Added to Medium, August 24, 2018
Most of the summer for museum educators is dedicated to organizing the school programs for the upcoming school year. Since we also focus on practicing self-care, museum educators also focus their summers on spending time enjoying the summer vacation. With schools starting soon, a lot of our minds especially museum educators reflect on what has been accomplished during the summer and finalize programs for the upcoming school year.
This week’s main topic on #MuseumEdChat’s Twitter discussion was a recap of our summers. Participants were asked to share where we went during the summer (from far away places to a couple of blocks away), books, articles, and what skills we learned outside of the field that we can adopt into our practice as museum educators. Also, we were encouraged to share photographs from our summer experiences. The memories I have shared with #MuseumEdChat are:
I took part in planning and executing Culper Spy Tour in collaboration with the @fairfieldmuseum and I planned and executed a test summer program for the Three Village Historical Society #MuseumEdChat
Q2: Read any good books (or articles or magazines or blogposts or listened to podcasts)? Tell us! They can be #museum or work related, or not… we all need to escape now and then… #MuseumEdChat
A2 I am currently reading The Forgotten Founding Father by Joshua Kendall about Noah Webster (shout out to @NoahWebHouse where I used to work!) and I am reading the current edition of the Journal of Museum Education #MuseumEdChat
Q3. OK, there has to be a good story – whether it’s a #museum story or not… tell us – in 180 characters or less (or a string of replied tweets)! #MuseumEdChat
A3 I don’t know if you mean recent stories or not but the pictures of seagulls I posted reminded me of when I was a kid visiting my grandparents on the Cape my cousins, sisters, and I were feeding seagulls then suddenly a swarm of them chased us across the beach. #MuseumEdChat
Plus I also shared that I went to Robert Moses Beach in Babylon, New York with my fiancé and friends then went to one of our friends’ houses for a game night. I also shared a few photographs of seagulls from that day that reminded me of my childhood. It was a lively conversation that showed so many museum professionals enjoying their summers in and out of the field.
Now we think about what we need to do to prepare for the upcoming school year. Museum educators prepare for school visits by, and not limited to, sharing what the museums have to offer to school teachers and their students and prepare materials to have enough for each program. By advertising school programs ahead of time, teachers are made aware of what they can offer to their students to aide the lessons learned within the classroom. Museum educators also review evaluations from the previous school year to figure out how to improve the quality of their education programming to meet the standards and expectations of the visiting schools.
An upcoming resource from the New England Museum Association offers information to help museum educators prepare for this school year. According to their website, this month’s Lunch with NEMA webinar, Small Goals are Better than No Goals: An Hour for Museum Educators to Plan for Evaluation and Reflection Before the Madness Begins,
During this session, you’ll set realistic evaluation goals for the upcoming year—whether you simply want to find ways to be more reflective about your personal practice or you want to develop an evaluation plan for your entire department.
I plan to use this resource to assist myself and my teams to see how we can develop our educational programming and utilize our evaluations in the most effective way possible.
What is your plans for the upcoming year? How are your educators and/or education departments preparing for this school year?