Archive for March 24th, 2014


Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Beth Lambert

March 24, 2014

Carrabec High School Performing Arts Teacher

This is the third post for 2014 and phase three of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative of this series sharing arts teacher’s stories. These blog posts contain a set of questions to provide the opportunity for you to learn from others.

imageBeth Lambert teaches about 100 students in grades 7 and 8 Unified Arts and grades 9-12 Performing Arts in MSAD #74, Carrabec. This is her second year teaching at this school district.

What do you like best about being a performing arts teacher?

The best part about being a theater educator is challenging my students’ perceptions about their world and about themselves. I get to provide them with an outlet for emotions, thoughts, and dreams that they might not otherwise have means to express. In my class, a student can become another, explore a new role, try out and experiment with various personal choices and solutions to very real problems- problems from their own life, or problems faced by characters in literature or historical figures, in a safe environment.

What do you believe are three keys to ANY successful visual and performing arts education?

  1. Support from administration and community.
  2. A teacher who understands the importance of making and maintaining authentic connections with his/her students.
  3. A teacher who can make the art real for the students- someone who understands what her community needs and offers art as a means to make life richer.

How have you found assessment to be helpful to you in your classroom?

Clear rubrics take the guess-work, and often, much of the fear, out of performing for a grade. Students know exactly what they are expected to be able to do and when they are ready to show me that they can do it, they are assessed. Students are in more control of their own learning and success.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative?

Without a doubt, the greatest benefit has been getting to know, work with, and learn from such an able group of arts educators.

Additionally, it is has allowed me the opportunity to do targeted work on my classroom from an arts educator’s perspective.

What are you most proud of in your career?

My students.

What gets in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?

All the non-teaching stuff that teachers must do takes them away from teaching and becoming better teachers. Also, ourselves- sometimes we get in our own way.

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear at first glance to be due to “luck” or circumstances?


Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers?

Always remember that we are here for the students- make your choices based on what is best for them and do right by them. The rest with fall into place.

If you were given a $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

I would build my students the performing space they deserve and would set up scholarship programs so that I never again have to see a child’s dream fade because they couldn’t pay.

Imagine you are 94 years old. You’re looking back. Do you have any regrets?

No. Every road, no matter how broken, crooked, or difficult, has brought me to where I am today and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!



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