Education volunteers present a variety of programs to over 6,000 elementary and secondary students. Each program is 90 minutes or two hours long and is co-presented by two volunteers. The programs are highly interactive and students have the opportunity to handle museum objects, participate in activities and view museum displays. Prior to the arrival of the students to the museum, volunteers prepare and set up the space and materials for the programs. When students arrive, they are welcomed, instructed on appropriate behaviour and rules, led on short tours of the galleries, and then engage in hands-on activities with the museum teaching materials.
School programs are delivered Tuesdays to Fridays from September to mid-December and January to early June. While there are no school programs in July and August, additional volunteer opportunities are available to Education volunteers who wish to volunteer in the summer months.
Education volunteers come from a wide variety of backgrounds. The ideal volunteer should:
- Enjoy working with children and/or teens
- Have a strong interest in First Nations cultures and issues, both historic and contemporary
- Be flexible and patient and willing to work with children of various ability levels
- Have an interest in museums
- Be able to volunteer during regular school hours
- Experience working with children or teens is an asset
- All new volunteers are required to attend both sessions of MOA 101: Introductory Training Seminar.
All new volunteers are required to attend both sessions of MOA 101: Introductory Training Seminar.
In their first year, new education volunteers are trained on two programs designed for Grades 3 to 5/6: The Pole Walk and Cedar: The Tree of Life. They are trained on one program from October to December and training on the second program takes place from February to April.
An experienced mentor guides each new volunteer through the training process. Training involves working with your mentor, observing and assisting with school programs presented by experienced volunteers, as well as some background reading. The time commitment in the first year is very important and involves at least two days a week for approximately two to four hours at the Museum and then additional study time at home.
Once training is complete, volunteers are asked to commit to one day per week when they will be available to present these programs to school groups either in the morning or the afternoon.
Following their first year of training, volunteers may choose to learn addition school programs.
- 2–3 years on the Education Committee
- 5 hours/week from September to June
- Attendance at General Meetings for all volunteers which take place six times a year on Monday afternoons in September, November, January, March, April and June
- Attendance at Education Committee meetings take place six times a year on Mondays before the General Meetings