The Educator II- The Tennessee Aquarium

The Educator II supports the mission of the Tennessee Aquarium to connect people with nature and empower them to make informed decisions about water and wildlife. The Education Department is passionate about a number of values, which include respect for conservation, a mindset of lifelong learning, and a collaborative, respectful work environment.

As an Educator II, you will use your knowledge and skills in leading programs and animal handling techniques to help develop, carry out and evaluate high-quality, engaging, educational programs and experiences in alignment with the philosophy of the department and best practices in informal education.

Key Responsibilities

1. Participate on the early childhood programs team, which provides programs and outreach for young children focused on birth through age 8; co-lead weekly preschool drop in program

2. Use research-based education methods, such as techniques for engagement, inquiry based learning, and interactive experiences, while facilitating education programming

3. Maintain a high level of enthusiasm, curiosity, and wonder to engage guests of all backgrounds

4. Encourage guests to actively discover, question, and participate in science while visiting the Aquarium

5. Make impromptu changes to programs to meet the needs of various audiences (groups, families, etc.)

6. Establish strong cross-departmental relationships to collaboratively develop and facilitate engaging educational experiences

7. Lead professional learning for others in Education to help them learn about new programs or skills

8. Collaboratively work on or lead teams within the department

9. Participate on grant proposal writing teams

10. Provide husbandry for the education animal collection; may serve on Ambassador Animal care team

11. Follow all protocols related to animal care and handling

12. Regularly use animals on which the educator has been qualified in programming to ensure that the educator remains familiar with the animal and protocols related to it

13. Maintain high quality professional customer service in all situations to ensure guests have memorable positive experiences in all educational experiences

14. Engage in Professional Research time (10 percent of working hours) to enhance programming, learn education practices, research animals, read information pertinent to job skills, etc.

15. Take part in professional learning experiences to learn best practices in engaging guests and in animal care including Aquarium sessions, regional or national conferences, workshops, courses, etc.

16. Participate in department meetings, outreach programs, events, and special projects

17. May serve as a mentor to new staff, helping them learn about programs, animals, the department, etc.

Key Requirements

• Minimum of 3 years working with children from birth to age 5

• Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences, Biology, Science Education or a related field

• Comfort handling various animals (fish, reptiles, amphibians, etc.); animal husbandry experience a plus

• Ability to learn husbandry skills and follow strict animal care and programming protocols

• Experience using inquiry or practices of science to engage people, mainly in an informal learning setting

• Experience in an aquarium, zoo, science center, or other informal learning environment preferred

• Growing Up Wild Facilitator certification, Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG) and/or Certified Interpretive Host (CIH) a plus

• Outgoing, friendly, creative; composed and professional under stress by keeping a good sense of humor

• Ability to quickly learn and assimilate program materials and strategies for best practices in program development and facilitation of education experiences

• Passion for teaching and demonstrated ability to effectively and positively engage all audiences

• Ability to mentor staff, lead program teams, and participate on proposal writing teams

• Ability to work independently and collaboratively with members of other departments

• Exceptional interpersonal skills along with great verbal and written communication skills

• Excellent record keeping and organizational skills

• Reliable but flexible with daily work routines

• Ability to work in crowded, loud, wet, hot/cold, inside/outside conditions; sit, walk, stoop and lift (up to 50 lbs); talk and stand for extended periods of time; fast paced environment with open office setting

Full time, hourly, 40 hours/ week; rotation working approximately one weekend per month; will include evenings, holidays, and special events as needed.

To apply, submit an online application through the Aquarium’s INTERNAL career site at All submissions must be received by January 18, 2019.