Part-time Playleader




Organization: San Antonio Zoo (AZA Member)
Location: San Antonio, Texas, United States
Job or Internship: Job

Nature of Work: Children’s Playleaders work within the Education Department of the San Antonio Zoo to facilitate nature-based children’s play in the Zoo’s children’s exhibit, 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, developing and implementing nature activities, presenting animals, engaging in storytelling and much more.

Essential Duties:

• Establish and maintain positive, cooperative, and effective working relations with fellow employees.

• Constantly exhibit a guest service attitude, a smile, and an obvious interest in guest comfort and service.

• Communicate with the public in a courteous and tactful manner and assist guests with questions and directions to various areas of the Zoo. Address the guest - do not wait to be asked.

• Remove trash and debris from public areas; i.e. pick up litter whenever you see it.

• 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 insure 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.

• Any and all other duties as assigned

Skills/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 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.

• Strong desire to share wonders of the natural world with all audiences is required. Prefer individuals with proven background in informal environmental education.

• Energy, enthusiasm and patience along with strong commitment to the importance of play within the field of early childhood education.

• Ability to work weekends, holidays and occasional after-hours assignments.

Please visit sazoo.org/jobs to apply or contact Melody Wood at melodywood@sazoo.org with questions.