Another Teacher’s Story: Cynthia Keating

March 3, 2015

MAAI Teacher Leaders series

This is the third blog post for 2015 on the Phase 4 Maine Arts Assessment Initiative’s (MAAI) Teacher Leaders sharing their stories. This series contains a set of questions to provide the opportunity for you to learn from and about others. You can learn more about MAAI at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/MAAI# and learn more about all 61 of the MAAI Teacher Leaders at http://www.maineartsassessment.com/#!teacher-leaders/c1qxk.

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 5.22.59 AMCynthia Keating is in her eleventh year of teaching general music education to K-­2 students at Village Elementary School in York. Her students receive music once a week for 45 minutes. Once a month, on a rotating Friday schedule, students receive music twice a week. She previously taught in Suncook, NH, Ogunquit and Wells, Maine ­ totaling 32 years of instruction in elementary music education. However, you may have wondered who those fantastic musicians were that provided all the ceremonial music for the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY?!?! Well………Cynthia was one of them because she attended the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, NY! It has been 35 years since she helped play the national anthem for our Men’s Ice Hockey team as they received their gold medals after having beaten the Men’s Russian Ice Hockey team!

What do you like best about being a music educator?

There is nothing more pure and beautiful than the singing voice of a child​.​

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

  1. Having support from my fellow teachers and administrators
  2. Being a passionate, engaging and well educated professional
  3. Being flexible and understanding of ALL teaching positions within my school

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

I have definitely found assessment in my classroom to be helpful. When I used “I Can Statements” for the first time, I had a huge “Ah ha!” moment.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the arts assessment initiative?

  • Finding my BFF
  • Having conversations with people that believe, like me, that the arts are essential
  • Having the freedom to express oneself in a safe environment

What are you most proud of in your career?

I am proud that I am a lifelong learner. I NEVER want to become “that teacher” whom everyone is wondering,“When is SHE going to RETIRE?!”

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

BEWARE THE BLACK HOLE filled with negativity!

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

  • Staying up to date on new things in education
  • Staying fresh on current practices.
  • Staying informed and open to new ideas.

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

Surround yourself with others that think like you. *Don’t necessarily follow the crowd.

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

I would create an auditorium, with a phenomenal light and sound system, in OUR school to accommodate our entire school’s population. We would have plenty of room to perform and dance and display our arts properly! It would be ​amazing​!

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

Someday I ​will​ be 94, ­ I have longevity on both sides of my family! But I won’t be looking back ­ I’ll only be looking forward!

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One comment

  1. Love the last line in your story, Cynthia! It’s great to have you in MAAI.

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