Archive for the ‘Standards Based Education’ Category

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Big Week for Maine Arts Ed

July 28, 2014

This is a BIG WEEK for Arts Education in Maine!!

SUMMIT ON ARTS EDUCATION

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We have more than 90 educators attending the Summit on Arts Education at USM, Portland campus on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and almost half of those will also be attending on Friday for the Teacher Leader day. Included on the attendee list are dance, music, theatre, and visual arts PK-12 teachers, teaching artists, other educators, and representatives from arts organizations and the university. There are 13 teams participating. The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) Leadership team and Teacher Leaders have been crazy busy with the agenda planning that will be full of rich learning opportunities.

Included on the agenda:

  • Sessions on Assessment, Leadership, Student-centered, Standards-based, Proficiency, Advocacy, Arts Integration, Creativity, Literacy, Technology and much more provided by MAAI teacher leaders, leadership team, members, Lesley University staff, technology integrators from NC, MLTI, and MICDL, and teaching artists
  • The unveiling of the Teacher Leader Resource Bank by Julie Richard, Executive Director of the Maine Arts Commission
  • An electronic discussion with the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE) who are at a conference in Washington, DC this week
  • Arts Education Program Director, Jeff Poulin from Americans for the Arts will be presenting a session on Leadership and Advocacy
  • Stories and examples from MAAI Teacher Leaders
  • Time for networking with other Maine educators
  • Arts Education organizations, higher ed representatives, and community groups will be exhibiting and sharing information
  • The opportunity to create an Individual Action Plan and/or a Team Action Plan to implement back home in teachers school districts

Teachers who are attending the Summit will receive contact hours, CEUs or graduate credit.

If you have not registered for the Summit you may still do so no later than TODAY by clicking here https://webapp.usm.maine.edu/DCPEOnline/addRegCONFPage1.do?offeringId=100075146. For more information please click here https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/NESummit

 

COMMUNITY CONVERSATION ON ARTS EDUCATION

Maine Focus Groups and Community Conversations – don’t miss this opportunity!

Are you interested in joining others interested in arts education to talk about the future of arts education in Maine? If so, please plan on attending the event on

Tuesday, July 29, 7:00-8:00pm at the Maine College of Art, 522 Congress St, Portland, ME.

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 2.27.24 PMWe have a wonderful opportunity to help influence the future of our community and the future of our state. Please join me  to participate in a discussion about the kinds of creative opportunities and activities you would like to see available for our residents, our children, and our families. Often times, plans are created for us, instead of with us they miss the mark and we miss the opportunity to see what we value included in the mix.

If you have questions about either of these opportunities taking place this week please don’t hesitate to email me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

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7 More Days!

July 22, 2014

There is still time to register

MAAI Logo_Color_TxtRtThe Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) Teacher Leaders are busy putting the last minute touches on their presentations, the food is ordered, the space is ready to go, the participant bags are being stuffed full of information, and the excitement is intense at the Maine Arts Commission. The Summit on Arts Education is only a week away!

Not a day goes by that I don’t receive an email or a phone call from someone inquiring about the Summit on Arts Education being held July 29-31, USM, Portland. Just when I think that everyone who wants to attend has registered or that there can’t possibly be someone who hasn’t registered that wants to attend. Sooooo… if you are still thinking about attending please don’t hesitate any longer. For more information please click here https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/NESummit and to go directly to registration please click here https://webapp.usm.maine.edu/DCPEOnline/addRegCONFPage1.do?offeringId=100075146. If you have questions please email me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

And, if you are an arts organization and would like to join us for Wednesday morning only, July 30, for a Carousel. The morning is designed for organizations who wish to provide information for Summit participants to learn about what there is available for arts education opportunities for field trips, etc. Please contact me if you think this might be a match for your organization. Deadline for this is tomorrow, Wednesday, July 23.

The Summit is designed for you to attend as an individual or part of a team to receive professional development in assessment, leadership, technology, and teaching and learning for the 21st century curriculum. Topics include proficiency, standards-based teaching and learning, student-centered, arts integration and more. You will create a plan that fits your needs in your classroom, school, and district.

