant will engage in meaningful interactions with teens, serve as an informal mentor, prepare and assemble materials for instructional delivery, deliver STEM and interpretation instruction as needed, co-facilitate gardening and community meal programming, design and lead teen community building activities,  supervise teens during daily structured activities and on field trips, and lead educational small group activities. Although the Summer Teaching Assistant will work primarily with the newest cohort of 12 teens, they will also occasionally support the 15 teens in cohorts that have already completed the summer training. The Summer Teaching Assistant will average seven hours of administrative work per week. Must be available 35 hours per week, Monday through Friday.  


Position Responsibilities:

  • Summer Teaching Assistant will collaborate with the School and Teen Program Coordinator to co-facilitate the teen docent program and deliver a creative and engaging curriculum to twelve high school interns, including teaching specified lessons.
  • Summer Teaching Assistant will provide hands-on direct supervision to teens during daily activities on site and field trips off-site. Daily activities include inquiry-based STEM curriculum, outdoor gardening, plant collection lessons and interpretation practice, financial literacy lessons, community meal planning and preparation, and teen community building. Must be comfortable working independently with up to 15 teens.
  • Summer Teaching Assistant will serve as a mentor to students and actively build the program community while maintaining professional boundaries.
  • Summer Teaching Assistant may help provide programming and direct-supervision to the 15 teen docents who have already completed the summer training.
  • Summer Teaching Assistant will perform administrative duties as needed including maintaining participant files and program records, reporting Summer Meals data, and organizing field trip logistics.
  • Summer Teaching Assistant will co-facilitate weekly teen evaluation sessions.


Position Qualifications:

Applicant should have an interest in informal education and mentoring youth. Application should possess background knowledge or an interest in gardening, STEM, interpretation, or informal public speaking. Experience in K-12 education, after school programs, or summer camps is a plus. Must feel comfortable and enjoy interacting with teen participants, parents, teachers, and volunteers. Must be at least 21 years of age and be willing to submit to a background check. 


To Apply:

To apply, send your cover letter and resume to by April 29, 2019. 


Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance (GPCA) is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Prohibits Discrimination and Harassment of Any Kind: GPCA is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all employees and to providing employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All employment decisions at GPCA are based on the organizational needs, job requirements and individual qualifications, without regard to race, color, religion or belief, family or parental status, or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in the locations where we operate. GPCA will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on any of these characteristics. GPCA encourages applicants of all ages.


About the job

Location Chicago, Illinois
Field Education
Time Flexi-time
Date 27 April 2019

About the company

Company name Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance
Logo logo


Form Company
Employees 0-10


Phone 773-638-1766


Street 300 N Central Park Ave
City Chicago
District Illinois
Zip 60624
Country United States