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Learning Specialist

Shedd Aquarium – Chicago, IL

Shedd Aquarium is seeking a Learning Specialist for our Learning Programs Department! - Do you have a passion for animals? Are you committed to Shedd s mission and culture? You could become an integral part of Shedd s education team!
We are all learners, teachers and have connections to our collections. Whatever the position, we do it with a sense of stewardship, quality, integrity and respect.
The Learning Specialist uses creativity, promising instructional practices and evaluation data to design, implement and authentically evaluate programs that support various levels of Shedd s learning framework. They utilize learner-centered teaching strategies to encourage learners to think critically about the natural world and their place in it, actively seek out relevant content knowledge and evaluate learning using authentic and formal assessment techniques. The Learning Specialist demonstrates ownership and autonomy in each program cycle while contributing to a culture of collaboration. They actively participate in reflective activities as it relates to their instructional quality. This position is primarily responsible for facilitating learning experiences at Shedd, in the field, in local communities and in online environments.
Duties & Responsibilities:
  • Demonstrate leadership in accordance with Shedd s mission and values
  • Develop immersive programs aligned to programmatic goals and outcomes
  • Facilitate learner-centered programs with minimal environmental impact, engaging learners through multisensory, dynamic and authentic experiences
  • Research instructional strategies, content knowledge and current programmatic data to achieve program goals and outcomes
  • Apply a working knowledge of current models and philosophies of science and environmental education and solid content knowledge in support of Shedd s learning framework
  • Utilize resources such as live animals, local natural areas and technology (including data loggers, interactive whiteboards, and online software) for programming
  • Demonstrate flexibility and adaptability to be used in working across programmatic suites, including team projects, program development, teaching, etc.
  • Maintain resources, materials and programming spaces, including assisting with ordering of supplies, equipment, and materials as needed
  • Monitor and evaluate learning using authentic assessment tools in alignment with program evaluation plan, adapting instruction as needed. Collect evaluation data as required with the assistance of the coordinator
  • Participate in project related trainings to ensure preparedness to develop and implement portfolio-specific programs while insuring consistency of learning experiences
  • Maintain strategic relationships with collaborative partners and other pertinent organizations and facilitate strategic recruitment for program participation
  • Demonstrate a commitment to professional and personal growth by initiating dialogue with colleagues, engaging in self-directed learning and focusing on professional development goals
  • Participate in Aquarium wide and interdepartmental teams, projects or meetings as needed
  • Fulfill other duties as required
Bachelor s degree in life science, environmental science, education, museum studies or a related field.
  • Minimum 2 years experience teaching in either a formal or informal setting
  • Minimum 2 years experience designing learning experiences
  • Experience working in team-based environments
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills; fluency in Spanish desirable
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills
  • Must be able to work irregular hours including occasional evenings, weekends and overnight programs/events
  • Willingness to be trained to handle animals for education programs
  • Willingness to implement aquatic science programs aboard research vessels and/or in wilderness settings for up to three consecutive weeks
  • Must possess strong swimming skills
  • Must be physically able to do heavy lifting (up to 50 lbs.) to transport equipment and facilitate program activities such as canoeing, hiking, etc.
  • A valid driver s license
  • 1-2 years prior informal outdoor/science education teaching experience working with diverse audiences in urban and wilderness settings
  • Bilingual (Spanish/English preferred)
  • CPR and first aid certification (advanced wilderness/outdoor training a plus)
  • Snorkeling experience
  • Technology experience beyond basic computer skills and willingness to learn new technologies
  • A personal vehicle (and auto insurance) to travel to/from program sites
  • Legal age to rent a car
CPR and first aid certification (advanced wilderness/outdoor training a plus)
Learning Specialist Swim Test Information for Applicants:
  • All Shedd Aquarium Learning Specialists must possess strong swimming skills. To be eligible for consideration for hire, applicants must be comfortable in deep water and must be able to pass a swim test. The swim test will be administered at a facility with a certified lifeguard on duty and will be scheduled as a final part of the interview process.
  • Swim Test Components:
  • Swim 200 meters (any stroke, no time limit)
  • Tread water for ten minutes (deep water, no touching sides or bottom of pool)
  • Applicant must accomplish the above tasks with no difficulty.
We strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ community, veterans and active duty military, parents, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from all cultural backgrounds to apply. Shedd Aquarium is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes everyone to our team.
If you need a reasonable accommodation at any point in the application or interview process, please let us know. In your application, please feel free to select which pronouns you use (For example she/her/hers, he/him/his, they/them/theirs).

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