I hope you can join us for this first time MAAI offered learning opportunity!

 

 

 

 

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ZOOM Planning

July 15, 2014

Getting ready

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 11.23.53 PMMany of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) Teacher Leaders and Leadership Team have been working (almost) around the clock getting ready for the Arts Education Summit happening on July 29-31 at USM, Portland campus. The Summit is chock full of sessions facilitated by educators with years of experience in teaching and assessment practices. To learn more please click here.

During the last three summers the MAAI has provided a summer institute for teachers interested in being Teacher Leaders. The feedback we received from many teachers included requests to provide summer extended professional development for everyone, not just those who wish to be MAAI Teacher Leaders.

Recently several of the Teacher Leaders planning the Summit came together for a planning meeting using Zoom.us which provides video conferencing. MAAI has been using it for meetings recently and found it very simple and reliable! Above is an image that I took (screen shot) during the meeting attended by 16 educators. Direct registration to the Summit can be accessed by clicking here.

MAAI is continually breaking new territory to meet the needs of arts educators across the state which we know ultimately impacts arts education and all students. It is not to late to register for the Summit! Don’t miss this fabulous opportunity! Please contact me by email if you have any questions at argy.nestor@maine.gov. The image below is arts educators (plus 1) jamming last year at the MAAI summer institute.

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Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Lisa Ingraham

June 17, 2014

Madison Elementary School art teacher

This is the 12th blog post for 2014 and the third phase of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) of this series sharing arts teachers’ stories. This series contains a set of questions to provide the opportunity for you to learn from and about others. Lisa has been a teacher leader during phase 3 of the MAAI.

IMG_3439Lisa Ingraham is a Kindergarten-4th Grade Visual Arts teacher in MSAD 59. She has been teaching all 260 of the students at Madison Elementary School for the past 3 years. She has been teaching art for 9 (!) years, all at the elementary level. Her students attend 50 minute art classes once per week throughout the school year. Lisa joined the MAAI has a teacher leader during the third phase. Lisa and her program are highlighted this year in one of the 8 arts classrooms videos being created that highlight standards-based/student-centered learning. Phase 3 videos are almost complete, phase 2 videos can be viewed by clicking here.

What do you like best about being an arts educator?

My favorite part of being an arts educator has always been working with every student in my school. This is my third year as the K-4th grade art teacher at Madison Elementary School. I have gotten to know each of the students here, their strengths, their preferences, and their quirks. As I have gotten to know more about my students, I have developed an even deeper appreciation for them as uniquely creative individuals.

What do you believe are the three keys to ANY successful visual and performing arts education?

  1. Passion for your content – I firmly believe in the power of the arts to change lives.
  2. Compassion for your learners – Each of my students approaches art in their own way. It is my job to make it meaningful for all of them.
  3. Support from your school and community – I would not be able to do what I do effectively without the support of my administrators, colleagues, and the parents of my students.

How have you found assessment to be helpful to you in your classroom?

I have found assessment to be critical in helping my students understand what they are learning and why, and how it all connects to their classroom goals and the world outside our school. As I have examined and modified the types of assessment I use the focus has shifted from discrete skills and bits of knowledge to helping students think about the bigger picture. Assessment, while helping me determine where we are going in the art room, has also kept me focused on providing depth for the students within our lesson and units.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the arts assessment initiative?

The examples set by the incredible leaders, and teacher leaders I have met through the MAAI helped me understand that really good arts programs don’t happen by accident. Really good arts programs are driven by teachers who believe in what they are doing and are willing to work hard to create them. Thank you all for sharing your passion and knowledge! You have helped me realize that no one knows my art program better than me, and if I am going to make it the best program for my students I need to speak up and say, “this is what we are learning, and this is why it is important.”

What gets in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?

Time is always a factor, as are resources. But I think some of the biggest hurdles I have had to get over have been the narrow expectations of others. While I am working to change this, the perception of the arts as their own isolated content area that will only truly benefit those students who become visual arts professionals limits the types of learning that others can imagine taking place through the visual arts. This affects the importance placed on the arts, their position in the school, and the resources allotted to them.

