Education Manager

What If Puppets / Kansas City, MO



What if Puppets (WiP) provides innovative touring shows and educational programs for young people from birth to 8 years old, trains emerging artists in puppetry, and builds custom puppets for commercial clients. We are looking for an experienced Teaching Artist and administrator to join our team and oversee portions of our growing Puppets in Education programming.

Inspiring play and cultivating connections through puppetry.

The Education Manager works under the direct supervision of the Director of Education and collaborates with Teaching Artists and other What if Puppets staff as schedule permits. The role will spend a portion of their time supporting the Education Department by overseeing scheduling of residencies, professional developments, and family engagement events, and will ensure the quality of Residency Teaching Artist’s work through regular observations and mentorship. The Education Manager will also facilitate professional developments, and collaborate with the Education Director to innovate new programming. This position will direct and oversee our In the Workshop scholarship program which is an interactive puppetry experience for Kindergarteners, as well as oversee components of our summer programming. Included in this position is also the creation of supplemental materials and other materials support for our programs. In addition to this work, the Education Manager will facilitate their own residencies within the greater Kansas City Metro, which includes mentorship of traditional classroom teachers. This residency work might include the facilitation of pilot programs such as our counselor residency and infant & toddler residencies, as well as potentially working with the full range of our 0-8 year old population.

MANAGER (primary role)

  • Collaborate with Education Director on residencies and other programming
  • Mentor and coach What if Puppets Teaching Artists through regular observations and one-on-one meetings
  • Research strategies for the management and support of Teaching Artists
  • Create supplemental materials and other resources for partners
    Build and maintain relationships and communicates regularly with all site partners
  • Support “In the Workshop” scholarship program with directing, devising, and scheduling
  • Attend WiP meetings and professional developments
  • Respond to emails in a timely manner
  • Other duties as assigned that support the health of the organization and education department

TEACHING ARTIST (secondary role, schedules around education work)

  • Collaborate with Education Director on residency content and adaptations
  • Prepare and facilitate lessons for sessions
  • Participate in family engagements
  • Mentor and coach educators through classroom sessions, and scheduled one-on-one meetings
  • Research strategies on classroom management and educator mentorship
  • Create resources and provocations for educators
  • Build relationships with and communicate regularly with assigned teachers, principals, and site administrators
  • Attend WiP meetings and professional developments
  • Respond to classroom teacher and principal emails in a timely manner
  • Other duties as assigned that support the health of the organization and education department


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience
  • Artist with a specialty in theater, visual arts, or puppetry
  • At least 5 years experience working within Early Childhood Development (0-8 year olds)
  • Significant experience teaching the arts to Infant, Toddlers, and Preschoolers (0-5 year olds)
  • Strong understanding of Arts Integration strategies
  • Strong knowledge of Early Childhood pedagogy
  • Knowledge of youth development and social emotional learning
  • Appreciation of puppetry and willingness to learn how to incorporate into residencies
  • Strong organization and administrative skills
  • Ability to lift 35 lbs
  • Valid driver’s license
    Access to reliable transportation as this role travels around the city


  • Experience directing and devising theater
  • Experience in Conscious Discipline or similar classroom management theories
  • Experience with Neurodivergent students or willingness to learn

Full Time, Salary


  • Starting Pay: $45,000-50,000 annually
  • Simple IRA – match up to 3% of employee contribution
  • 0.55 per mile – Mileage reimbursement between locations after first 5 miles of the WiP studio

Kansas City Metro Area

Director of Education

Email resume to by March 31st, 2024. Interviews will be held by appointment.

We recognize that diverse teams make the strongest teams, and we encourage people from all backgrounds to apply.

Learn more about the company at