Forest Explorers Lead Teacher (Part-Time)

(Paid Opportunities) Return to Paid Opportunities

Queens Botanical Garden (QBG) is a private non-profit cultural institution located on 39 acres of New York City public land in Flushing, New York. Last year (FY18), the Garden served approximately 250,676 visitors, including 32,000 schoolchildren, and 48,215 through outreach efforts offsite. A recently completed visitor survey reveals that 45% of visitors speak a language other than English at home. This fact underscores the importance of the mission and the challenges and opportunities QBG faces daily in creating programs, exhibits and landscapes that serve the needs of people who live in and visit one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the nation. The Garden has committed itself to addressing the complex and ever changing needs of its diverse community and to being the place where people, plants and cultures meet.

The Education Department of Queens Botanical Garden provides environmental education in various forms throughout the year expressing QBG’s mission of cultural connection to plants and ecological sustainability.

Program Description: Forest Explorers is an outdoor drop-off program for children ages 2-6 at QBG. Rooted in the traditions of the Forest School model, this early childhood program nurtures self-confidence, independence and interconnectedness while deepening children’s connection to the natural environment in their own city. Through exploration-based learning, children uncover nature’s treasures, create meaningful community and develop trust in themselves and the world around them. As a community of educators and families, we consciously work to build an inclusive and diverse community that supports the development of the whole child. Our educators put the social, emotional, and physical needs of the community first when making decisions.

The Lead Teacher works closely with the Director of Education, Youth Coordinator and other education staff in delivery of this program.


  • Plan, implement and teach Forest Explorers programming thru various seasons
  • Set tone and mission for the program, along with other staff members
  • Recommend and help with budgeting, data tracking, program organization, evaluation (family and staff), hiring and other applicable administrative duties
  • Supervise Forest Explorers co-teachers and interns—oversee their timesheets, deal with staff issues, roles & responsibilities, etc.; supervise volunteers and interns
  • Ensure safety procedures are being followed
  • Foster collaboration among the staff, including but not limited to staff meetings
  • Coordinate family communications
  • Collaborate with other staff in the Education department
  • Make recommendations for growth and development
  • Coordinate with staff from other departments as appropriate
  • Be involved with other garden-wide activities as appropriate


  • Bachelor’s degree in education, science or related field; Training in early childhood a plus
  • 3+ years related experience
  • Knowledge of botany, environmental studies, ethnobotany or life sciences
  • Experience and sensitivity working with varied populations
  • Supervisory experience (both staff and volunteers)
  • Ability to work with groups of children and adults in an outdoor setting in all seasons
  • Excellent communication and organizational abilities
  • Commitment to fulfilling the mission of QBG.

Additional Information


4 seasons with 1-2 week breaks in between sessions. Tuesday through Friday 8:30-3pm, with some flexibility.

To apply, submit your resume and cover letter via our applicant portal HERE

Queens Botanical Garden is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). The Garden does not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, age, disability (physical or mental), sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status, marital status, political affiliation, gender expression, mental illness, socioeconomic status or background, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, predisposing genetic characteristic, immigration status, or any other legally protected status. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process, please contact Human Resources.

Contact Information

Queens Botanical Garden