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear at first glance to be due to “luck” or circumstances?

I love my job! I don’t “go to work” in the morning. I rarely think about it like that. I get to go to school and spend the whole day making art with young students. I feel incredibly lucky. However, I also know the years of work that went into switching to this – my second – career, and the work I’ve committed to in trying to bring the best visual arts education to my students.

Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers?

When I went back to school to become an art teacher I had this idea that I was going to teach art. This was my loftiest aspiration: To Teach Art. The reality as it has turned out is that I teach kids. Side by side with art content I teach listening skills, how to be kind and responsible, how to work toward a goal and be persistent, how to appreciate the ideas and opinions of others, and how to learn from so-called mistakes.

My first professor in the very first education class I attended shared with us the old adage that “students won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” My students have confirmed this again and again, which leads me to my answer for the question…

What are you most proud of in your career?

Reaching students who appear at first glance to be unreachable. Some students take longer to trust that they are allowed to be who they are and express themselves creatively in the art room, but these are the students I am sure I will remember well after they leave me. I am thankful to the teachers who work closely with these students every day and have been very generous with their time in helping me make the connections necessary for them to have the successes they do in the art room.

If you were given a $500,000 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

I am not really sure what I would do with all the money, but I know my school would have one absolutely incredible art program! (And I would probably still get really excited about finding the best “art supply” at a yard sale or discount store.)

Imagine you are 94 years old. You’re looking back. Do you have any regrets?

I hope not. One of my students’ favorite stories is “Pete the Cat, I Love My White Shoes.” I don’t currently have an art lesson I would like to go with it, but I love reading and singing the book with my students anyway. The best part is sharing the moral of the story, which I tend to repeat A LOT over the course of the school year: “No matter what you step in, keep walking along and singing your song… because it’s all good.”

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Maine Arts Assessment Initiative Webinar

June 6, 2014

Last webinar of the series

IMG_3708Catherine Ring will be hosting the last in a series of webinars with Rob Westerberg  as part of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI).  The webinar entitled The Resource Bank: Standards-Based Units by Arts Educators will take place on Wednesday, June 11,  2014 from 3:30 – 4:30. Primary discussions will be based around:

  • What is the Research Bank?
  • History, Process, Challenges
  • The Role of Critical Friends
  • Ensuring Quality
  • Sneak Peak at the Units
  • How the Resource Bank can be Used
  • The Future – Ongoing and Growing

Engaging participants in dialogue around these topics, and discovering how to both use the Resource Bank and be future contributors to it will be takeaways from this webinar.

Our Guests will include two Teacher Leaders with MAAI, Jake Sturtevant, Music Educator from Bonny Eagle High School and Beth Lambert, Theatre Educator from Carrabec High School. Both Jake and Beth served on the Resource Bank Team this past year, and will be sharing the Standards-Based Units they have designed and contributed to the Resource Bank, providing a “sneak peak” of some of the 12 units designed by six Teacher Leaders on the team.

  • To join the meeting, please click here.
  • Enter as a guest and sign in using your first and last name please.
  • Click enter room.
  • Please be wired and do not use a wireless connect.
  • No telephone is required. (There is no call-in number).

Please join the webinar at 3:20 and go to the top left corner of you screen, click on the drop down menu, Meeting, Audio Setup Wizard and follow the directions to check your audio.

Please click here for more information about the other webinars and the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative.

Please be sure to join them for what promises to be an engaging, insightful hour on the topic that will continue to impact every one of us as arts educators in the state of Maine!

 

An initiative of the Maine Department of Education with contributing partners: ACTEM (Association of Computer Technology Educators of Maine), MAAE (Maine Alliance for Arts Education), MAEA (Maine Art Education Association), MECA (Maine College of Art), MMEA (Maine Music Educators Association), MLTI (Maine Learning Technology Initiative), New England Institute for Teacher Education, and USM (University of Southern Maine).

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National Party!

