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Early Childhood Education Assistant Instructor (Full-time)

Website ZooTampa ZooTampa at Lowry Park

Join the Mission: Inspire with ZooTampa

Are you driven by a passion for wildlife conservation and a love for teaching? ZooTampa is on the lookout for an Assistant Early Childhood Education Instructor ready to make a difference in young lives and contribute to our conservation efforts. Here, your work transcends traditional boundaries, merging education with passion to create a lasting impact on our community and beyond. If you’re ready to turn your passion into purpose, apply now and be the change you wish to see.

Who We Are

ZooTampa at Lowry Park is one of the most popular zoos in the southeastern U.S., with over 1 million visitors annually. We have grown to what now encompasses 56 acres of naturalistic wildlife habitats in a lush, tropical garden setting with wide-ranging activities. The Zoo, accredited by Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), offers popular educational programming, fun recreational amenities, up-close animal encounters and engaging seasonal events for which it has won awards as one of the country’s most family-friendly zoos.

Our mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and care for animals; create exceptional personalized experiences that connect people with wildlife and each other in fun, immersive ways.

Our vision is that everyone we touch is motivated to join us in taking action to protect and preserve wildlife.

Join us and become a part of creating unforgettable natural connections!

Position Summary
Assist and support the classroom teacher in providing a healthy, safe, and developmentally appropriate program and environment where children have the opportunity to develop social-emotional, language, intellectual and physical skills.  Respect and support the family unit in their efforts to raise their children to become well-rounded individuals.

Your day to day
Essential Functions (including but not limited to):

Supports social and emotional development of program participants and provides positive guidance.

Values children’s play and promotes it.  Displays children’s work at their eye level and changes it frequently (artwork, writing attempts, dictation or graphs).

Shows respect for children’s feelings and consistently communicates the worth of each child.  Models anti-bias practices and cultural sensitivity.

Communicates and engages with children at their eye level.

Translates and coaches in conflicts and problem solving.

Uses and promotes positive guidance techniques.  Encourages children to be independent.

Advances physical and intellectual competence of program participants.

Provides balance between child/teacher-initiated activities and between quiet/active learning activities.

Conducts and/or assists with large and small group activities for appropriate lengths of time (matches developmental abilities of children).  Provides stimulating, cognitively challenging classroom environment that encourages exploration and experimentation for all ability levels.  Plans and executes appropriate learning experiences indoors and outdoors in accordance with the curriculum provided.

Assists in implementing experiences that promote language and literacy development throughout all parts of the day (including transitions, routines, outdoor play, etc.).

Assists assigned Early Childhood Education Instructor by:

Supervising children at all times by sight and sound.

Develops a warm and nurturing relationship with all children and parents.

Observes children closely enough to be aware of any changes in behavior and health.

Understand and use positive behavior techniques that help each child to develop the ability to be self-disciplined.

Enforces all safety rules of the program according to the policy manual; understand and implement, as needed, emergency procedures for fire, storm, medical, first aid, CPR, etc..

Promotes good hygiene through appropriate hand washing, diapering and sanitation techniques according to the policy manual.

Operate the classroom in compliance with all child care licensing standards and those of our accrediting agency.

Assists the classroom teacher in implementing the activities of the weekly lesson plan.

Assists the classroom teacher in promoting language development through storytelling, music, conversation, book reading and pretend play.

Assists the classroom teacher in organizing a classroom arrangement that is conducive to appropriate behavior and learning for the age of the group.

Assists the classroom teacher in providing a calm, pleasant, interactive experience for the children.

Assists the classroom teacher in providing regular, on-going, positive communication with parents on a regular basis, according to the expectations for the age-group.  This includes, but is not limited to, daily or weekly written and verbal reports.

Assists the classroom teacher in developing and maintaining accurate, detailed and neat records of accidents, illnesses, incidents, medication, attendance, observations, assessments, conferences or any other records requested by the program.

Maintains a clean, safe, healthy and attractive classroom environment according to the standards set forth in the policy manual.

Attends staff meetings, parent events and in-house trainings both during and after regular program hours as required for this position.

Attends additional workshops, training and continuing education classes as determined in the individualized training plan.

Becomes familiar with and adheres to all policies set forth in the Parent Handbook, the Staff Handbook and the Policy Manual.

What are we looking for?
Qualifications and Experience:

Must have strong oral and written communication skills.

Must have strong organizational skills.

Must be confident and articulate when challenged and able to act as a professional ally of parents.

Must be able to take initiative, produce work independently, and act on behalf of a team.

Must be proficient with Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer.

Must be able to speak in front of groups of various sizes and ages.

Must have the ability to establish positive and productive relationships with co-workers, children and families.

CDA, A.A or B.A. in Education, Child Development, Psychology, Environmental Education or related fields required.

Certificates/Licenses/Registrations: 45-clock hours, CPR, First Aid

Prior work experience at a child development center, zoo, aquarium, wildlife park, or science center preferred.

Minimum of two (2) years’ experience with classroom management.

Any combination of education, training, and/or experience which demonstrate ability to perform the required duties.

Annual / Ongoing Qualifications:

Expectation to continue formal education training and stay current with developments in profession, minimum of twenty-five (25) in-service hours annually.

Maintain a current CPR and First Aid Card.

Other Requirements:

Conducts all activities in alignment with AZA standards and guidelines, all relevant laws and regulations, safety standards, and standards that ensure animal welfare.

Ability to work in extreme weather conditions typical to west central Florida (i.e., heat, rain, or cold).

Ability to use radio, telephone, and computer to communicate and follow written and verbal instructions.

Must be willing and able to work varied and long shifts including holidays and weekends.

Must be able to plan for, work, and staff specials events and exhibits as well as be available for unexpected shifts.

Must have the ability to physically and mentally maintain control during emergencies that may arise.

Must be able to safely lift children up to thirty pounds.

Must be able to bend, stoop, and kneel to children’s level.

Must be able to stand for extended periods of time.

Our Perks at ZooTampa
Full time Benefits

Medical, Dental, Vision, Pet, Life Insurance, 403(b) Pension Plan

Vacation and sick time

Employee Assistance Program

Tuition Forgiveness

Free gym membership

Free admission to the Zoo, MOSI, and the Florida Aquarium

Free or discounted admission to many attractions in Florida

And so much more!

Equal Opportunity Employer & Drug-Free Workplace

To apply for this job please visit ZooTampa.org.