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RE: solutions for museums


From: Kimberly Herbert (kimberly_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Oct 15 2000 - 19:50:27 PDT

I never thought anyone was criticizing. I understand the frustration
teachers feel, when you keep hitting roadblocks. Since I'm a certified
teacher, who subbed before getting this job, I spend a lot of time
explaining school stuff to museum staff. I don't mind explaining museum
stuff here; I just hope it helps. I find asking why do we have this rule is
the first step in breaking down many roadblocks. Next time a museum says
they don't allow students before or after a certain time ask why. It can't
hurt. I know if teachers had not given us feed back and made their needs
known, we wouldn't have changed. We wouldn't have known there was a need.
For larger museums get together with other teachers and make yourselves be
heard. Talk to or write the head of the education department and the
director of the museum. The person you talk to on the phone at a large
museum may not have the authority to make or suggest changes. If someone in
the ed department doesn't want to accommodate teachers as much as possible,
they need to change jobs. They should be able to give you a real reason for
rule and because this is the way we have always done it IS NOT A
REASON!!!!!! The only reasons for rules are safety (of your students, of
others, and of the art work) and fairness.

Here are my rules regarding trips
Min 1 class or 10 homeschoolers (fairness some grades around here might have
4 or 5 students in the smaller districts but I'm not booking homeschool
families as field trips)

Maximum 30 students in a fieldtrip in the art studio (60 if tour c split
between Picture Book Library and Gallery/art Studio) (Fairness and safety
more than this is too crowded around the tables)

30 minutes between school groups (fairness the second group deserves a clean
art studio and unfrazzled staff member)

Fridays I get a lunch break before 1 pm (fairness I'm the only one on duty
from 1-5 and I deserve lunch)

Usual museum rules regarding manners in the gallery and safety around the
artwork (safety)

Usual Art Studio rules regarding proper behavior in the art studio (Safety)

No blocking the fire doors in the art studio (safety) Can someone explain
why people always want to pile coats, purses etc in front of the fire door?

Kimberly Herbert (
CAM Administrator
San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts/Children's Art Museum

Two things all staff know that they say to me at the risk of feeling that
Sullivan temper full blast
1. It is not my job (or the variation it is not in my job description)
2. But that is the way we have always done it (usually accompanied by a
whine that recalls fingernails on the black board)

-----Original Message-----
From: Diane C. Gregory, Ph.D. []
Sent: Sunday, October 15, 2000 3:53 PM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: RE: solutions for museums


Good suggestions on making contacts with museum personnel. It seems
museums have their procedures and difficulties as well. The more we talk
to each other about solutions and obstacles the better we will understand
each other.

I know sometimes people are quick to criticize before finding out all the
facts. Not that anyone has been criticizing, but when people get
discouraged, as we all do, we sometimes don't understand the other side.

Thanks for sharing.


Diane C. Gregory, Ph.D.
lose weight now, ask me how!

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