San Antonio Zoo
  • 02-Jan-2020 (CST)
  • San Antonio, TX, USA
  • 9.26
  • Hourly
  • Part Time

Employee discounts on merchandise, food, and entry including a zoo membership after 30 days of employment.

As a Children's Play Leader, you will be working within the Education Department of the San Antonio Zoo to facilitate nature-based children's play in the Zoo's children's exhibit, the Kronkosky's Tiny Tot Nature Spot. This exhibit targets children five and under. Children's Playleaders are responsible for performing a variety of functions, including facilitating exhibit exploration, leading activities, developing and implementing nature activities, presenting animals, engaging in storytelling, and much more. The Children's Playleader will be working under the Interpretation Manager.

Essential Duties

  • Facilitate educational experiences through play and create an environment that encourages curiosity, creative thinking, exploration, and experimentation by using developmentally appropriate techniques.
  • Model appropriate practices for teaching and learning with young children.
  • Responsible for preparing the play areas each morning, monitoring children's appropriate use of the exhibit, conducting safety audits, and closing down the play areas at the end of the day. Apply all standards, regulations, and guidelines adopted by the exhibit that address health, safety, and developmentally appropriate practices with young children and their families.
  • Support the Zoo's mission of conservation by implementing a comprehensive strategy for appropriate conservation education opportunities targeting children five and under and their families.
  • Collaborate with Zoo staff to ensure accurate dissemination of information as well as maximum use of the Zoo's resources to support conservation education and developmentally appropriate levels.
  • Create and participate in a wide variety of interpretation opportunities utilizing exhibit space, program animals, biofacts, and a microphone
  • Provide support for volunteers and other members of the Education Department as needed.

Skills and Qualifications

  • Ability to plan, create, implement, promote, and evaluate early childhood education activities reflecting environmental themes.  
  • Ability to communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Proficient in using MS Word, Excel, and related programs.
  • Desire to work outdoors with small children and their families in varying weather conditions, with multiple distractions.
  • Willingness to learn, able to take the initiative and work independently as well as work with a variety of people from various backgrounds and cultures.
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
  • Ability to remain calm under pressure.
  • Ability to relate effectively with the public, especially very young children and older adults.
  • Completed 48 college-level units/or 2 years of college-level coursework in Education, Zoology, Biology, or a related field (or equivalent work experience), Bachelor's degree preferred.
  • Willingness to work around animals, including reptiles, amphibians, mammals, birds, and insects.
  • Interest in working with children under 5; awareness of developmental stages and special needs of children in an informal learning environment.
  • A strong desire to share the wonders of the natural world with all audiences is required. Prefer individuals with a proven background in informal environmental education.
  • Energy, enthusiasm, and patience, along with a strong commitment to the importance of play within the field of early childhood education.
  • We enjoy year-round hours for all staff, must be available nights, weekends, and occasional after-hour assignments.

San Antonio Zoo
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