Ashley Davis

Working as a Snapologist: Functional Messes, Family, and a New Kind of Teaching

Ashley Davis

Ashley Davis has been with Snapology for over five years, starting as a part-time teacher and growing into her current role as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Snapology — a position that encompasses all of the curriculum and training resources given to Snapology’s teachers (or “Snapologists”). We sat down with her to learn about what it’s like to work at Snapology, the company culture, and how they hire.

What About Snapology First Caught Your Eye?

I’m a teacher by trade. I saw Snapology and it was all about LEGO® bricks and STEAM, and I was like ‘that just looks fun’. I was an English teacher so this was something very different. I thought I’d do it part-time just to keep myself entertained, but then I walked into the Discovery Center and it was just the coolest place I’d ever been. My nine-year-old self was like, ‘where was this when I was a kid?’

When I was growing up, science was just very formulaic and by the book. You study, memorize, and repeat. Snapology was so different. It was very creative. There was also a lot of team building; kids have to work together to finish certain tasks or to even play with certain toys, and I just loved everything about the energy there. Everyone was engaged. When I saw it in action, I knew this is what education should be. I got hooked on it and got more and more involved over time.

What’s a Snapology Teaching Moment That Had an Impact on You?

There are so many! There was one moment where I was working on a “Science of Slime” class that taught the science behind polymers. I loved it because it was science, but it was hidden science, and the kids ended up making messes, which is great! When we were piloting the program, my co-teacher and I turned our backs for a second and when we turned back around, this kid in the back of the classroom was covered in slime from head to toe. We were shocked, he was shocked. Then I saw his mom watching from the window and I couldn’t help but start laughing.

I went to apologize to her and she said, laughing too, “That's exactly the reason why I sent him here. I sent him here because I didn't want him doing that at my house, and I knew that's what would happen.”

She didn't care, and he was so happy when he realized he wasn't in trouble! We helped him clean up and he had a great time. All of the kids left with a basic understanding of polymers, so what if they got a little bit messy and I got a little bit crazy in the process? Parents were happy too and for me it was just such a great educational experience: hands-on and something that normally wouldn’t happen in a classroom. It brought me so much joy and I'm certain that kid will remember our slime workshop for the rest of his life.

What Are You Looking for When You Hire at Snapology?

A Snapologist is not only someone who has certain degrees or credentials, but a person who fits into our family. Someone who’s very curious and creative, who likes to work on teams, who can let their guard down and be a bit silly and maybe doesn’t mind being a little bit messy!

In short, we’re looking for people who embrace the chaos. When we find those people, it’s really easy to train them on our curriculum and engagement strategies in a Snapology classroom.

What Are Some of the Perks of Working at a Snapology?

While franchise owners have varying benefits depending on location, the greatest perk of working at Snapology is the flexibility. If you’re the right fit for us, we can find ways to work our schedules to fit around you. Maybe you have kids or you’re working another job; we are usually able to accommodate.

We're also very flexible with giving discounts or even just letting some of your family members join our programs and be involved. We have a lot of moms who started working for Snapology because their kids love it so much and we love that! Their kids will often come with them when they teach their classes.

What Can Candidates Expect From Snapology’s Hiring Process?

There’s an online application form, and if it looks like it may be a good fit, we do a quick phone call. We don't want to waste anybody's time, so we do a quick five-minute conversation to see if your availability is right and if you're comfortable with the kind of stuff that we do with Snapology.

If that goes well, the next step is an in-person interview. Franchise owners handle this a little differently — you might meet at the physical location or at a coffee shop (with Covid-19, everyone has transitioned to video interviews and remote learning).

As a final hiring step, we might do a shadowing experience in a classroom. This lets you see what's going on and we look and see how you interact with the students. After that, we'll either send you an offer letter or we'll encourage you to apply for a different position or maybe wait for a different time.

Teaching robotics to children

What Advice Would You Give Someone Who Wants to Apply for a Job at Snapology?

My advice would be to be yourself. I know that seems obvious, but don't try to be the person that you think we want you to be because you won't be happy. I encourage everybody that's hiring to be very transparent about what we are offering teachers: expect chaos, expect the unexpected, and expect a lot of fun!

My number one tip is just to be very honest with your interviewer because they're being coached to be honest with you. The more honest you can be, the better we are at finding the right fit for you. We have over 85 programs at this point, a ton of different things that people teach, so you might not be the best person to teach our sports science class, but maybe you are the right person to teach our drones class or to teach our video game design class.

Check out current Snapology openings and apply today!

About the author: Natalie Morgan is the Senior Director of People at CareerPlug, a hiring software company partnered with Snapology to help attract and hire the right people.