I have extensive experience bringing natural history collections out from storage to be used in programming for visitors, students, and teacher professional development. Teaching collections in museums are most often used on carts for one-on-one visitor interaction or for field trip-based classes. But I also facilitated their use in teacher professional development courses, custom loans to area educators and organizations, museum events of all sizes, curator presentations, and special programming.
I am particularly passionate about the Education Collections Loan Program I led. I expanded and installed numerous efficiencies in the loan program for educators. I successfully lobbied to make this free program, accessible for all educators, regardless of district finances. Bring the field trip to the classroom! But give teachers exactly what they want and need. In an in-house survey, most teachers admitted to not using an entire preselected kit. Additionally, kits are difficult to keep current with changing standards and can look well used quickly. Custom loans allowed for changing needs and easy substitutions for well-worn material. I led all loan communication and selection for over ten years. I know thousands of kids benefitted from that hard work and reinvigorated many classrooms. So rewarding to think about!
"I am a teacher professional development coordinator at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. It has been my deep honor and great pleasure to work with Colleen Carter. Colleen is the perfect person for her position. She has a deep knowledge of the education collection and the ability to ask educators probing questions that help them find the perfect collection items that they need to meet their desired learning outcomes. She is an imaginative thinker who always makes any idea you approach her with, twice as good as the one you walked in with. She also appreciates the challenges that teachers face and developed multiple systems that took their schedules into account and made accessing the collection convenient."
Tim Blesse - Teacher Professional Development Coordinator
"As a teacher, it is crucial to work with someone like Colleen who understands the science standards thoroughly. I could trust that Colleen would develop an engaging selection of specimens for use in my classroom and that the assortment would fit with my lesson perfectly. Colleen truly understands the needs of the education community! She would be an amazing asset to any organization!"
Elizabeth Garlick - 5th grade teacher
"Over the past couple of years, I have worked directly with Colleen as she supported my teaching of military children on an army base in Southern Colorado. The students I serve are limited on their abilities to experience many of the offerings this world has to offer. One way I have been able to develop a love of learning, high interest in the unknown, and an appreciate for the world around us was through the partnership I had with Colleen. As a teacher it can be a struggle to differentiate learning for a large number of students, but with Colleen's support, I was able to plan and develop possibilities for those students. I would give Colleen topics or requests from my students and she would create a kit that kept them yearning for more! I have partnered with many companies and programs over the years in support of education, but none have compared to the professionalism, abilities, compassion, and willingness to go above than I have witnessed through Colleen. I truly recommend Colleen full heartedly! I only hope that I will once again be able to work with her as she is a true valuable asset to any position."
Randy Menegatti - At-Risk Teacher