June 4, 2014

NCAS today

Earlier today I attended the announcement webinar for the new National Core Arts Standards. It was informative and an opportunity to hear from a variety of arts leaders from across the country. Even our own Maine Arts Commission director Julie Richard was a guest on the webinar. She eloquently stated the role of the state arts agency’s now that the new standards are complete.

So, what next you might be thinking/asking?! Well, this is my suggestion… go to the National Core Arts Standards new website at http://www.nationalartsstandards.org that JUST went live this afternoon at 4:30 and check them out. Look closely at what the standards have to offer.

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Gorham Middle School art teacher Amy Cousins, Brunswick High School art teacher Jennie Driscoll, and Woodside Elementary School art teacher Brian McPherson

Perhaps your school/district is discussing standards, curriculum, proficiency, assessment and your head is swimming with all that you have to think about. I suggest that you join us at the New England Summit on Arts Education, July 29-31 at USM, Portland, to help figure out what your role and responsibility is. You can attend alone or with a team from your district, build on your knowledge so you can return to your school with a plan on how to proceed. To learn more and to register please go to https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/NESummit. The summit is happening because of feedback from Maine arts teachers asking for an extended learning opportunity from the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative. If you have questions please contact me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

And, what’s next with Visual and Performing Arts standards in Maine? Good question. Recently I asked Kevin Facer, the VPA specialist at the Maine Department of Education that question, and this is the information he provided:

The new NCAS standards present an exciting approach to arts teaching and learning. As schools plan for the future they should keep the following in mind.

  1. MLR’s are still in effect as state standards
  2. Graduates to 2018 will need to demonstrate proficiency to MLR standards

The rulemaking process to adopt new standards requires public hearings and a vote of the Legislature.  At this present time, the timeline to start any rulemaking to adopt new visual and performing arts standards is unknown.

  1. Teachers can use the NCCAS standards locally to enhance/augment current MLR’s. As you know, curriculum including textbooks, lessons, teaching methods – is entirely controlled at the local level.

Use caution on a full commitment to new standards before everything is in place to go ahead.

If you have questions please contact Kevin at kevin.facer@maine.gov.

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Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Melanie Crowe

June 3, 2014

Marshwood Middle School Art, Eliot

This is the tenth blog post for 2014 and the third phase of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) of this series sharing arts teachers’ stories. This series contains a set of questions to provide the opportunity for you to learn from and about others. Melanie has been a teacher leader during phase 3 of the MAAI.

croweMelanie Crowe teaches painting, drawing, printmaking, book arts, multi-media, and sculpture at Marshwood Middle School where she has been for 11 years. During the course of the school year, Melanie has the honor to work with approximately 400 students, sixth through eighth grade.

What do you like best about being a visual arts teacher?

The best part about being a visual arts educator is the unique opportunity to engage with students during the creative problem solving process. For me, it is during this stage that is so rewarding. Challenging students to push the envelope of creativity and exploring ways to see the common, uncommon – is a beautiful moment. In the art room, students know they have a safe place to challenge one’s self and to take risks – when students move outside of that comfort zone – I know I’ve done my job.

What do you believe are three keys to ANY successful visual and performing arts education?

  1. Communication and support from administration, school community, and local community.
  2. Student connection – creating genuine, authentic relationships with kids, to show them their thoughts and ideas are valued and we are all in it together.
  3. Creation of real life connections for students is key to their understanding of how the Arts are so important in everyday life.

How have you found assessment to be helpful to you in your classroom?

Using rubrics along with self assessments, students take the learning ownership directly into their hands. When it is clear what the learning objectives are and students can clearly see what they are to know and be able to do, takes all the guess work out. As a newbie teacher, this was one area I struggled with. Now after my first decade, I see the utmost value in reflection as a tool for assessment along with clear ways to present rubric information.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative?

Without a second thought, the greatest benefit has been getting to know, work with, and learn from such an AMAZINGLY TALENTED group of arts educators. I have also gained new insight to my own teaching practices along with many ideas to try out in my own classroom. I now feel more a part of a bigger community and that is refreshing. Knowing that there are others that may have the same concerns, ideas, or suggestions and we are all just a few keystrokes aways from each other is liberating.

