FAQ’s About Teaching with WeeHands
Do WeeHands instructors need formal training in American Sign Language? Do I need this training before I start teaching?
Yes, absolutely. Our instructors have formal training in ASL and are familiar with Deaf Culture. While teaching our instructors are also encouraged to continue their ASL education and to be acquainted with the Deaf community in their areas.
Our instructors also have a background in adult education and child development. Current applicants as of January 2008 include ASL interpreters, speech language pathologists, teachers, communicative disorders assistants and early childhood educators.
The ideal WeeHands instructor has formal training in American Sign Language, experience teaching and experience with young children. He or she also has lots of energy, a passion for signing with young children and a good business sense.
What kind of support is provided to WeeHands Instructors?
- email, online and phone support by WeeHands founder, Sara Bingham is provided without additional charge to all of our Instructors.
- email and online support from all WeeHands Certified and Licensed Instructors. Many of our Instructors are speech-language pathologists, ASL interpreters and early childhood educators - there is a wealth of knowledge here for you to draw from!
- class participants leads that come into our head office for your community will be forwarded to you.
- your own free WeeHands email account, e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org, for use as long as you are a WeeHands Licensed Instructor.
- your own webpage on the WeeHands website that allows you to make changes at anytime. You'll have full access to update and change your WeeHands webpage on our site anytime - day or night.
- custom registration pages for each WeeHands class that you schedule on your webpage. There custom registration pages are easier to connect to your PayPal or Eventbrite accounts for easy and quick payments from your class registrants.
- access to hundreds of free or low cost marketing materials.. You can purchase our professional designed, yet still, custom marketing materials or you simply print off our free materials to print locally to suit your own needs.
- access to our online training for WeeHands Licensed Instructors that leads being a certified WeeHands Insturctors that includes over 10 hours of training regarding language development, marketing your classes and running amazing WeeHands baby, toddler or preschool sign language classes.
- access to the purchase of our baby, toddler or preschool children's sign language curriculum. Choose the class age and lengths that you want. Our curricula are priced between $100 and $150 each and one of each of the following for the WeeHands Instructor:
- your purchased lesson plan (in PDF format);
- one participant Family Guide for your purchased curriculum;
- one WeeHands DVD with songs and signs that teach in our classes for your purchased curriculum (where available). Click the links to samples and one of the songs that we teach in our classes: WeeHands At Home DVD and Change Your Diaper song.
- one WeeHands music CD with songs that we use and teach in our classes for your purchased curriculum (under development)
- one WeeHands flashcard set with signs that we use and teach in our classes for your purchased curriculum (under development)
- one WeeHands boardbook set with signs that we use and teach in our classes for your purchased curriculum (under development)
How do I become a WeeHands Instructor?
To start the application process, you can apply online by clicking here. We'll then review your application, provide you with more information and we will forward you a WeeHands License Agreement as well as a list of other documents that we need for your application, e.g., your resume, reference letters, etc. After these documents are collected and reviewed we will be in touch with regarding your application approval status.
Once a WeeHands instructor's application has been reviewed and reviewed, their WeeHands email account and webpage are set up and they are introduced to our online instructors' community. They are then eligible to purchase thier yearly WeeHands license and the WeeHands curriculum they want to start with. Most our curriculums have a $150.00 CDN fee.
How long does a successful application take?
This depends on how quickly you are able to get your application documents to us. Typically, the process takes about 1-2 months.
What is involved in teaching with WeeHands?
Each licensed WeeHands Instructor independently runs their own WeeHands business. WeeHands instructors set up their own class locations and market thier classes locally. WeeHands Head Office is involved in promoting WeeHands nationally both in Canada and the US.
As well, our Head Office frequently gets requests for instructors from community and parenting centres and we pass this information on to local instructors. Currently we have more centres requesting instructors than we have instructors!
Each WeeHands Instructor becomes part of our online WeeHands Instructor discussion group and here we share ideas, promotional plans, research articles, business forms & ideas, marketing templates for brochures, business cards, etc. This group provides ongoing support as well as help in getting started and marketing your WeeHands business.
I would like more information on the structure of the company...is this a franchise?
WeeHands Instructors operate independently of WeeHands Baby Sign Language Inc. WeeHands is not a franchise. Instructors are licensed to teach the WeeHands program and use the WeeHands name and logo according to the license agreement.
Is there a start up cost?
Most our curriculums have a $150.00 CDN fee. As well there are board book and CDs that you'll use in class that you'll need to purchase separately. If you already have some of these board books and CDs you will not need to purchase them again.
Are there any other fees?
To maintain your status as a licensed WeeHands instructor, there is an annual fee of approximately $150 CDN per year. Since WeeHands is copyrighted, one cannot teach or promote the program without a current license issued by WeeHands. Licensing, maintains the integrity of the program by ensuring that it is always offered according to standard.
We've set a payment plan up for this, so WeeHands instructors pay $12.50 / month after their first 6 months of being approved. This means your first year licensing fee is $75.00.
Your annual licensing fee also includes all professional development & support, national marketing campaigns and convention fees offered by WeeHands!
If you are setting up your own program, you will need to be prepared to make some purchases of teaching materials (a WeeHands curriculum, music CDs and boardbooks for use in class), as well as marketing materials before setting up your first class.
Who supplies materials?
Your WeeHands curriculum are provided by our Head Office and do the Family Guides that you will purchase for each of your class participants.
How much time do you have to put in?
You can work as little or as much as you'd like. We do have instructors working full-time, part-time and casually with thier WeeHands business. As with any business, the more you put into getting the word out there about your classes, the more you'll get back. We'll let you know how to getting started, what you'll need to do and where in your community to do it. With WeeHands, much of the getting started questions have already been answered for you!
What are the guidelines for maintaining the program other than an annual fee?
More information regarding our guidelines can be found in our WeeHands Instructors License Agreement. These will be discussed in the 10 unit online 'Business Basics' course offered to new instructors. As well, each class participant at the end of each class or workshop is asked to complete a class evaluation. This feedback is an important part in maintaining and improving upon the WeeHands program.