Summer Staff Collaborator
Popularized by our good friends at Tinkering School, the term collaborator gets to the heart of how we approach education. A collaborator is a teammate, not an omniscient leader. They join the kids as equals in all aspects of their project through conception, construction, revision and presentation. They vulnerably suggest new ideas and humbly admit when they don’t know the answer. Their investment in the project is authentic; they’re stoked when an idea works, frustrated when a technical challenge seems insurmountable, yet convicted to keep moving forward. Collaborators uphold our community values (patience, creativity, curiosity, grit, empathy) by modeling them themselves.
As leaders, collaborators keep an extra eye on their teammates’ engagement, safety and learning. They constantly ask how they can make this experience more approachable and empowering for the kids who are struggling and more challenging for the kids who are excelling.
We look for collaborators who self identify as kid or project specialists. Maybe you are both! Women, people of color, and people of all gender identities are strongly encouraged to apply.
You get kids and connect with them easily. Around you, they feel heard, seen and loved. You laugh when a nine year old makes a joke - not because you're supposed to, but because it’s freaking hilarious. You understand that being a powerful mentor and a good friend can often look similar, but you find holding appropriate boundaries intuitive. You're energetic, optimistic and empathic; when morale is waning, you know how to validate feelings and help get kids reinvigorated.
Though we will consider a variety of backgrounds, formal training in progressive education or other professional experience working with kids is a major plus.
Artist? Engineer? Carpenter? Whatever the medium, we’re looking for people with a passion for making. You make stuff professionally or for fun - probably both. The urge to create and learn new skills is a driving force in your life. While you know how to do it “the right way” you are open to experimentation and improv.
You love working on teams and have found sharing your knowledge with others both intuitive and fulfilling. You’ve worked with kids or novice adults on complicated projects and found you have that rare combination of confidence, competence and patience that lets learners feel safe and inspired.
What’s the job?
At its heart, your role will support the creation of an environment which meets kids right where they are. Where bombastic kids have opportunities to express themselves and shy kids feel safe enough - emotionally and physically - to fully participate in a collaborative large scale project. And lest it be forgotten, this is camp, not school; we plan to have a lot of fun. There are also some day to day realities. Here are some duties you'll be expected to participate in:
- Co-develop curriculum and pick the summer's projects with the rest of staff (we co-design summer to make sure everyone has a project they are stoked about)
- Attend up to two weekly meetings to discuss improving camp and meeting kids' needs
Participate in daily camp operations:
- Build large-scale, sophisticated projects with kids utilizing power tools
- Facilitate group discussions and brainstorms
- Identify teachable-moments and deliver mini-lessons
- Play games outside
- Set up and clean up camp each day and facilitate transitions
Maintain an emotionally and physically safe environment:
- Uphold Project Ember’s tool use safety policies (to be covered in training)
- Model and teach inclusivity
- Facilitate meaningful collaboration and mediate conflict among campers
- Bandage scrapped knees, have heart to hearts, and celebrate vulnerability
- You have started and completed a complex project of your own volition and/or you have experience working with children as a teacher, camp counselor, or mentor
- You must be able to pass criminal background check
- You are an excellent communicator
- You are swift to adapt to changing situations and have tolerance for uncertainty
- You are committed to safety and high quality program delivery
- The ability to understand and make oneself understood with Spanish speaking families is a plus, though not required
Schedule, Location and Compensation
- Project Ember will take place in Berkeley, CA at Black Pine Circle's lower school and in Menlo Park, CA at Synapse School.
- Day camp sessions will begin June 12, 2017 and run through July 28, 2017.
- ~40 Hours/week: Camp operates Monday through Friday, 9:30am - 3:30pm. Extended care is available for families upon request starting at 8:30am and ending at 5:30pm. Staff will alternate working 8 hour shifts, 8:30-4:30 and 9:30-5:30.
- We will have a week long site set-up and staff training (including first aid certification) beginning June 5, 2017, and a three day clean up and final debrief after program ends.
- $760/week, ($19/hour) paid bi-weekly, including training and clean-up weeks
Please include a cover letter and résumé, along with a sample of your work (photos will do fine) in a PDF format in your application. We look forward to hearing from you!
Children Icon by Gilad Fried and Female Contractor by Wilson Joseph from the Noun Project