What are you most proud of in your career?

My students and their accomplishments.

What gets in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?

Time – never enough always wanting more!

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear at first glance to be due to “luck” or circumstances?

I would have to say almost everything – the more hard work you put into anything it may appear effortless to those who may not have gone down the same road of struggle and determination.

Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers?

“Be the change you wish to see in the world”. This was told to me by one of my professors in life and I do “life” by it. If you have the desire to work with students in challenging them to open their mind up to the “what if’s” in the world then teaching is the right place for you.

If you were given a $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

I would build / open a community printmaking studio where students can come, create, hang out and learn the art of lithography and letterpress. There are so few places for just students to showcase and sell their work that I would like them to have a place of their own. Letterpress and Lithography are two forms of printmaking that I hold near and dear and do not want to see disappear. I love technology, but the beauty of ink on paper from a lithography stone is pure magic, I want to share this experience with as many others as I can.

Imagine you are 94 years old. You’re looking back. Do you have any regrets?

No. All paths have taken during my journey in life have brought me to this space in time, for that I am thankful.

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Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Jenni Null

May 27, 2014

Fine Arts Coordinator, Instrumental and Choral Music Instructor, K-12, SAD #61 

This is the ninth blog post for 2014 and the third phase of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative of this series sharing arts teachers’ stories. This series contains a set of questions to provide the opportunity for you to learn from and about others. Jenni was a guest on the MAAI webinar from April on Common Core and the Arts. You can see/listen to the archive by going to http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/MAAI-Webinars. Jenni is also working on the team of teacher leaders who are developing resources. The webinar scheduled for June will provide the opportunity for you to learn more about the arts ed resource bank.

png;base645078de7cb68c173dJenni Null is the SAD#61 K-12 Fine Arts Coordinator, Instrumental and Choral Music Instructor. She has taught for 36 years, 35 of which have been in my present district of Lake Region. Jenni teaches Grades 4 and 5 instrumental music in three different schools in three different towns (Bridgton, Sebago, and Naples), and has a very healthy chorus (60+ students) in Naples. When I am not in the classroom, I am overseeing the art, music, and dance program for the District, which includes the scheduling of our fine arts events for the year, as well as assisting colleagues in developing and reviewing the arts curriculum and assessments.

What do you like best about being an arts educator?

I love seeing the excitement in my beginning instrumental students when they are successful
on their respective instruments for the first time.  Coupled with that, is fast forwarding through the years and attending middle and high school concerts where I hear these same students performing. It’s very rewarding to think I gave them their start or awakened a talent within that they didn’t know they possessed.

What do you believe are three keys to ANY successful visual and performing arts education?

A successful visual and performing arts education should have:

  1. Passionate arts educators – These are the think-outside-the-box people who don’t let all the obstacles of the daily minutia get them down. They are the problem solvers!
  2. Supportive administrators –  All administrators say they are supportive, but the ones who truly are, find other areas to cut at budget time. The administrators I admire recognize that the square pegs don’t fit in the round holes. They provide QUALITY time so that arts educators can access students in a meaningful way, rather than seeing how many different classes can be stuffed into the day.
  3. A partnership between arts education and the surrounding arts community, where we share our resources, including performance and art display venues. Professional artists share their expertise in the classroom and provide workshops and mentor opportunities. High School students can work in tandem with these arts professionals and hopefully glean a vision of the arts as a vital part of their lives beyond their K-12 education.

How have you found assessment to be helpful to you in your classroom?

Assessment has helped me to stay focused on the key elements of my program. It also compels me to reevaluate and adapt in accordance with the needs of my students. A fringe Assessment has helped me to stay focused on the key elements of my program. It also compels me to reevaluate and adapt in accordance with the needs of my students. A fringe benefit of assessment is that students pay attention to the grading rubrics and what is required of them to meet standards. In this regard, I feel that today’s students take the arts classes more seriously than their predecessors.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the arts assessment initiative?

