Mondays @ the Museum has made it 5 months from inception and 4 months from incorporation! When I first started Mondays @ the Museum, it was in response to a need for supplemental income and a realization that I had a unique (and possibly profitable) skill set that others might actually benefit from. My skill set is unique in it’s type, not necessarily in it’s quality. There are thousands of Museum Educators out there that are much better educators than I am and have dedicated their lives to developing museum educational theory and practices that museums around the world have adopted to reach audiences far and wide. What is unique is the idea of Museum Education as an actual ‘skill’ or as a skill that can be produced and shared outside of a particular institution for the benefit of audiences far and wide.
My theory of why this is true in my case, is that I have mentally equated my skill as a trained musician to my skill as a trained museum educator. I have placed the act of education, particularly museum or informal education into the realm of performance or maybe more specifically, performance art; a realm that I am far more competent in than education in the realm of academia. What I came to realize is that this difference in my approach to museum education is unique amongst my colleagues. (Though I also know, for a fact, that I am very much NOT the only one) This uniqueness has more often than not, caused me feelings of inadequacy and a constant feeling of imposter syndrome, even as I continued to find myself in positions of leadership. I had to shift my perspective of my unique approach to the field, in which I have been working for so many years, to one of competence and inspiration towards growth and progress rather than cowering incompetence and motivation fueled by defensiveness and fear of being discovered a fraud. The balance is that I am fully aware and accepting of my lack of academic expertise in much of what I teach and I have no problem reaching out, citing and celebrating those experts for their research and insight. In fact, I rely heavily on my relationships with these experts to maintain my own continuing education and share quality material to those I influence.
With that initial understanding, I produced my first sellable product, “Tour the Met” a 6-part exploration of the Metropolitan Museum’s, free #metkids site presented via interactive e-learning videos that utilize multiple entry points for learning, from Visual Art to STEM to Performing Arts to Social Studies. These classes were created mainly for homeschooling parents or classroom teachers to utilize as supplemental instruction, and for me to practice and experiment with my new idea and video editing skills. These are still available for purchase on my Teachers Pay Teachers website! Each sale from my store provides me with 80% revenue and 20% of each sale from my store goes back to Teachers Pay Teachers to continue providing millions of Teachers nation-wide with access to affordable classroom instructional resources and additional sources of income.
Having learned a lot in the last 5 months, and continued to be fueled by a mission to inspire a life-long love of learning of the human condition by utilizing museums and similar informal-learning institutions as a tool for deeper understanding, I am embarking on a new series in 2021, “Traveling the world @ the museum” and presenting several free, live, large-format courses and multiple, for-purchase, intimate, small-group, Mondays @ the Museum classes, in partnership with my new best friends at Varsity Tutors. (Keep your eyes open for more announcements and registration information in January, and clear your Mondays through May for learning.)
Thank you to those who continue to follow me on my entrepreneurial journey! I value your support and appreciate that my ideas are finding a home with others. Please spread the word about Mondays @ the Museum and keep learning and growing!