The Buzz

Laurel Schmidt, Teaching

What are Laurel's clients saying?

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art

"I have witnessed Laurel's magic as an educator over the course of many years, both in our annual week-long summer institute for teachers, and as an invited guest speaker for our docents at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Laurel has the unique ability to weave together educational theory, current research, and practical strategies — as well as a good dose of humor! As one of our docents at the Metropolitan commented, "Laurel reminds us of the power that we all have to shape and improve the lives of others."

William B. Crow
Managing Museum Educator
School and Teacher Programs
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York City

Guggenheim Museum

Guggenheim Museum"Through her combination of real-life classroom experience, educational theory and a practical and comfortable presentation style, Laurel Schmidt inspires educators to work towards making their classrooms places of inquiry and critical thinking. She is our "go to" speaker when it comes to communicating with and motivating teachers."

Sharon Vatsky
Director of School and Family Programs
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
New York City

Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)

Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)Laurel's role as a keynote speaker in Connecting Collections, our annual summer institute for teachers is a key component to our program. The teachers come away from her talk feeling supported and empowered, personally and professionally. She presents her methodology in and engaging and accessible way, all supported by her extensive experience as a teacher, administrator and researcher.

Lisa Mazzola
Assistant Director, School & Teacher Programs
The Museum of Modern Art
New York City

The Getty Villa

The Getty VillaI had read Laurel Schmidt as a new high school classroom teacher. When I went into the museum education field and was given the job of training new docents at the Getty Villa, I knew that I wanted to incorporate Laurel's advice. I thought her Social Studies That Sticks: How to Bring Content and Concepts to Life would be a great fit since our collection only includes ancient artifacts from Greece, Etruria, and Rome — I wanted our docents to not only have the concepts of social studies come to life, but the artifacts themselves. I was excited when I learned I would be able to have Laurel present the material herself! Using very accessible language and analogies to introduce brain-compatible approach to integrated teaching, she coached the docents into teaching that brings a sense of awareness, exploration, and inquiry for students — thus enhancing their field trip visit. Laurel is a very dynamic, engaging speaker and the docents loved her presentation and were able to immediately put into practice the strategies and techniques that Laurel taught them. It was one of the most useful, practical parts of their training and they noted it as a highlight!

Veronica Alvarez
Education Specialist, School & Teacher Programs
Getty Villa
Malibu, California

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Los Angeles County Museum of ArtLaurel's presentation to the docents on developing inquiry was so engaging and inspiring. I am always impressed with her ability to quickly connect with our docents and really get them to reflect on their teaching practice. Her explanations of inquiry and how to implement it on a tour with students was so clear and they found the specific techniques she gave such as how to handle wait time, how to make a didactic question open-ended, and how to deal with challenging students extremely helpful.

Kristin Bengston
Manager of Gallery Teaching, Education & Public Programs
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Los Angeles

Craft & Folk Art Museum

Craft & Folk Art Museum"Laurel Schmidt continues to energize audiences with her enthusiasm and vision. She makes becoming an empathetic and visionary educator possible and straight forward. Schmidt understands both the museum world and the classroom and flawlessly builds a bridge between the two universes with simplicity and excitement."

Susanne Isken
Executive Director
Craft & Folk Art Museum
Former Director of Education, Museum of Contemporary Art
Los Angeles

What do participants say about working Laurel?

"Laurel's enthusiasm for what she brilliantly does is contagious. She articulated the components of what puts art in the art of inquiry."
— Barbara Meihls

"Laurel is an amazing, engaging and informative speaker. So helpful in demystifying the inquiry process."
— Rachel Blum

"I got goosebumps listening to the presentation."
— Ahrang Hong

"Laurel made the information so accessible. She provided practical strategies and used positive reinforcement as we were presented with great challenges."
— Linda Eifer

"Top-notch presentation style and modeling."
— Andtea Lene

"Dazzling. Marvelous. Brilliant. Great humor. A great way to convey the information. I will apply all I learned today"
— Andtea Lene

"Laurel made the idea of teaching by inquiry much more understandable on a macro level and supplied many specific ideas on a micro level. She welcomed participation from the group." — Nancy Astz

"Laurel brings amazing energy to her presentations. It's infectious!"
— Dina Hoffman

"Laurel knows her audience. Great real-world examples targeted to museum gallery educators."
— Shelby Marston-Ainley

"Loved the Art Memoir exercise at the beginning and the feelings it conjured up. Excellent explanation of brain research and concrete examples of how our questions impact the behavior and response of participants."
— Susan Lee

"Laurel's presentation is educational, witty, concise, informative and very entertaining. I learned a lot and the time flew."
— Fae Niyu