The Ash K. School of Magic
Greetings after-school coordinators, camp directors, parents, and others who work with kids.
I’m Kevin (only the kids call me “Mr. Madden”), and besides managing Ash K., I teach magic classes.
My first teaching job was twenty-five years ago on a Fulbright Teaching Assistant posting in Austria. When you hire me to teach magic or beginning juggling, you get about eleven years of classroom experience, a yet-to-be-paid-off M.A.Ed., and a reliable contractor upon whom you can rely for quality pedagogy and proven abilities in my work with kids.
Do you offer a summer camp?
Not at this time. I’m often hired by summer camps, and would be interested in hearing from people serious about starting one for Bay Area kids.
What if I Just Want a Magic Party?
Not a problem. $24 per child gets you $18 worth of tricks that they keep plus an hour with me showing them how to do them and other tricks with everyday objects. (10 child minimum)
Working With Your Kids
When I teach I’m teaching beyond the immediate skill set: from good practice habits, to building tolerance for the inevitable frustration that comes for ambitious kids, to respect for others’ feelings and abilities – all have a place in my classroom. Few of these kids (if any) will be professional magicians, jugglers, or chess players – but they will all be human beings. I strive more my time with them to be one of the many adults who challenges them to grow intellectually and emotionally in a safe environment.
How Schools & I Conduct Ourselves
What I Offer Schools & Parents:
“If you’re not early, you’re late.” I’m compulsive about being a little early all the time, because adversity (traffic accidents, etc.) is guaranteed in life.
Age appropriate Kindergartners don’t have much to speak of in the fine motor skills department; what challenges a second grader is often easy-peasy for a 5th grader. I always adjust lessons accordingly.
Classroom Management My first teaching job was 25 years ago as a Fulbright Teaching Assistant in Austria, and I’ve worked with kids more or less since then. Got it covered, and only will call on you for kids you already know to be extra-challenging. Zero tolerance for bullying.
Solid Pedagogy The object of class is always to build skills and confidence using sound modeling, correction, and reward, all resting on a bed of patience and kindness.
Fun Walk by my class, and there’s a 50% chance you’ll hear the kids giggling. I’m not teaching semiotics or o-chem at your school, and we all know it. It’s about fun and skill building.
Responsiveness Whether it’s your school’s paperwork or a parent’s inquiry, I will always respond within 24 hours, and generally within four hours.
Flexibility Some days, weirdness comes to pass. I’m always going to be your ally, whether it’s waiting for a couple minutes for a kid’s parents to pick them up, or helping out with an immediate problem on campus. I’m there to be part of your community and a trusted resource.
Non-lecture format Young children need less talking and more doing.
What I Need from Schools & Parents:
Responsiveness We both have better things to do than chase one another. A one-line text will answer my email or text message. We are all very busy, but if I contact you, please respond as soon as reasonably possible.
Mutual Commitment I have set aside that day of the week (M-T-W-Th-T) for your school. If you do not want his class the following quarter, please tell me by week four of the current quarter/semester so I can give it to another waiting school. One school informed me two weeks before the new quarter that they weren’t having him back for variety’s sake, and only because I happened to call to see if they preferred another day. I won’t be teaching there again.
One-Ahead If an odd event is happening at the school, please drop me a line, and if a kid is having a bad day at school or home, mention this to me before class.
Also, having to move classrooms where we work/play is never a problem; class cancelled school-wide and not telling me IS a problem (and has happened).
Payment Schedules If your school can’t meet my proposed payment schedule, any reasonable payment schedule with specific dates is probably fine. “Turn in your invoice and we’ll be sure you get paid” is not fine.
Collegial Though not a teacher at your school, I’m also not in the supplies business. Please treat me as a colleague rather than that dreaded word, “vendor.”
We can happily pair classes with a show by Ash K.
For those wanting a curriculum-based show, I put my expertise to use (and I’m pretty good – I did design a program which won the National Endowment for the Arts for a regional orchestra), and if you want a show about any particular subject matter (from jazz to orchestral music to local history to etiquette to how to get awesome at something), we have something for your kids.
What Do My Classes Cost?
I charge toward the top end of what other enrichment teachers do (and with the experience I have, I often hear that it’s well worth it). Either fill out the “Book Ash K.” form, or give me a ring at 415.922.5446
Testimonials about My Teaching
“Kevin was my son’s magic teacher in 1st grade and he was AMAZING! My son is at a French immersion school and we had never heard him speak French– until Kevin’s magic class. Kevin’s class was creative, inspiring and fun for all the kids. Because of Kevin’s nurturing style and wonderful teaching tactics, Drew felt confident enough to demonstrate a magic trick to his entire class in French. It was videotaped and put on the school’s website. We will remember Kevin forever and highly recommend his class to any- and everyone!!!”
October 4, 2012 – Lisa Signoff
“My children were in Nueva’s Summer Camps and loved their experience with Kevin Madden. Engaged, motivated, intrigued are words that immediately come to mind to describe Kevin in the classroom. Kevin is extremely talented not only as a magician, but as a classroom instructor. We have been fortunate to have him at our school.
Thank you Kevin for commitment you make to our children every time you step in the classroom.”
July 16, 2012 – Athena Chavarria