The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative has introduced me to some passionate arts educators statewide. Participating in this initiative has consequently energized me both in and out of the classroom. We must all be continually involved in advocacy, both individually, and collectively. MAAI has taught me that, “One of us is never as strong as all of us,” and that as a cohesive unit, we have been empowered to elevate arts education for the students of Maine!

What are you most proud of in your career?

For five consecutive years, I was able to organize a school-wide Arts Week for grades 4-6, centered around a musical production. Students learned the musical numbers in general music, and thanks to a grant, I was able to bring in professional artists to work with students in multi-age groups. Each day, the multi-age groups rotated through activities related to the play and aligned to the Maine Learning Results: making props, painting the scenery, working on lighting, (including the scientific properties of combining different colors), the cultural and historical background, and of course being entertained by the visiting professional musicians, dancers, and artists. The entire school was involved through the culminating activity, which was the musical production.  The students worked together as a community and learned so much in a meaningful way that was arts based.

What gets in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?

People without vision who prevent me from pursuing mine!

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear at first glance to be due to “luck” or circumstances?

I worked for two summers for The Edinburgh International Film Festival. I had to fly to Edinburgh for an interview and convince my perspective employers that an American could learn the city well enough to organize all levels of accommodation, from student flats to luxury hotels, as well as travel arrangements for festival attendees.

Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers?

  • Don’t let the small stuff get you down!  The endless meetings, paperwork, and duties will not disappear, but in spite of it all; remember you get to do amazing things with students and perhaps transform their lives in a way that others do not.
  • Don’t let boredom set in.  Change it up with a new lesson, new curriculum, or new job!  If you are bored, you can be sure your students are, too.
  • A network is critical for the arts educator to survive, so build one within and outside of your school or district.
  • Advocate for the arts with everyone you meet; administrators, parents, colleagues, and your students.  People need to be reminded why arts education is important.

If you were given a $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

If I suddenly had a large sum of money, I would set up an endowment that would provide for students to travel to New York City to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center or Carnegie Hall, and attend a Broadway Show. All students deserve the opportunity to have their senses awakened by such world class artistic experiences.

Imagine you are 94 years old. You’re looking back. Do you have any regrets?

If I were to start again, I would formulate a plan for my professional life.  I never really did that, but rather just let life happen.  I think that teachers entering the profession today are more forward thinking about where they want to be 10 or 20 years from now.

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Calling All Teaching Artists!

May 26, 2014

Professional Development Opportunity for Teaching Artists Interested in PK-12

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Gretchen Berg, Teaching Artist and Director of Ovations Offstage, presenting a workshop at the Statewide Arts Ed conference

This summer, the New England Summit on Arts Education will take place on the University of Southern Maine Portland campus, July 29-31. The Summit is designed to provide an outstanding collaborative opportunity for educators to dig deep into teaching, learning, and assessment in arts education including student-centered classrooms and proficiency.

The Summit is offered through the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative which was established in 2010 and has been responding to the needs of arts education ever since. The overall focus of the MAAI has been to create an environment in Maine where quality assessment in arts education is an integral part of the work all arts educators do to improve teaching and learning, and student achievement in the arts.

During the past three summers MAAI has offered opportunities to PreK-12 visual and performing arts teachers who make a commitment to take on a leadership role beyond the summer work. This year we are broadening the work to include others who make a commitment to educating young people in the arts. Teaching artists are invited to attend the Summit as part of a team or as an individual.

The Summit offers the following:

  • Scholarships for a limited number of Maine teaching artists to participate in the three-day summit
  • Sessions to build knowledge on arts teaching and learning, including assessment
  • Provide a mentor who will be available beyond the Summit
  • Networking opportunities with other Teaching Artists and school personnel from Maine and beyond
  • Hosting of 5-10 minute showcases for Summit participants
  • Three or four days of professional development (See Teaching Artist Leader Opportunity information below)

For detailed information about the New England Summit on Arts Education click here.

Teaching Artists Scholarships Available

The Maine Arts Commission is offering scholarships for a limited number of Teaching Artists to apply to participate in the New England Summit on Arts Education. The application deadline for scholarships is June 9, 2014.

