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NIU Lorado Taft Field Campus

  • 1414 North River Road, Oregon, IL
  • www.niu.edu/taft

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Outdoor Education Instructor

NIU Lorado Taft Field Campus is a beautiful place with a long history of providing positive residential outdoor education programming to schools from throughout northern Illinois.  And the food is amazing.


min experience

salary range

$2.4k - $2.4k / month

Additional Job Details

International Applicants Allowed?
Work Visa Sponsoring Available

Job Overview

The Lorado Taft Field Campus is Northern Illinois University’s outdoor education and conference center and is located in Oregon, Illinois.  Taft Campus’ outdoor education program exists to provide students with positive experiences in learning and self-discovery in nature.

Lorado Taft Field Campus is looking to fill multiple positions for its Outdoor Education Instructor position for the 2024-2025 school year. All positions require successful hires to live in provided campus housing.

For additional information about Lorado Taft Field Campus, please visit https://www.niu.edu/taft/.

Position Description Summary:  The Outdoor Education Instructor is responsible for the instruction of resident outdoor education experiences for elementary and middle school students, including outdoor science lessons, skill-based activities, and team building.  In addition, instructors also participate in staff training activities, provide guest services and assist in security and emergency procedures, and complete projects assigned by the extension program coordinators.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develop and teach classes, primarily in the outdoor environment, to students in the 4th to 8th
  • Develop curricula and resources for the program.
  • Assist in the maintenance and upkeep of campus teaching, habitat, and resource storage areas.
  • Assist in the coordination of the residential outdoor education program

Physical Demands: Ability to hike hilly, uneven terrain. Ability to be on feet for much of the day.

Salary and Benefits: $2440/month; private room in furnished, shared housing; welcome to meals when dining hall is in operation; health, vision, and dental insurance.

Background Check: A successful pre-employment background check investigation, including a successful criminal background check will be required prior to start date.

Special Benefits

  • Housing provided.
  • Welcome to eat in the dining hall when in operation, which includes home-made meals and desserts.
  • Professional development opportunities.
  • Opportunity to learn and develop skills in coordinating schools' experiences in residential outdoor education programming and in training pre-service teachers in outdoor education.
  • Potential for tuition waiver to take a class at Northern Illinois University.
  • University benefit package, including health insurance, vision and dental insurance; paid holidays and sick leave.

Minimum Requirements

Minimum Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree in education, science, natural resources, recreation, history, or related field.
  • Two months experience teaching or facilitating learning experiences for youth. This may include classroom teaching, summer camp, natural history or environmental education, facilitating outdoor recreation experiences and other non-formal teaching experience.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience as an educator, program staff, naturalist or related position at a residential outdoor education center, nature center, or similar facility preferred.
  • Previous experience in preparing lesson plans, outlines, or guides in preparation to teach or facilitate activities.
  • Previous experience leading or facilitating groups in team building activities.
  • Demonstrated enthusiasm for the outdoors and outdoor education, even when conditions are challenging.
  • Demonstrated professionalism as related to the field.
  • Demonstrated initiative to go above and beyond minimum assigned duties.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Ability to work effectively with co-workers and supervisors to achieve the goals of the program.
  • Ability to convey information about environmental topics without bias and with the goal of encouraging lifelong learning.
  • Ability to effectively engage in behavior management in order to maintain students’ interest and participation in outdoor classes and activities.
  • Ability to manage work time effectively and with little supervision to ensure preparedness and project completion.
  • Flexibility and the ability to deal with the unexpected and quickly changing nature of outdoor activities and children.
  • Demonstrated competence in verbal communication, particularly the ability to present information, ideas, directions, etc. in a clear and concise manner.

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