Fall is a season of transition in nature where animals begin prepping for the winter season. Some animals bust out to warmer climates, some plants shut down their photosynthesis factories, some animals begin to gather in groups, and others use the fall as an opportunity to gather resources for the winter to ensure they thrive in the spring.
If we relate a few of those behaviors to our interpretive centers, some interpreters will migrate to other seasonal jobs. Like a flock of vocal migrating birds some interpreters will gather and make noise in Corpus Christi in November. Some facilities will shut down all together as their summer audience and summer staff head back to their home ranges for another year before they return again.
Let’s dig into the part about gathering resources a bit more. Fall can be a great time to “gather nuts (staff)” and slow down a bit to prepare for renewal. Many of you are coming off long days and a busy summer. It’s a great time to evaluate yourself as an individual and interpreter.
What are some things you can gather and do this fall to be renewed in the spring?
- As a team work through a leadership book with your staff. Work through a few chapters each week getting allowing you to reflect personally and getting to know your teammates better. What have you done today that will make you better tomorrow? The interpretive field is going to need more good leaders, so if not you …who?
- Identify other possible mentors in your area and schedule coffee to talk shop. Connect with other interpreters that may not interpret the same interpretive themes as you.
- Make time to call former staff, colleagues, to talk shop and strengthen and grow your network of people.
- Make time for yourself. MAKE time for yourself to think about your goals and future. You’ve got to have a vision for yourself and you need to schedule that time. It can be really easy to get caught up in the fast pace of activity and forget about YOU.
- Drive to a NAI Brown Bag Lunch if your state has one to gather ideas and colleagues. (See NC/SC coordinators if you want ideas on no/low cost state gatherings)
- Check out the NAI National Workshop and gather knowledge, perspective, and peers.
Spring brings a time of renewal for plants and animals. How will you renew yourself or your staff?