Tuesday, January 10, 2012

this is what I sent to the museum of fine arts about booking field trips....

Hello, my name is Carrie Thompson and I have just received confirmation for my Learning Through Art tour- Feb 28 @ 10:15.   I just wanted to verify some information... I have read the PDF file and will just begin with saying that I have set up multiple guided tours in the past 6 years but have had so much trouble in the past two years that I literally do not WANT to set up a field trip and literally have panic attacks on my way to the field trip. :0) I find it very stressful. So in order to hopefully stave off such need for panic I thought I might head off some problems early on.

Here are the reasons why the PDF file information doesn't work well for us: (homeschoolers)

1. Your Pdf (system for field trips) are set and based on a school group from a school coming with students and teachers. It is not really accommodating of a home school group with multiple families, ages and vehicles, especially in the area of meeting, parking, dropping off, chaperon numbers- and payment.

2. your workers-- some of the door people and ticket people in other areas of the museum have zero tolerance for school tours, children and do not know or care to have explained your policy for school tours. (i.e. I have had more than one lady ARGUE with me that I had to pay for all the students.)

3. As for my own group we are not only a home school group, but we also have a wheelchair and have in the past had both tour setter uppers (I know not a word!) and docents tell us in advance to meet in the Beck building vs. the Law building (I might have those switched, but the point being the one that most school groups DID not meet in generally) and the people (see point 2) have been unbelievably rude to us telling us we are doing the wrong thing to the point of us calling down the head of departments. (I might even be on a wanted poster in some one's office!")

4. There is a lot of confusion in the payment system. 1:10 ratio to me says that we get ONE chaperone in free for every 10 students we have-- and we would gladly pay for the other parents. I have had  people (see point 2) argue that we pay for all chaperone's because we are not "real" teachers (and yes that was said at one point. :0) and I have had people argue that we all get in free (and weirdly I tried to argue that we should pay for those not in the 1:10 ratio number count)-- the pdf does say chaperones get in free with students and technically DOES not specify how many chaperones you can have-- so are they all free?

5. I went to a meeting once where I was asked and asked questions-- I forget what it is called---my husband informs me it was a focus group but they were trying to change policy and wanted input. Nothing got better for home schoolers.

I have had conversations with multiple persons at the museum and nothing has gotten better for home schoolers. I love that y'all tried to do home school Thursday and understand that it did not work out well... I LOVED the home school day at Bayou Bend (amazing!).  I am a field trip girl-- schedule them ALL the time! But I just have to say that the MFAH is difficult.

I am hoping this note is turning out more like a funny rant,  I am trying to be sarcastic and not rude--- because it is NOT intended rudely. It is intended to express a lot of frustration coupled by an intense desire to do field trips at an amazing museum without panic attacks. :0)

If there are now systems set in place since my last visit which was more than 6 months ago I believe- I would love to know if you can tell me where to meet as a home school/ wheelchair group and make sure that people know we are going to meet there so that I don't have to have more darts thrown at my wanted poster. :0)

Thank you very much from-- a person who loves the art museum and loves to visit without panic.

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