May 18, 2013 – a day that was filled with excitement, uncertainty, and mixed emotions. For on this day, I was graduating from college. A day that seemed so far away when I was a freshman, now already here before my eyes. How four years flew by! All I could think was, “Now what do I do?” I was so accustomed to having everything planned out and knowing what my next step would be for each semester. After the ceremony and celebrations were over, I realized that I was uncertain of what my next step was going to be. Being the planner that I am, this was an uneasy feeling. I only knew a few things for certain. One was that I had a degree in Education and minor in History. Second, I wanted to teach but I always dreamed of working in a museum setting. Three… wait, is there a third thing? That was all that I had to go off of at the time.
The summer months consisted of working as a nanny and job searching, which I found to be a relentless task. My uneasy feelings began to return around August when my nanny position was coming to its season conclusion and once again my next step was a mystery. Needless to say, the job searching and interview process continued.
It was then that I came across the position as a museum educator at the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center. After reading the job description it hit me that I could have the opportunity to work in a museum and teach; how perfect! I decided to apply, unsure of my chances. To my surprise, I was called for interviews and chosen for the position! I was ecstatic when I found out the news. Finally I knew what my next step would be and what direction I was going in.
The week before my first day at the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center, I attended my first homecoming as an alumni. A common conversation starter used by many, including myself was, “What are you doing now?” I felt personally relieved because I finally had a response to this question. When I told friends that I would be a museum educator I was often asked, “That is great… but what is a museum educator?” I was surprised how many times I was asked this question by friends and even family members. For their sake I only gave a brief response. However after a few weeks of being a museum educator, I realize that it deserves more explanation.
As the museum educator at the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center, I have several responsibilities to fulfill. First, I am a teacher here. I have a classroom with its own library and resources. I teach Family and Homeschool Workshops on a monthly basis. I feel warmth in my heart when my homeschool students recognize me as their teacher. I put plenty of planning and preparation toward these workshops. Today, I look back and am thankful for many of my education and history courses that I took and how they help me as I write multiple lesson plans, use state and national education standards, and create activities for my students.
Another responsibility my position fulfills is reaching out and becoming involved with schools in the area. I am developing new programs to be offered here at the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center and also planning upcoming ones such as the Groundhog Lodge for Children. I also gave a tour and planned an activity for a Cub Scouts group. These are only a few of the tasks that I take responsibility for, but I am finding that the list can go on and on.
I guess it is true when people say it takes around six months to find a job after graduation. I fit into this case. I find myself to be fortunate because my first job really fits my “checklist” that I stated earlier; that I wanted to teach but I also wanted to work in a museum setting. Finally I again know what my next step will be. The “planner” in me is at ease and I can continue all of the planning that the museum educator must do… plan, plan, and plan!
Laura Price, Museum Educator