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School Group Guide

School Group Guide

Worker Category: Volunteer Part Time
Location: Philadelphia


School Group Guide volunteers facilitate gallery lessons for students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grades in the art collection at the Barnes Foundation. The Foundation’s Education Department serves 11,000 students each academic year through Pre-K and K-12 programs. PreK-12 Education programs are interactive, discussion-based experiences. Programs use art to teach skills such as observation, analysis, and critical thinking, while also connecting with teachers’ curricular goals and Core standards in literacy, math, science, and social studies. PreK-12 Education programs take place at 10:00 am and 11:30 am on weekdays. Tours last one hour.

School Group Guides learn the lesson plans and teaching techniques that the Education Department has developed and follow those guidelines to deliver engaging educational programs to students. School Group Guides are required to complete an intensive training course. During the course, volunteers study the Barnes collection, Barnes history and approach to teaching art, gallery touring strategies, and the specific PreK-12 Education programs that we deliver in the galleries.

We are looking for candidates who have:

  • Passion for art, teaching, and working with students
  • Teaching experience (in classrooms, museums, or other formal settings) preferred
  • Commitment to working with students of diverse ethnic, economic, and religious backgrounds
  • Ability to engage students of diverse backgrounds in conversations about art
  • Excellent verbal communications skills
  • Strong listening and hearing abilities to be able to conduct effective discussions
  • Commitment to learning best practices in education and museum education, including new pedagogies and strategies
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Professional conduct when working with students, teachers, Barnes staff, and other volunteers
  • Flexibility, creativity, dependability, and punctuality

The Barnes aims to attract and retain talented people from all backgrounds. We particularly encourage applications from African-American, Latino, and Asian applicants, as these groups are currently underrepresented in the cultural sector.


  • Facilitates discussion-based grade-appropriate gallery tours for students in grades PreK-12
  • Ability to lead a minimum of two PreK-12 programs each month during the academic year preferred
  • Participates in training and continuing education on best practices in gallery education
  • Successfully completes mock tours and other forms of evaluation; remains open to feedback and shows improvement as a result of evaluation in order to maintain standards of excellence

Barnes Foundation volunteer obligations:

  • Complete the training program
  • Adhere to all Barnes Foundation volunteer guidelines
  • Have a valid e-mail address with reliable access to the internet
  • Complete a background check
  • Complete the volunteer training program

We recruit and interview School Group Guide candidates in spring and summer for training that takes place in fall.