There have been a lot of comments on Facebook about the number of Santa schools that have popped up in the Atlanta area, as well as the traveling schools that have come to the area as well.
Let me start off by saying “there are no bad Santa Schools”. I have been a Santa for decades and I have been to many of the Santa schools and taught at several other than my own. And I have always said those very words at each and every school I have taught at, as well as during private conversations with other Santas. You will always learn something, no matter how seasoned you are as Santa or Mrs. Claus. And almost everyone knows that often the best “golden nuggets” of information you glean will not be from the curriculum, but rather from your fellow students.
- But that being said, now the rest of the story. These are the two questions you should ask yourself with regard to selecting the right school for you.
- Do you want to be a professionally trained Santa, or a guy in a red suit?
What is the most important factor to you – the best deal, in terms of price, or the most valuable and beneficial curriculum?
Those two answers may help you focus on how and what to pay for training and a quality education that will give you the greatest value for your dollars spent.
I would venture to say that there is nothing better than being Santa. And the truth is, there are very few things you can do with such minimal training that can bring you the hourly rate you are able to charge. And for those of you who say you are not into Santa for the money that is fine, but ask yourself these questions:
Why would I not charge enough for my Santa gigs so that I can afford some professional training? If you truly want to be the best professional Santa, gain the most knowledge and look your best with regard to suits and supplies, there is an expense involved. And based on what you can afford for training, your money should be well spent in a way that brings you greater satisfaction, more job opportunities, and better experiences for the children and yourself.
So about the education:
The smallest school is not necessarily the worst choice and the biggest school is not necessarily the best choice. You need to base your choice for a Santa education on the 3 THINGS – the CURRICULUM, the VENDORS, and the FELLOW STUDENTS who are attending.
CURRICULUM: Is the curriculum the same classes every time, or is it new information? Are the classes and subjects constantly being reinvented, or are they repetitive and possibly stagnant? Are the instructors qualified for the subjects they teach? How many instructors are offered and what is their background? Are the instructors just giving opinions or sharing stories, or are they professional instructors and recognized experts in their field imparting knowledge that is of benefit to you?
Does the school offer a “cookie-cutter” curriculum which is the same each session, or does the school offer a changing curriculum geared for those who attend each session?
Is the school owner Santa or Mrs. Claus someone you respect, someone who projects positivity rather than negativity, and someone who is approachable? Does the owner “walk the walk” and “talk the talk” of what they teach about being professional and is this reflected in their social media posts, personal interactions, etc.
VENDORS: How many vendors attend the school? Are they well known and respected? Are various products and types of vendors offered? Are the vendors knowledgeable and able to assist Christmas professionals get ready for the season?
FELLOW STUDENTS: How many students will attend and will you be able to network with? Are your fellow students varied in age, experience, and type (i.e. Private, Mall, Bass Pro, etc.)? Is there a good mix of both Santas and Mrs. Claus in attendance?
Ask your fellow Santas and Mrs. Clauses before you register for any school: Which schools have then been to and how do each compare? What did they like best and least about each? Which school was the best value for them? Which school would they go to again and why? And if they know you personally which school do they think would be best for you to attend and why?
Thank you for “listening” and I hope you found this helpful.