POSTS FROM ‘Inkwell’

  • The idea for Real World History came to me on a bus, and like so many good ideas, I borrowed it from someone else. Retired northern Virginia history teacher Jim Percoco, wrote a wonderful book called A Passion for the Past, which I started reading on the bus ride home from a summer teacher workshop. Page 11 set […]

  • We’re standing in a circle. I make eye contact with someone I’ve never meet before and I “Caw!” like a peacock. They look back and repeat the sound to me. Then, they pivot in the circle and lock eyes with another person, growling like a bear.  The person growls back and the game continues… Welcome to […]

  • Mistakes Were Made

    January 26th, 2017

    Note from blog editors: Sean Kelley and a panel presented a session at the 2016 AASLH Annual Meeting about the lies we tell at historic sites. It was one in a series of sessions about confronting uncomfortable topics. Below is an essay from Sean about another session that we as educators could learn from. During […]

  • In 2012, I made a difficult but necessary decision.  After six years of undergrad and graduate school followed by an arduous seven month period of under employment (nothing kills your motivation more than folding t-shirts with a Master’s degree!) and the ultimate triumph of securing a position at a state museum, I decided to step […]

  • One thing that every interpreter has to do to be effective is to get and keep their audiences’ attention. If no one is listening then there is little value to what is being said. Of course we could all just jump up and down shouting, “Listen to me! Listen to me!” over and over, but […]

  • At the 2016 AASLH Annual Meeting, the Educators and Interpreters Committee hosted a session on cultural competency featuring staff from the Arab American National Museum (AANM). As staff from the first and only ethno-specific museum in the United States devoted to Arab American history and culture, the presenters provided insight into the challenges they commonly […]

  •   Anyone have school tours running around lately?  Anyone tired from a busy summer season?  Anyone have staff grumbling about students and guests and how badly behaved, or annoying, or dense, or stupid they are… whoa.  What’s going on? I want to shine a light on a trap that we all risk falling into. And […]

  • The guided tour… people either love them or hate them. A good guided tour can captivate an audience. A bad one can have visitors looking for the nearest exit. What most tour guides focus on is key information (dates, places, names, etc.), and while this is definitely important, few visitors leave being impressed by the […]

  • Educators & Interpreters…Start Planning! Holy cow—September is here! Forget about back to school, Labor Day, the end of another delightful summer…it’s time to start thinking about how to make the most of your AASLH annual meeting experience! Like going to a music festival and having to choose between two bands you really, really love who […]

  • What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word summer? Vacation? BBQs? The beach? How about moving? Every summer U-Haul estimates that 17-20 million people in North America move. I learned that after visiting their website a couple of weeks ago while sitting in summer traffic on Interstate 5 (thanks for driving, […]