Social Engagement: High
What’s What: Do you enjoy working with children? Are you a believer in experiential learning and fostering a love of nature in the young? Tinkergarten is a flexible, fulfilling way to run your own show in your own community by bringing families together to learn outdoors.
Amava Take: Tinkergarten is on a mission to ensure that the next generation of children can lead happy and healthy lives and take stewardship of the planet. Their growing network of leaders (educators) bring local families together for expertly-designed, outdoor classes where kids learn through play. Kids from 6 months all the way through 8 years old can enjoy these fun, engaging experiences in the great wide open. If you are inspired to bring high quality education to families in your community, take a look at Tinkergarten.
From the Front Lines:
Is there required training?
Yes! There’s a new leader course designed similarly to a college course. It is delivered online over a four week period and includes content on child and adult learning and development, with an emphasis on outdoor, play-based education. The course also includes a hands-on immersive experience in which new leaders facilitate outdoor, play-based educational activities with groups of young children.
Do I have to pay for the training or materials?
To help Tinkergarten defray the cost of support to leaders, they deduct $100 from a leader’s earned compensation in each of their first two successful seasons for a total leader certification fee of $200. As long as a leader continues to run successful classes, Tinkergarten provides them with all necessary curriculum, teaching materials, customized technology tools, ongoing training, mentorship, marketing and enrollment support, coverage of any site fees, insurance, and a responsive support team—at no additional cost, every season.
What kind of money can I make?
Leaders can earn between $300 and $1000 for each 8-week class they lead, depending on location. Most leaders run multiple classes each season, and across each of the 4 scheduled seasons in a calendar year.
Can I advance with the company?
Leaders who demonstrate continued commitment and success can apply to play additional roles for Tinkergarten— as park liaisons, leader mentors and more.
From the Trenches:
What was the most notable thing about working with Tinkergarten?
It is incredibly fun and remarkably flexible. I’ve been able to choose the time, location and amount of classes I want to run, so the scope of time commitment is up to you. I’ve brought my grandkids along for free as well.
What’s the support once you’ve started leading?
It’s amazing! There’s an online Leader discussion forum for idea sharing, social media community, seasonal curriculum courses which also include information about the latest research, monthly office hours with the Founder and central office teammates, opportunities to learn facilitated by coaches and incredible 7-day per week super-responsive support. Tinkergarten is an incredible, mission-driven team. I’ve learned so much working with them.
What happens if it rains?
Hey, there are lessons in that! With the right gear, kids will typically have a great experience learning outside. If it’s really too hot or too cold or there is a threat of lightning, of course I’ll postpone class, but otherwise, it’s a go! Also, I text and email parents and communicate about the weather if I think there’s something they need to know. Human skin isn’t 100% waterproof, but it is certainly water-resistant. Teachable moment!
Special Requirements: You don’t need any formal teaching experience to be a successful Tinkergarten leader. Just passion and joy for play, love of the natural world and your community, a natural ability to connect with kids and adults and a supportive, team spirit. That and complete the training.
Setting it Up: If Tinkergarten sounds like a good fit for you, apply now!