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“Stuff” Happens

February 10, 2015

What’s happening

photoSometimes “stuff” happens that I didn’t see coming which cause me to pause. Yesterday that happened when I noticed a man standing on the roof outside of my office window. I wondered about the angle of the roof and his safety. I thought about how much snow had accumulated on the small angled roof as he shoveled while snow continued to land on his head and shoulders. As he went about his work, my work was stopped. I couldn’t help but smile at the snow and also think ahead to the next season(s).

Also, yesterday I was forced to pause and reflect on some of the highlights of the research that the Maine Arts Commission has underway. As many of you know during the last several months the Maine Arts Commission has been surveying Maine citizen groups to create a Maine Arts and Culture plan. One of our surveys was just for visual and performing arts teachers and 284, representing PreK-12 evenly, completed it – THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

This is one of those times that I am pausing to consider the feedback from arts educators who took the time to complete the survey to help determine the direction of Maine Arts Education. I thing the following pieces of information learning from the survey might be of interest.

  • The majority have taught for more than 10 years with 72 teaching 10 years or less
  • Almost everyone has heard of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative and over 100 have utilized the resources that MAAI provides
  • Almost 150 have participated in professional development opportunities that MAAI has provided
  • On a scale of 1-7, 117 said that they are somewhat to highly prepared to teach in the proficiency-based education system

The following are quotes from two participant answering the question: How has what you’ve learned from MAAI affected their teaching and/or assessment practices?

It’s made me narrow better what I’m teaching and want my students to learn. I’ve been more collaborative with other teaching professionals. It has also reminded me what my personal professional beliefs are valid in holding students to higher standards and working them towards that common goal.

These experiences have made my teaching even more student -centered, which is a direction all Maine schools should be headed.

As you consider participating in the MAAI please know that we have Mega-regional workshops being offered throughout the state during the next three months. Details, descriptions, and registration can be found by clicking here https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/MAAI-Mega-Regionals-2014-2015.

tableAt the end of the day, as the light was dimming and I was leaving the office, I pulled out my ipad and took photos of the picnic table near the back door of the Maine Arts Commission. As my colleague said earlier in the day, it looks like a dessert. The State House loomed up in the background and I was reminded of the importance of stopping to reflect about how fortunate I am, even on challenging days!

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