Monday, November 16, 2009
I was struck by how generous I find the museum community when I read this article in the New York Times, about teachers selling their lesson plans online to other teachers--and in fact one site selling such materials, ranging from word puzzles to lesson plans, has generated more than $600,000 in income.
As I read the article I realized that I couldn't remember a time, if ever, that I called or emailed a fellow museum professional and they didn't generously offer their time, help, knowledge and perspectives, whether it be lesson plans, policies, or whatever. In the article, several of the teachers felt they were underpaid, and this was just fair pay for the work they did, but it troubled me, on so many levels. I know teachers work hard, and I know they're underpaid, but this seems to me exactly the kind of behavior I wouldn't want to encourage in students. Nina Simon posted a thoughtful response to one of my blog entries a couple months ago about providing "spreadable" content--and it seems to be that "spreadability" should be our goal--not the individual hoarding of resources and knowledge. And for a great example of a sharing teacher, check out my friend Anne Gohorel's art teacher blog.
Spreadable museum sites are too numerous to mention--some links at left, and many, many others. Thanks, my fellow museum professionals, for all the generosity of spirit!
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