Why Do You Teach?

August 29, 2016


We asked teacher leaders and teaching artist leaders at the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Summer Institute: Why do you teach? The outcome is below. As you are starting the school year off, ask yourself, write it down, take your photo (and send it to me or tweet it out at #WHYITEACH) so I can add it to the collection of Maine Teaching Artists and PK-12 Arts Educators. Thanks for teaching!

























Teacher Leader Technology Opp

August 28, 2016

MLTI Teacher Leader program

The Learning Through Technology Team at the Maine Department of Education has recently established the MLTI Apple Refresh Teacher Leader Program. A participating teacher leader will be referred to as an MLTI Apple Refresh Teacher Leader or MARTL.

Each school that is part of the 2016 MLTI Apple Refresh has been asked to identify one teacher or curricular-focused, certified professional to serve as the MARTL. Schools are encouraged to select someone other than a technology integrator or technology coach as their MARTL in order to grow their local capacity.

This is an opportunity for an active professional learner who is interested in spreading teacher-to-teacher innovations to join a facilitated cadre of like-minded peers. Through this Professional Learning Network they will be made aware of resources and opportunities across the state of Maine and beyond.

The MARTL’s formal responsibility will be to serve as a communication portal between the Apple MLTI Team, the Maine DoE Learning Through Technology Team, and their school community. They will be asked to share regular updates highlighting Apple MLTI Professional Learning opportunities and to be an active participant in regional and statewide conversations and meetings.

If you are in a school/district that is part of the MLTI Apple Refresh and interested in this role ask your principal about this opportunity. More details about the role are below. The school needs to identify the MARTL by September 15.
Questions? Contact Jim Moulton at moulton@apple.com.

What is the MLTI Apple Refresh Teacher Leader (MARTL) Program?

The MLTI Apple Refresh Teacher Leader (MARTL) Program is designed to directly support improvements in student learning experiences through more thoughtful and rich leveraging of Apple technology across all schools participating in the 2016 Apple MLTI Refresh. Indirectly, the work of this group will benefit all Apple MLTI schools.

Who is an MLTI Apple Refresh Teacher Leader (MARTL)?

MARTLs will be selected by their schools. Schools will select a teacher (or other curricular-focused, certified professional such as a librarian) who is an effectively innovative educator and who is an effective communicator within the school community. MARTLs are educators who are curious and are open to growing their knowledge and skills around the use of technology to learn, teach, innovate, and communicate in order to improve learning experiences for students. They are also active sharers of information, resources, and opportunities across their school community.

Why does an educator want to become an MLTI Apple Refresh Teacher Leader (MARTL)?

MARTLs are educators who are interested in connecting with other MARTLs from across the state as well as regional and national resources. They will do this in an effort to discover how to best leverage their school’s participation in the Apple MLTI Refresh to make learning experiences more engaging, purposeful, and effective for all students in their school.

What benefits does a MARTL receive from participation?

Specifically, MARTLs will be provided:

– connection to a facilitated PLN
– invitations to 2 one-day regional MARTL meetings annually (mileage and substitute costs covered)
– invitation to 1 two-day statewide MARTL meeting annually (summer – mileage and all other costs covered) – direct connections to the MARTL facilitation team (Apple and DoE Learning Through Technology Team)
– regular updates around resources and opportunities across the state of Maine and beyond

What are the responsibilities of an “MLTI Apple Refresh Teacher Leader (MARTL)”

MARTLs will be asked to:

  • –  participate in a facilitated PLN
  • –  attend 2 one-day regional MARTL meetings annually
  • –  attend 1 two-day statewide MARTL meeting annually
  • –  leverage direct connections to the MARTL facilitation team (Apple and Maine DoE)
  • –  share resources and opportunities from across the state of Maine and beyond with teachers and students intheir school communityWhen? What is the timeline for the “MLTI Apple Refresh Teacher Leader (MARTL) Program”

    Milestones and dates for the MARTL Program through the 2016 – 2017 school year are:

    – Spring 2016 – MARTL concept and opportunity is socialized across participating schools – August 1, 2016 – MARTL selection process distributed to schools
    – By September 15, 2016 – MARTL selections are submitted
    – October 2016 – Round One of one-day regional MARTL meetings

    – October, November, January, February, March, May, 2016 – MARTL Webinars TBD – March & April 2017 – Round Two of one-day regional MARTL meetings
    – Summer 2017 – First two-day statewide MARTL meeting
    – Ongoing throughout 2016-17 School Year – Information and opportunity sharing

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Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award

August 27, 2016

Opportunity for Maine


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Maine Motif

August 26, 2016

Congratulations to Heidi!

