Archive for August 13th, 2015


Teacher Leaders

August 13, 2015

Those amazing teachers

What do the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leaders have in common? There are many IMG_0065similarities. If I had to select the top six, they would be:

  1. commitment to teaching
  2. life-long learners and a passion for learning
  3. a desire to go above and beyond
  4. positive attitudes
  5. problem-solvers
  6. collaborators

Sounds like many teachers in Maine and across the country you might say. I couldn’t agree more! A guest (teacher from another content) attended the MALI summer institute August 3-5 at USM, Portland and said what impressed her most about the environment was how positive the MALI Teacher Leaders are. “They weren’t sitting around complaining about what they couldn’t control but focusing on what they could do to move the conversation forward about how essential high quality arts education is for all students.”

At the completion of the three-day institute we asked the Teacher Leaders:”What about this professional IMG_0034development Institute has been useful to you?”  These were some of the remarks from some of the new and veteran Teacher Leaders:

  • The positive energy and the connections have been refreshing and revitalizing!
  • In-person collaboration, feedback from colleagues, upbeat atmosphere, opportunity to see old friends.
  • The extended time to work on our workshop ideas with experts available to de-mystify the whole process.
  • The institute has made me go back and look at the MLRs; what I do now and what goals I have for my teaching in the future.
  • It is the connection with others and networking. It is being able to talk with others about what they are doing, getting inspired, and and now being really pumped for the start of this year.
  • All my questions and doubts about PBE has been answered. I love the feedback that I received from the other teacher leaders, and that is what has been the most useful for me.
  • Connecting with other teachers, learning about becoming a teacher leader and my role within MALI. I learned a lot about assessment, proficiency, and creativity.
  • I have gained an incredible amount of knowledge that I will be able to bring back with me and share!! I cannot begin to describe all of the knowledge, enthusiasm, and collaboration that the past three days have given me!
  • The logic model has been so useful with guiding a plan for making change at the local level. Look forward IMG_0027to a great year of stepping into a new different leadership role. Also thought that the “messaging” session was so helpful.
  • The amazing feedback about my logic plan received by the teacher leaders!
  • There have been so many different aspects about this Institute that have been useful to me. I think that the ability to collaborate with others and like-minded educators really helps to invigorate and inspire me in my work as an educator. I think that it is really important to connect with others and it helps to edify our energy and passion for our field and everything that we do. This also inspired me to make sure to be an advocate for myself and the arts. To continue what I have done and push towards advocacy for my program at my school. To be a resource and make myself present for others in my school building and arts educators.
  • There is so much I don’t even know where to begin! I loved the fact that I was able to develop a logic model that helps me put together something that will help to benefit my program specifically. I also loved having the teaching artists as part of the plan!!!!
  • Receiving feedback from my colleagues with reference to our workshop design. Networking with new and old colleagues. Hearing what everyone is doing i.e. SLO’s, teacher evaluation process, assessments, good practice, arts advocacy. How MAAI has evolved and the shift in direction. I love the new name. It truly reflects our purpose of leadership in the arts.
  • The group work around written philosophies and “elevator speeches” was an amazing exercise in how many voices can blend together to create powerful messages.

Perhaps you’re thinking “wow, I’d like to be part of this type of learning”. Plan ahead and consider applying to IMG_0081be a Teacher Leader in the future. Join the Teacher Leaders as well as educators from across the state and attend the biennial conference, Arts Education: The Measure of Success, being held on Friday, October 9, Point Lookout, Northport. Details and registration located at Please move swiftly and take advantage of the Early-Bird Special and join the positive, energetic environment that the presenters will be all about!


Please note: On August 3, 2015, MAAI, the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, announced its new name, MALI, the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative. You can read about it at Please let me know if you have any questions.

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