School Programs Manager

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Deadline to Apply:

Friday, March 18, 2022, 5:00pm


Missoula, MT
United States

Job Category:


Job Type:


Job Description:

Do you enjoy teaching children and leading other educators in an environmental education setting? This job could be for you! The Montana Natural History Center in Missoula, Montana is looking for a School Programs Manager to lead our Visiting Naturalist in the Schools Program. The position will remain open until we find the right individual for the role. We are looking for applicants with formal teaching experience, familiarity with the NGSS, supervision, and a love for science and the outdoors. 

Position Title: School Programs Manager
Position Category: Full-Time (40 hours/week)          
Salary: $18.00 - 19.50/hour (DOE)
Start Date:  Open Until Filled                               

At the Montana Natural History Center (MNHC), we believe that nature-based education inspires connection to the outdoors, a love for the natural world, and in turn, stewardship. Put another way, our mission is to promote and cultivate the appreciation, understanding, and stewardship of nature through education.  To achieve this mission, MNHC offers a wide range of programming to children and adults in Missoula and throughout Montana: 

  • Our Visiting Naturalists in the Schools program delivers an innovative, engaging curriculum for 4th-5th graders throughout the school year. 
  • We run and oversee the Montana Master Naturalist program in partnership with other organizations.
  • Our museum features interpretive exhibits and gardens highlighting the natural history of Montana.
  • We host distance learning programs for both youth and adults.
  • Our staff lead adult classes on nature writing and natural history topics and lead guided outdoor programs.
  • We run exciting homeschool and summer camp programs for youth in grades K - 8.
  • We publish the Montana Naturalist magazine and partner with Montana Public Radio to produce the Field Notes radio program.

Here at MNHC, connecting to nature is not a luxury, but a necessity. We strive to build capacity and fundraise. Doing so enables us to help serve all Montanans in our region and to engage our large community in MNHC programs. 

We value the benefits a diverse staff can bring to our organization. Whether you’re an urbanite or mountain connoisseur from the east coast, west coast, North Pole or Mars, you’ll fit right in. Though we come from different places, the MNHC family is bonded by a deep commitment to our mission.

Missoula is a serene mountain town tucked away in the Northern Rockies of Montana, an outdoor enthusiast’s dream! There are over 60,000 acres of wilderness to explore just minutes from downtown. Missoula’s outdoor recreation opportunities make it an excellent location for getting outside. Enjoy hiking, kayaking, cycling, floating, backpacking, skiing, climbing and more! Missoula has incredible local restaurants, shops, live music, and arts and culture events. It is full of families, students, and people who appreciate and care for the outdoors!

The Visiting Naturalist in the Schools Program connects professional naturalists with fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms in western Montana. The program includes:

  • Monthly class visits in September, November, December, January, February, March, and April.
  • Full-day field trips at a local natural area in October and May.
  • Journals for each student in the program to record observations, practice science journaling, and develop reading and writing skills.
  • Ongoing science inquiry and encouragement of the students’ natural curiosity about the natural world.
  • 19 hours of direct instruction by a professional MNHC staff Naturalist.
  • Curriculum aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards that also contributes to curriculum goals in literacy, critical thinking, and communication.

I. Scope of Position:                                                    
The School Programs Manager is responsible for program preparation, coordination and facilitation of classroom and field-based lessons. In doing so, this position is responsible for and maintains a supportive and collaborative work environment with Naturalist Educators, Field Staff, interns and volunteers. This position is also directly responsible for training, managing, and evaluating educators on a regular and ongoing basis. In addition, they will develop and/or maintain systems and operations necessary for a highly successful and dynamic informal classroom, virtual, and outdoor science and nature education programs.

II. Specific Responsibilities (75%):

  • Manage systems within VNS, Homeschool and other school programs to ensure high program quality (i.e. supplies, calendar, training, scheduling, email communications) 
  • Provide and/or delegate instruction for VNS & homeschool classes September – May, including field trips.
  • Financial management of VNS, homeschool and other school program budgets.
  • Recruitment, training, evaluation, and supervision of Naturalist Educators, Field Staff, and volunteers to maintain program quality and further staff professional development goals. 
  • Lead and collaborate on curriculum development and new programs. 
  • Perform ongoing evaluation, analysis, and improvement of VNS, homeschool, and other school programs for effectiveness.  
  • Work with Volunteer Coordinator to recruit, interview, screen, train, and maintain appreciation to volunteers in supporting year-round MNHC programs.
  • Support Education Director as needed with grant reporting, site permits, professional development programming and special projects as needed.

III. Other Duties (25%)

a) Participate as part of the MNHC team, providing assistance and input where needed in other departments.

b) Other duties as assigned in teaching MNHC programs or participating in MNHC’s mission.

c) Lead additional educational activities as needed as time allows  

d) Assist/Lead teacher and educator workshops as needed.

e) Assist/Lead with development and evaluation of educational programs and curricula as needed. 


IV. Minimum Qualifications & Requirements

a) Teaching License/Certificate OR ability to demonstrate the equivalent pedagogy and experience of teaching in a formal classroom environment that utilizes best teaching practices.  Minimum 3 years teaching experience in the role of a teacher/educator in the field and/or in the classroom with children. 

b) Excellent written, phone and in-person professional communication skills. 

c) Ability to manage multiple tasks and to be accountable to deliverables. 

d) Experience developing NGSS/STEM/BEETLES and/or other curriculum and training new instructors/teachers. 

e) Ability to thrive in an environment that is fast-paced, creative, dynamic, and growing. Can be creative and adapt to schools’ evolving needs. 

f) Minimum of 3 years’ experience teaching in the role of a teacher/educator in both field and classroom settings. 

g) Minimum 2 years’ experience in a management role supervising staff.

h) Practical knowledge of methodologies in science and natural history education.

i) Experience with video editing and social media integration.

j) Valid driver’s license, clean driving record and willing to use personal vehicle for transportation. 

V. Reporting Relationships

School Programs Manager reports directly to Education Director. 

VI. Benefits

·       Paid vacation, holiday, and sick leave.

·       Eligibility for 403(b) retirement plan, including a 1% match.

·       Discounts for all MNHC programs.

·       Full medical and vision coverage.

·       Participation in professional development opportunities and a reflective teaching community that values ongoing innovation and skill development to meet our educational goals.  This includes training in environmental education best practices, ability to participate in professional organizations like the Montana Environmental Education Association, as well as, learning opportunities around natural history topics, and fundraising practices.

The Montana Natural History Center is committed to building a diverse community which is inclusive of people from all backgrounds. The Montana Natural History Center does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, age, citizenship status, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, mental illness, or physical illness. This nondiscrimination policy applies to employees, volunteers, participants, and all aspects of our operations.

How to Apply:

To apply please send a resume, cover letter and a list of three professional references to or mail to: 

Jennifer Robinson
Montana Natural History Center
120 Hickory St Ste A
Missoula MT

This position is open until filled.

Application review begins February 18, 2022.