Archive for January 9th, 2013


What a Day!

January 9, 2013

York High School

york hs

I had the opportunity to travel to York High School yesterday with Debi Lynne Baker for the purpose of “capturing a story”. Debi is a recently retired art teacher from Greenville who presently lives in Shirley.

Rob Westerberg was our host for the day but EVERYONE we met at York High School was gracious and welcoming. York High Schools mission includes: YHS community does whatever it takes to help students succeed. We certainly saw and heard evidence of that belief. I was most impressed with the students who articulated their learning in the fully emerged standards based music classroom. “It is not about the grade but what I am learning!”

Four short movies are being created with footage from four different school districts to tell the story of how they are “doing standards based/students centered learning”. This is in response to requests from arts teachers during phase 1 of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI): “What does a standards based classroom look like?” The videos will provide you with ideas and how it is working in Maine arts classrooms.

music york

Rob Westerberg and Dan Sovetsky

Rob Westerberg, as many of you know, has been part of the creation of the MAAI and a driving force in the work. In his music classroom he thinks deeply and thoughtfully about how to teach every student but most importantly it is the shift to how the student learns and views their learning. It was evident yesterday in the interviews that the shifts he has made in his teaching approach is really working!

Debi Lynne will continue taping and editing over the next few months and the videos will be available before this school year is completed. Yes, Debi has the difficult part however, with great footage like yesterday, the difficult question will be: what are the best of the greatest parts to include? (A good problem to have).

We did have a chance to visit the visual arts classrooms with teachers Gary Phipps, Beth Nowers, and my former student David Shenett.

Thank you to Rob, York High School principal Bob Stevens, music teacher Dan Sovetsky, and students Cole, Sarah, Levi, Lilly and the Chorus classes who participated.

David Shenett, Beth Nowers, Gary Phipps

David Shenett, Beth Nowers, Gary Phipps

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