Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

Going behind the Scenes

March 30th, 2011 · No Comments

Last week at the Castle I experienced my first day without a major educational program. Although the regular “Life in a Castle” session was running, that is handled by freelancers who come in for the day to run the program, so it is fairly independent of the Learning Department. We didn’t have any Ancient Romans, Egyptians, or any other theme, so I spent the day doing clerical and preparatory work. This ranged from creating an invitation to a party for one of the interpretors who is leaving, to cutting wires for future torc-making sessions on Ancient Roman days, to checking data and doing publicity work.

In order to receive funding, the Learning Department has to keep track of how many students participate in all of their programs, and then they submit monthly totals to the administrative powers that be. One of my supervisors has to show that the programs are maintaining consistent numbers or drawing in more students in order to keep receiving funding, which, with all of the recent budget cuts to artistic and educational programs, is of the utmost importance. One of my jobs was to double check the numbers for the month of February to make sure that we were submitting accurate counts.

In that same vein, the Learning Department asks teachers to fill out evaluation forms following their educational sessions. The directors make note of any room for improvement and then all of the evaluations are filed away and kept in the office. I had the task of filing forms from this school year, and I got to see exactly how many programs the Learning Department runs – there were at least 15 different sessions, some pertaining to history, some to art, and some to special sessions that outside instructors will come in to run. I also noticed that several groups from UEA come to the Castle for various art programs. There was a group in that morning, actually, all still very hungover from Derby Day. After my filing, I went through the evaluations and pulled student and teacher comments that could be used in publicity material to encourage other schools to bring students to programs at the Castle.

Although it wasn’t the most exciting day that I’ve spent at the Castle so far, I got to see a lot more of how the administration of the Learning Department works. It’s all well and good to dress up in togas and make crafts all morning, but there is a whole different team of people working behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly and to keep funding for these great programs coming in.

Date: 24/3/2011

Time: 9.30-4.00, 6.5 hours

Total Hours: 23.5

Supervisor: Daniel Pounds

Tags: 2010 Holly