Archive for October 30th, 2013


Conference Participants Say it Best!

October 30, 2013

Comments from the field

IMG_3675The following are comments from teachers about their experiences at the Arts Education: Leading the Way conference and the Maine International Conference on the Arts held last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at UMaine, Orono. Please provide your reflections at the bottom of this blog post by clicking on “Leave a Comment” or email them directly to me at

So excited to be a part of and see my colleagues and friends leading the way in the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative. The conference offered a multitude of opportunities to gain knowledge into the challenges we face teaching and assessing the arts in 21st century learning.

It’s a breath of fresh air to be in an atmosphere where you can network with colleagues and share a rich diversity of ideas from such a knowledgeable group. The pacing of the whole event was fantastic and kept us all engaged throughout the day.
~ Jimi Neel, York Middle School Music Educator

A first of its’ kind for me (24 yr educator)….. bringing arts educators, artists educators and teaching artists together.
Left with many tools to implement – gallery connections with Amanda in Moncton NB, Liam with Maine College of Art, experiences with 3D printers and digital laser cutters and fellowship. A rural state/region with much talent to share – MICA brought us together to applaud, share, adapt and laugh.                                                                                                                                                                                                               ~ Suzanne Goulet, Waterville Senior High School Visual Arts Educator

Lynn Tuttle’s presentation of the upcoming national arts standards was awesome!  She has a remarkable ability to explain incredibly complex issues in a simple, direct and entirely comprehensible manner that takes away all the fear of change.  The keynote presentation and workshop that followed showed how classroom-friendly the new standards intend to be and encouraged all of us in attendance to look at these with a serious eye to how they can improve what we do in the classroom.

The remainder of my day was spent exploring student-centered classroom in two workshops led by Sasha Bladen and Jeff Orth.  Both workshops presented concrete ideas, with lots of helping hints and handouts, of how to put more learning control into the hands of our students without giving up the core need to have them accomplish meaningful tasks and meet the standards without getting lost in the chaos.  I was guilty of having half my mind listening and the other half jotting down notes of how to use this in my classroom Monday morning!

It was great just to be in the same room with so many peers facing the same questions and challenges and sharing ideas and support.  I met some helpful colleagues who may become important contacts in the coming months.  Thank you Maine Arts Commission, DOE and Argy, for putting together this terrific weekend!                                                                                                     ~ Rick Osann Bonny Eagle High School Theatre

As usual, art teachers are just awesome! When they come together, they soak up news and information and help to create enormous energy. All participants were there to learn and grow and take advantage of the opportunity to make more sense of assessment and standards based education. The art teachers who participated are dedicated, motivated, and ready to take on this challenge.                                                                                                                                                                   ~ Kal Elmore, Bangor High School Visual Arts Educator

Words will never do justice in describing a day with my peers working, learning, and reflecting on best practice and assessment strategies. The work our peers have pored into these presentations is reflected in their thoughtful, informative, and enthusiastic sharing. The state of Maine holds a wealth of knowledge ready to be offered to anyone who wants to grow in their profession. I urge everyone to consider attending one of the upcoming Mega-regional workshops!                                                                            ~ Heidi O’Donnell, President Maine Art Education Association, Art Educator, Belfast High School

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