I usually talk about my past teaching experiences in the blog posts; so I thought I would switch it up and talk a little about the work here in the museum. Since I will doing a good deal of editing and writing for our new website this month, I decide to just to a quick top five list.
When I started working here at CHS I was in shock that I got to the opportunity to teach outside the traditional classroom. It was such a fun and refreshing environment to work in, but like any job the day to day can creep in my thoughts and if forget how cool it can be. So how do i keep from getting burnt out? I just take some time and check out some of the stuff here to remind me why this is a pretty cool job.
5. I can touch a museum exhibit?
There is an interactive element to most of the exhibits, and it helps to break up some of the programs. When I find myself droning on and on about a topic, seeing the eyes start to glass over in the audience, I know there is something fun coming. I can tease the games, and then some times help the ( students? Guests? Visitors?) out when they are doing them. My favorite one is the bobbins in Making Connecticut. The kids always ask me to try it with them, but I never do. The reason? I always try it before and after they leave trying to beat the best time of the day. Yeah, I’m just a big kid.
4. Wait is that a bullet hole?
Pointing out things in the exhibits that are different or cool are always a treat. I have taught a lot of 3 Branches of Government programs over the past four years, and there are times that they run a little short. It usually has to do with the fact that I have taught them back to back to back, and like a stand up comic I have honed the material and made it a very tightly packed and planned program. So when I end a few minutes early I can show off some of the tavern signs in our auditorium. I alway point on the red coat sign with all the buck shot embedded into it. I tell them it was the way they gave reviews in the past before the internet. Don’t like the tavern? Shoot the sign, letting everyone know it was bad.
3. Oh the pants again….
Like a few others on the staff the Hepburn exhibit will not go in history as the best of all time, but I can appreciate the history and the importance on Connecticut history. So why are the slacks that give Ben nightmares in the main picture? Well our exhibits change from time to time, giving me something to look forward to every few months. Every time I start to get tired of walking through the same hallway there is something new. Even in our permeant Making Connecticut Exhibit changes take place throughout the year.
2. Hey Mr. Q remember last time we were here?
Yes most of the time they come and they go, never to be seen again, but there are times when they return with a new class for a new program. Sometimes we work with schools and do multiple visits over the school year, and sometimes they come and see us a few times. That is the biggest thing I miss from working in a class room. I don’t get to really know the kids, but I still get some cards and letters, which helps remind me why I’m still a teacher.
1. Report cards are no longer due!!!
No grading. I know every teacher out there is throwing something at the screen right now, but that is one of the perks of being a museum educator. I remember coming home on the weekend with 150 essays to grade and wanted to just put them all through the shredder and call it a night. There is still paperwork and lesson plans to work on for our programs, but in the end I have don’t have to grade tests and homework anymore. That might just be the best part of this job. I get to teach and not grade.