What Happens After Teacher Leaders Meet?

August 13, 2012

Teacher Leaders Meet in Maine and in DC

Interestingly enough on the day after our Maine Arts Assessment Institute finished, a teacher leader conversation was taking place in Washington DC. It was hosted by the US Department of Education and it was called Transforming the Teaching Profession: A Teacher Leader Convening. Over 130 educators attended the event representing about 28 organizations. The educators were asked to identify priorities and develop strategies to move the RESPECT Project vision forward. The RESPECT Project is about envisioning a teacher profession for the 21st century and includes plans for teacher leadership, teacher preparation and other topics that directly relate to the teacher in the classroom. The educators in DC discussed what the USDOE needs to do to move the components of the RESPECT Project forward.

During the last part of the one-day event in DC the small group discussions were shared with the USDOE and White House officials and questions and answers were exchanged. Many times educators get together and walk away from similar events wondering whatever happened to those ideas that were so important at the time of discussion? A teacher asked “what’s next?”

When Secretary of Education Duncan launched the RESPECT Project he noted: “This new vision will not appear overnight… It will proceed in different ways in each state and district. There will be no single formula for success.”
When I read the information on the project and thought about the work we are doing in Maine arts education with the assessment initiative I couldn’t help but have similar thoughts. Each Maine arts educator has been invited to participate in the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI). We have 38 who have been named Teacher Leaders in the last two years. Many of you have participated in the workshops offered by the teacher leaders, some at the statewide conference and others at regional levels. Many have participated in the 7 webinars when they took place and others have accessed them and used at teachers meetings. In the near future there will be other opportunities. The bottom line is that the MAAI will proceed in different ways in districts across the state of Maine.

Visual Arts Teacher Leaders Gloria Hewett and Janie Snider at the MAAI summer institute, MECA, August 2012

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