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 9.10.42 AMMusic teacher and editor Heidi Anderson has created “Maine Motif”,  a wonderful magazine for the Maine Music Educators Association. You can access it by CLICKING HERE. After checking it out, let Heidi or president and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader Sue Barre know what you think. The organization is celebrating their centennial – if not already a member, consider joining. Below is Sue’s back to school message re-printed by permission from Maine Motif.

Greetings Fellow Music Educators:

Sue Barre

Sue Barre

Welcome to a new school year! It is that exciting time, a time of firsts. The first class, the first rehearsal, the first football game. In my household it is the first time I will send one of my children to college. Amidst the firsts there is the familiar: breaking out the pep band folders, singing through a familiar warm up, recognizing a familiar tune. At my house the familiar routine, particularly for my daughter, is the annual school supply and school clothes shopping spree.

I challenge you to work to enjoy the firsts. Note how excited those students are in class. Relish the conversation with a senior who is asking for a recommendation or the kindergartener who is so excited to be in your class. For many of us our jobs are getting bigger, the days are seeming longer, and/or some of us (myself included) the hair is becoming more gray.

The work you are doing is very important. You are changing lives. You are creating lifelong advocates and consumers of music. You may even be creating lifelong performers. Through this beautiful craft of teaching music we are also teaching the lifelong skills of communication, collegiality, and goal setting to name a few.

In each of our schools we can feel like islands, often being the only music teacher. MMEA can be the mainland for you. Take advantage of this publication; take a look at our website. We are working hard to keep the calendars up to date and useful to all.

Lastly, help us celebrate our centennial! The events will happen all year long. Beginning with the membership campaign, the first one hundred new or lapsed members (3 years or more lapsed) will only pay $100 for membership fee – saving you $30 (that’s a lot of cups of coffee). To take advantage PRINT the application from the NAfME website and send it and your payment to our executive director Sam Moore-Young.

I am grateful to be part of this board and value the opportunity to represent you as music educators of the State of Maine. Please do not hesitate to contact me or any board member, with your questions or concerns. In an effort to make it easier to reach board members we have updated email addresses to align with the position.

For example, my new email is mainemmeapresident@gmail.com. Please see the website for an up to date list of emails. Together we are stronger than one, do not hesitate to ask the questions that are on your mind. We are here to serve you, the members of the Maine Music Educators Association.

Sue Barre, President of MMEA


In Today’s News

August 25, 2016

Thanks to Herb Albert

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 2.35.29 PMTrumpeter Herb Alpert, known for his unique brand of Latin-tinged jazz pop, and for being a co-founder of A&M Records, a label that released key albums by artists from Cat Stevens to Janet Jackson, is now making his mark on education. To access the entire article please CLICK HERE.


Bay Chambers

August 25, 2016

On the water concert

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 6.53.54 PMEveryone’s buzzing about the concert ON Megunticook Lake that happened last Friday evening, August 19 brought to the community by Bay Chamber Concerts. The concert on the water featuring Slavic Soul Party! was filled with energy. It was a perfect evening to be on the water – the light over was amazing. There were kayaks, canoes, motor boats and paddle boats. I am guessing about 100 boats, about 300 people and 27 dogs. (Look closely in the photo and you can see the activity). Adults and young people and dogs swimming, dancing and listening to great music – it was a real fun time!

Most interesting – as we paddled back to the landing as the sun was setting there was a peaceful rare stillness. Two couples paddled by singing in their old green canoe with straw hats, bunches of plastic flowers and a dog. In the dark the dozens of cars pulled up to the beach to load their boats and the quietness continued. I couldn’t help but think how fortunate I am to live in a state that provides unique musical opportunities in such stunning places. I’m hoping that Bay Chambers or another organization will consider providing more concerts on the water!

