Archive for November 4th, 2014

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Flexibility is the Name of the Game

November 4, 2014

What a storm!

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Tree down on route 17 in Union on Monday. Photo taken by Chris Norris on her way to work.

On Sunday, November 2, we had an unusually large snowstorm in the mid-coast for this time of year. Sure, other years we’ve gotten snow in early November but I can’t remember ever getting this much – 18 inches. I also don’t remember such a mild fall. We finally had our first frost last week. The snowstorm is very odd since parts of Maine didn’t get one inch, let alone a large amount. And, what’s more unusual is the locations that often get tons of snow, didn’t get any. I know that not everyone was happy with the weather but I do love it!

Power was out, and still is, in many communities. The wind made the situation more difficult and in some places dangerous. Parts of downtown Rockland and Camden are completely out. I understand that the shops were closed. I am certain that it is a hardship to be forced to close due to the weather. And, it was quite the surprise to hear how many schools were closed yesterday.

I’ve been known to say that the best part about the weather is that we have no control over it. Think about it. We control so many parts of our lives but we don’t have any control over the weather. The report was for an inch, and before we knew it the report was increased to 6-8 inches, and not too long afterwards it was increased to 8-12, and lo and behold we ended up with 18 inches at my home.

For some it was a joyful day off from school and others it was stressful to do without heat, lights, and dealing with the damage from trees and branches. And, in some cases it isn’t going to be over when the power is reinstated since the clean up could take several days.

photo2So, how do we cope with this unexpected weather? In some ways dealing with the weather is no different than dealing with the changes in schools. Proficiency-based/standards-based learning is presently causing some Maine educators frustration. The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) has designed the Mega-regional workshops at five locations during the 2014-15 school to provide learning opportunities on this topic along with other pertinent topics. You can check out the details by going to the Maine Arts Commission webpages at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/MAAI-Mega-Regionals-2014-2015#. The cost to attend each Mega-regional is $25 and you can attend as many as you’d like. Participants can receive 5.5 contact hours.

Sometimes individuals get frustrated when they don’t have a forum to express their ideas and out-of-the-box thinking. The Maine Arts Commission (MAC) is providing all Maine citizens the opportunity to lend their voice by taking a five-minute online survey located at https://www.research.net/s/Maine_Arts. Hard copies of the survey are also available if you need them – contact the MAC to request a copy at mainearts.info@maine.gov or by calling 287.2724.

In addition, MAC has a survey specifically designed for teachers. Your best thinking is what want so let us hear from you please! Click the link below to complete the Teacher Survey http://tinyurl.com/ArtsEdSurvey.

We also want to hear from students, since they are the future of Maine. Please take a few minutes with your  classes or pass on the link to students and ask them to contribute their ideas. Student survey link: https://www.research.net/s/MaineArts_Students.

If you have any questions on the topics above, please don’t hesitate to contact me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

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