I will soon be finishing my job at the Pitt Rivers Museum and starting a childminding business. I have enjoyed my job immensely. In fact, I would say it's been my favourite job so far. Can childminding live up to it?
I have been teaching kids from age 5 to age 15 about non-western cultures around the world, learning a lot myself along the way. I can't count the number of Javanese wayang kulit puppet shows I've given. I'll be giving one last show to some under-fives at a family event on 11th July. I have taught in Oxford state primary schools, taking in amazing handling collections to inspire kids. I have organised the museum's participation in a creative writing event with children's authors in conjunction with Bookfeast.
Sound Galleries: Music and Torchlight at the Pitt Rivers Museum from Pitt Rivers Museum on Vimeo.
I have volunteered at amazing evening events where Bayaka music was played in darkened galleries with amazing lighting and torchlight tours. The video was live-streamed to the Central African Republic to the people who originally made the music, who had walked through the rainforest to the nearest town to watch.
The museum is an incredibly vibrant and creative place to work, and colleagues are uniformly supportive and professional. They are the most interesting group of people I have ever come across! And I mean that in a nice way! I will be very sad to leave. So sad, that I'll be volunteering at weekends for family activities and tours. This'll help me keep my hand in the world of museums as well.
So, will childminding mean the end of my museum career? Just like every other title phrased as a question, the answer is no. Well, I hope not. Experience in the early years will be useful, and I'll volunteer, not only at the Pitt Rivers Museum, but also for Kids in Museums. So after a few years, I'll be able to come back, I hope.
But why do I have to get out of museums anyway? Well, the one bad thing about this last year has been the lack of money. The negative amount of money, in fact. Childcare costs are, as everyone knows, crippling. I wanna get my hands on some of that!