From university students to the general public and the K-12 community, education is primary to the mission of the Carlos Museum. This summer, in an effort to make sure its offerings reflected the ever-changing needs and interests of K-12 students and teachers, the Carlos launched its first Teacher Advisory Council (TAC).
“The Carlos sees so many school groups and educators every year, and we love hearing from our visitors,” notes Senior Manager of School and Volunteer Programs Katie Ericson. “With the TAC, it was important for us to create a council that was reflective of our community. We wanted diverse opinions, teachers across all disciplines and grade levels, and teachers who have previously participated with the museum as well as those who haven’t. We’re interested in identifying barriers that exist for our schools and teachers and working with the TAC to create more opportunities for access.”
Comprised of 21 educators specializing in fields ranging from visual art to math, science, and Latin, the TAC advises and supports the Office of Educational Programs in the development and promotion of resources and programs for K-12 school groups and teachers, and works with museum educators to ensure meaningful connections between Carlos collections and the curriculum. Council members, who were selected through an application process and will serve a two-year term, hail from the Atlanta metro area and beyond, and teach elementary through high school students at private and public schools, many of which are Title I schools.
The yellow school buses dropping classes off at the museum are perhaps the most visible indicator of how the Carlos supports the K-12 community, but field trips are only one of several options for educators interested in incorporating culture and interdisciplinary learning into the classroom. The Carlos offers teacher workshops several times a semester and hosts an annual Summer Teacher Institute focused on professional development. Currently, the Odyssey Online South Asia and Odyssey Online Greece are accessible through the museum website, where they’ll be joined by more teacher resources.
Feedback from the TAC will help museum educators tailor field trips, workshops, and teacher resources to the needs of the community. Ericson, the primary TAC staff liaison, is impressed by the group’s approach to the Carlos collections. “Their ideas are so unique and fresh, and most are used to collaborating every day in their schools. We walked out of our first meeting with pages of notes on connections between museum collections and the curriculum,” Ericson noted. “I’m really excited to work with them for the next two years.”