2013 docent training program
Please join us at the Museum on Monday, January 14, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for an Informational Docent Program Meeting. Learn more about the program and hear from current docent volunteers.
What is a docent?
Docents are volunteers who conduct tours for visitors of all ages and diverse backgrounds. Utilizing the techniques of dialogue and inquiry, the docents encourage exploration of the exhibitions of the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center and advance our educational mission. Each tour program is two to four hours in length.
As a certified docent, the Museum offers:
- The opportunity to learn about and investigate the history of the Holocaust, genocide, and human rights issues
- The ability to gain skills in working with people of all ages and interests
- The occasion to work with others as part of a motivated and dedicated team
- The enjoyment of volunteer appreciation events, special programs, and ongoing training
- The opportunity to meet other amazing individuals who give so much of themselves
- The chance to make a difference!
how do i become a docent?
Beginning in May 2013, docent trainees will attend a six-day intensive training seminar. Docents will learn how to conduct all tours offered by the Museum for both children (8 - 18 years old) and adults. Participants in the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center Docent Training program will be provided an introduction to the history of the Holocaust through the testimonies of eyewitnesses, scholars, educators, and Museum staff. Through discussion, exploration of exhibitions, connections to proper technique, and method, trainees will receive a solid background and framework in providing tours. Additional handouts, articles, and readings will be required outside of class.
Each trainee will be assigned a docent mentor from the start of the program. Mentors are current docents who have volunteered to help advise trainees and guide him or her through the learning process. Mentors will spend extra time with trainees outside of class for exhibition walk-throughs and practicing tours. When the mentor docent feels the trainee is ready, and Museum education staff member will assess a tour presentation. Only upon the Museum's approval is a trainee qualified to begin conduction tours and considered a certified docent.
who should apply?
Museum docents must be at least 18 years of age and have an interest in the Holocaust, genocide, human rights, and volunteerism. Applicants need to have strong public speaking ability and be able to articulate with enthusiasm and effectiveness to individuals, families, and school groups. Trainees must commit to and complete the six-day docent training program, as well as additional mentoring work with a certified Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center docent.
Please review the following criteria before applying for the 2013 Docent Training Program. If you do not meet the qualifications below, please consider other volunteer opportunities at the Museum.
- Docent trainees must attend all classes and commit to the mentorship program outside of class
- Docents must be able to commit your schedule, upon docent certification, to provide a minimum of 2 - 3 tours during the weekday during the hours of 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., particularly during the busy field trip season of February through May
- Docents must not relocate or travel extensively during the winter months
- Docents must be capable of physical activity, including standing and walking for long periods, kneeling, and bending
- Docents must enjoy working with children of all ages (8 - 18 years of age)
- Docents should be able to work with a team and be dependable and flexible
- Docents are creative and critical thinkers, able to plan and organize tours, and be willing to embrace change and challenging situations as they arise
- Extensive prior knowledge of the Holocaust or genocide is not required but a prospective docent should have a working knowledge of European, world, or Holocaust history as well as a desire to learn
- Docents must have access to the Internet and email
- Bilingual docents are welcome, but not a requirement
- Like all Museum volunteers, docents must maintain a valid Museum membership
- Docents must attend and actively participate in ongoing trainings, which focus on special exhibition content. The Museum's Docent Council offers optional enrichment workshops that are encouraged for docent growth.
what is the cost to apply?
There is a one-time fee of $200 to cover the cost of training and materials. Docents must als o purchase their own copy of the Museum's Exhibition narrative Memory and Legacy ($25.00 - 10% for IHMEC members). All certified docents must maintain a valid Museum membership.
how do I apply?
Please download and send a completed application to the below address. Completed applications may also be faxed to 847.967.4804.
Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center
Attn: 2013 Docent Training Program
9603 Woods Drive, Skokie, IL 60077
Applicants will be interviewed by a small group of Museum docents and education staff. Before the interview, all applicants must take a self-guided tour of IHMEC's exhibitions.
- Monday, January 14, 2013, 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. - Informational Docent Program Meeting
- Friday, January 31, 2013 - Final deadline for applications
- Early February 2013 - Prospective Docent interviews
- Late February / Early March 2013 - Acceptance letters mailed
- May 2013 - Docent Training Program starts. All classes will take place from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center.
Sessions 1 - 3: May 7-10
Sessions 4 - 6: May 13 & 14
- June 13 - September 30, 2013 - Ongoing mentoring, including walk-throughs, practice tours, and assessments.
- October 2013 - Final assessments complete.