Friday, 23 April 2010

Museum Education Rocks

Several times and from several people over the last couple of weeks I have been asked why I stay teaching here at the museum (always asked in the nicest way, of course). Some wonder why I don't go back to classroom teaching. Others wonder why I don't take one of those admin jobs that pay more but keep you in the office most of the day.

My response? Let me tell you a little about my past two weeks and hopefully you'll see why I feel privileged to be a museum teacher.

Many of the students I meet bring a great deal of fun and humour into my day. Some of you have already heard this story but I'm still chuckling over it days later. Earlier this week I had a grade 4 class in and I was teaching them about the Great Depression. I was telling several stories and I said "I know a man who... and I know a man who..." when a student in the back of the room piped up and said "you sure know a lot of men."

I also had a job shadow student this week, a delightful grade 11 student who knows she wants to work in the history field but doesn't know exactly where or what. Virtually every person here at the museum THINKS they have the past job (but only I truly do). So it was great that she was able to go along with a class through the Archives, see the Collections area and watch several of our school programs. Quite often I get students who tell me they want my job or to work in museums when they grow up. It is wonderful to think how many historians Lethbridge may have in the not too distant future.

I have had two private cemetery tours in the last two weeks. One was for education students at the university. The other was for a group from the YWCA.

The ed. students had to write about the experience and I was able to read their work. Many wrote how interesting our local history is and how sad they were that they were only learning about it at the end of their time at the university. By working with young students, hopefully they will just always know that history is cool.

Also, the ed. students were asked to be creative in how they wrote of the experience. One student wrote a poem and another wrote a song about the tour. How can you not love a job where songs are written about your work?

That's just a few of the fun stories from the past 2 weeks and the 25 classes we've had through. Every day at lunch or coffee I have another story to share with the staff and volunteers here. Who knows what will happen next week?

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