Madelyn Mayberry is a docent at the Des Moines Art Center in Des Moines, Iowa, and Vice President of the National Docent Symposium Council. She holds degrees in art, art education and higher education. While most of her career was at the community college level, she has experience at all levels; K-6, middle school, high school and, finally, as an adjunct instructor of future teachers at the university level. Madelyn says that both her career as a teacher and her experience as a volunteer docent have convinced her that we are all here to help each other—to guide each other in our investigation of the way the world works and what this life can be about... to discover what is real ...to find meaning in life.
My Connection with the NDSC
In 2009 I became aware of the National Docent Symposium, registered and have attended every Symposium since. I have found great benefit in gathering with like-minded folks who are passionate about what they do and are serious about wanting to continually up their game. Sometimes I wonder that so many of these people not only volunteer their time in their home institutions but also commit to ensuring that the symposium networking and educational opportunities endure by serving as directors of the NDSC. I have also observed that the revised NDSC Docent Handbook 2 offers institutions a great resource that saves time and expense when budgets are notoriously tight.
We docents help guide people in that process of discovery and self-discovery. This is important work... for anyone! Whether in a museum, a botanical garden, a zoo or a historical site we seek to spark connections between people and the meanings that emerge from an encounter with cultural and natural resources. We enrich the experience... building emotional and intellectual bonds in the process.