To be eligible for a New England Summit on Arts Education Teaching Artist Scholarship, an artist cannot be employed by a school district as an arts educator.

As a scholarship recipient, teaching artists are required to:

  • Participate in online conversations using a wiki where the teaching artists will share information, ask questions, learn from each other, and establish an online community.
  • Complete a plan (i.e., a marketing packet) that includes a lesson/unit and description of their work that can be used to promote themselves with administrators, and/or teachers. These plans may be included in the MAAI Resource Bank, an online repository of learning units that will be available to all educators.
  • Attend a one-day professional development day in October to present their ideas and plans to invited “critical friends” for review and feedback.

Once the final plan is submitted and approved the teaching artist will be added to the Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist Roster and receive a stipend.

Please click here for the scholarship application located near the bottom of the page.

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION: June 9, 2014

If you have any questions please email the Maine Arts Commission Director of Arts Education Argy Nestor at argy.nestor@maine.gov or call 207.287.2713.

The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative is guided by the State of Maine Learning Results legislation Chapter 125 for the visual and performing arts which includes these four disciplines: dance, music, theatre, and visual arts.

In 2015, Arts Learning Grant applicants will be encouraged and given extra consideration if partnering with a Teaching Artist who is listed on the Roster.

 

 

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Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Amy Cousins

May 20, 2014

This is the eighth blog post for 2014 and the third phase of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative of this series sharing arts teachers’ stories. This series contains a set of questions to provide the opportunity for you to learn from and about others.

Screen shot 2014-05-10 at 10.24.31 PMAmy Cousins has been teaching in one form or another since she was 19 years old. She has been in public education, as an art teacher, for 17 years. Amy teaches Middle Level Art and Alternative Education (Integrated Arts and Outdoor Education) at Gorham Middle School. She teaches approximately 300 Art Students and 15 Alternative Education students.

What do you like best about being an arts educator?

I LOVE the creative part of lesson planning and figuring out how to engage all students. Teaching art is about observation. Who are my students? What do they respond to and what engages them to be creative problem solvers? It’s wonderful to watch students wrestle with ideas and concepts and come up with their own solutions.

What do you believe are three keys to ANY successful visual and performing arts education?

1.) Exploration – The freedom to explore.
2.) Ingenuity – To foster ingenuity.
3.) Challenge  – The ability to challenge in unique, individual ways.

How have you found assessment to be helpful to you in your classroom?

Assessment is the key to validating what we do as art teachers. It helps students recognize their strengths and what they need to work on. A good assessment tool guides students through the process of making, analyzing and interpreting their  art work. As a teacher it helps me to craft lessons that meet the standards, but still embrace artistic license.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the arts assessment initiative?

The benefits have been plentiful but the biggest gift I have received from the MAAI is camaraderie. It has been an absolute pleasure to meet and be energized by individuals from all over the state! They have given me new ideas, helped problem solve the old ones  and have revitalized my desire to teach.

What are you most proud of in your career?

Not sure yet, ask me when I am 94!

What gets in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?

Time. There is never enough time to get it all done! We only get a brief glimpse of our students during the course of a year. In some cases as few as 35 hours. That doesn’t allow students enough time to fully explore all the endless avenues of art, nor does it allow for retention of concepts, techniques or processes from year to year. I consistently feel like I am taking 1 step forward and 4 backwards.

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear at first glance to be due to “luck” or circumstances?

Think that’s another one you are going to have to ask when I am 94.

Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers?

Remember your job is to not only to educate students but to engage them in manner that leaves them craving for more.

If you were given a $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

Right know I would do just about anything for about 20,000.00 to buy a classroom set of iPads. So I am going to take this opportunity to shamelessly advocate for my cause. Anybody want to make a donation????

Imagine you are 94 years old. You’re looking back. Do you have any regrets?

I have made a gazzilion mistakes in my life and I don’t regret any of them.  Mistakes are how we learn. If you regret them, you haven’t learned anything.

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