Do you remember your first visit to New York City? Earlier this month, two graduate students from York St. John University in York, England came to NYC for the first time to spend an intense two weeks observing programs and helping out the Youth and Family team at the Rubin Museum of Art with the School Programs Coordinator, Laura Browarny. Read on to learn about their experience:
We are students from York St John University in York, England. We are currently on a one-year post-graduate course studying to be primary school teachers. As part of our course, we were given the opportunity to undertake a two-week international placement at an establishment of our choice. We both really wanted to visit New York as neither of us had been to America before, and where better to start than the Big Apple?
After looking at the different options available to us, we both decided on the Rubin Museum of Art as our ideal choice. As well as museum education being a new field to both of us, the outstanding educational facilities, community links, and workshops on offer would give us a wide range of experiences across different age groups. In addition to this, the Rubin specializes in one area of art (Himalayan) and this focus means that children are given the opportunity to develop deeper links with the culture and ethos that the museum teaches.
Our two weeks at the Rubin have flown by! During our time here we have learned so much through observation and shadowing of workshops, educational tours, and external museum visits. We have seen a wide variety of teaching styles, including some approaches that are different from those we have seen in England. In particular, the use of hand signals during class discussions has sparked our interest – we will definitely be taking these back to the UK to use with our classes! The Buddhist-inspired culture at the Rubin has also given us plenty of ideas to include in our classroom environment, such as mindfulness, caring for others and improving the self. The children we have observed have really enjoyed their workshops and tours, and we will be promoting the relationship between museums and schools in our own classroom lessons.
While we have been working really hard at the Rubin, we have also had the chance to get out and explore New York City! We have tried black-and—white cookies and pumpkin pie for the first time, and eaten the best pancakes we’ve ever tasted. We’ve been to some really cool places with the help of the Rubin, such as the Museum of Biblical Arts, the Cathedral of St John the Divine, and the National Museum of the American Indian. We’ve also done the traditional tourist sights: Staten Island ferry, Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge and, of course, taken in a Broadway show!
We’ll be so sad to say goodbye to all the friends that we’ve made at the Rubin, as well as to the wonderful city of New York. It’s been a fantastic experience and it would not have been possible without the support of the Rubin – for which we say a heartfelt thank you. We will definitely be back!
For now, though, it’s back to the old York…
Sarah and Ros x”
The Rubin offers a wide range of internships in various departments and for a vast array of projects. For a full list of internships and opportunities at the Rubin Museum, please visit RubinMuseum.org/About/Jobs.
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