Why I love #MuseumHour – Making a teacher feel at home.

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This week #MuseumHour celebrated its 100th hour of museum based chat. At 8pm every Monday for the past 100 weeks museum professionals get together on Twitter to share experiences and ideas. Each week a different museum or individual can offer to run the session, they tweet out questions throughout the hour on a theme and people tweet responses which often themselves lead to further conversation. Curators and educators across the world (did I mention that it has an international audience) make themselves a cup of tea and sit down to discuss the issues that they face on a daily basis. The result? An open and honest space for professionals, volunteers and students to develop their understanding and skills and share their worries and problems.

One of the things that I miss most about teaching is working with colleagues, geeking out about lesson plans and how to help pupils make progress. All of a sudden a whole new world has been opened up to me with new challenges and new professionals to learn from. This is why I was so happy to find #MuseumHour. I can listen to the questions that people are asking, and the answers they get. I even get brave enough to ask my own sometimes. I’ve already made new connections and found interesting people to follow. Each week I look forward to my phone alerting me to the time and sitting down to catch up with the world of museums. The challenges faced by museum staff are very similar to those faced by teachers, we all suffer at the hands of budget cuts and being misunderstood by the communities we serve. Success in our roles is never just down to turning up on time and ticking the boxes, it relies on individuals taking initiative and actively searching for solutions themselves.

I think #MuseumHour will be just the beginning of a new trend for CPD on demand. It’s followers this week all expressed how much they valued the service, and how it helped them to keep in touch with like-minded people across the world. So whatever your hot beverage of choice.... Get brewing on Monday night and join in the discussion.

Thank you #MuseumHour! You’ve made a newbie feel very welcome.