Archive for September 2nd, 2013

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Back to School

September 2, 2013

End of summer fun!

IMG_6034On Saturday I met 3 friends who also happen to be art teachers for an end of summer kayak paddle on Unity Pond. It turned out to be a beautiful morning to be on the water for 4 people who were just interested in floating along. It was my image of a “lazy day”.  It provided me the opportunity to reflect on my summer and I couldn’t help but smile about the work going on in Maine arts education.

The summer started out great with our Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) at Maine College of Art for three days with 35 dedicated arts educators. We focused on proficiency and what that looks like in arts education. As you know LD 1422 requires that students graduate in 2018 from Maine high schools showing proficiency in the Maine Learning Results, visual and performing arts standards.

The teacher leaders who attended the MAAI institute created workshops and in mid-August met at USM, to present their workshops to each other and “critical friends”. It was a very successful day, not only for the teacher leaders but also for the “critical friends”. The workshops are outstanding and on a variety of topics.

Fortunately, for Maine arts education all 35 workshops will be presented at least three times during the school year. Once at the statewide biennial arts education conference being held at UMaine, Collins Center for Performing Arts on October 24.  On that day all 35 workshops will be presented and participants will have to select only 3 for the day. Again in Mega-regional locations – 5 of them throughout Maine (Presque Isle on September 20, USM, UMF, UMO, and Ellsworth High School, later in the school year). Teacher leaders will present their workshop a third time at a regional location that the teacher will select. More info will be available in the near future on the mega and regional workshops.

If you are interested in attending the statewide conference Arts Education: Leading the Way on October 24 you can register at https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Media-and-Performing/Conference-Education.On September 15 the cost of registration will go up so please don’t hesitate to register now for $75 which includes morning coffee/tea and lunch in the college cafe.

Even though I am not heading back to an arts classroom this fall like many of you are, I found myself excited as I listened to my colleagues talk about readying their classrooms, schedules, and lesson plans. It is a wonderful time of year as the air and colors begin to change and kids return to schools across Maine. If your conversations are anything like ours were paddling I know that students are fortunate to have you and the quality arts education programs that you provide.

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