Megunticook ConcertThank you Bay Chamber who said: You are at the heart of everything we present here at Bay Chamber– our aim is to enrich your days and weeks through thrilling musical moments. And what a difference music can make in one week… a performance that inspires you … transports your imagination to heights unknown… or triggers a memory of meaningful moments gone by.

For those of you not familiar with Bay Chamber Concert programs I included their story in the Who Are They?: Bay Chamber blog series just over a year ago. Check them out and if you like what you see they are having a fund drive this week at THIS SITE.


Everyone Has a Story

August 24, 2016


As the nights begin to get cooler and we start another school year I am reminded of how important it is to connect and reach out to others. So much of teaching has to do with the relationships we form with students and our colleagues.

Everyone has a story to share about summer vacation. How will you listen to your colleagues or students’ summer stories? How will you encourage those who are on the quiet shy side to tell their stories? Will it be through song, painting, words?

On my way into work this morning I caught the tale end of the “chicken farmer” story. This is not a new story, perhaps you’ve read it or heard it sometime in your life. I googled when I arrived and found the story below online. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It brought a smile to my face.

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 7.36.57 AMTwelve feet or so off the east edge of State Road 103, which runs north-south through the town of Newbury, New Hampshire (population 1,500 or so), there sits a squarish brown-gray slab of rock roughly the height of a man. Its southern face is flat, nearly smooth, at a billboard angle toward the traffic, coming north.

About 25 years ago, across from the rock on the west side of the road, there sat a tidy white cedar-shingled house in whose backyard, as it is remembered, a dozen chickens pecked about. Their eggs made breakfasts (and a tiny sideline business) for a family named the Rules – whose daughter Gretchen was pretty, smart, wistful, and 16.

There was a boy – a shy boy, also wistful, also a farmer, whose name is forgotten today – who pined for Gretchen Rule. He cast about for ways to tell her or show her – without telling or showing himself – then he hit upon the rock.

“CHICKEN FARMER, I LOVE YOU” he wrote on it, in eight-inch high, spray-painted letters, one moonlit, high-starred night – or so the story goes.

And the girl saw and guessed the author (though it was only, really, a guess) – and the town and the passing motorists smiled, made their own guesses, and went on about their ways.

The message endured for years, though brambles grew up to obscure it, and the letters, once so bold and white, began to fade. Gretchen Rule went away to Harvard, then on to life. The boy, whoever he was – or is – became a man. The rock grew into a relic, a love note out of time.

One night – 10, perhaps 12 years ago (no one saw it happen, and no one today can say for sure) – the brambles were cut away. And the message was repainted and renewed: “CHICKEN FARMER, I STILL LOVE YOU.”

The rock became a landmark. “It’s your first left past Chicken Rock” the locals were wont to say. “Chicken,” “love” and “farmer” were the first words one Newbury kindergartner – today a teenager – learned to read. And every two years or so, barely noticed, the letters would be freshened and the brambles cut away.

Then, late last April, an unknown caller complained of “graffiti” to the New Hampshire Dept. of Transportation (or DOT). By nightfall the same day, a three-foot square of rust-colored primer was all that was left of a shy boy’s long-ago love. The Concord Monitor offered its requiem: “Love Message to Chicken Farmer No More.”

A week passed. Then with the coming of dawn on April 30, the new sun rose on New Hampshire’s stubbornest love: “CHICKEN FARMER, I STILL LOVE YOU.”

The same message, the same eight-inch letters. But bolder this time: thicker-lettered, almost crude, and painted rather than sprayed. As though written by an angry and defiant hand.

In Newbury, the townspeople, inspired now as never before, took steps to assure that their landmark would live on. “A Petition for the Status Quo” they called it and filled it with 192 signatures in the space of a day. The DOT responded with a letter. The Chicken Rock’s message would be forever safe.

And somewhere, surely, a shy, 40-ish man must have smiled.

Originally appeared in the February 1998 issue of Yankee Magazine as “The Best Love Story of 1997.” Also ran in “Chicken Soup for the Lover’s Soul” and in the Concord Monitor.


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