Archive for November, 2022

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Thankful for you!

November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving

Today, on Thanksgiving, I pause to THANK YOU for your contributions to education. Your positive impact is amazing! I know that it takes constant creativity, courage, resilience, persistence, experience, planning, a sense of humor, and so much more to make a difference in the lives of learners.

I AM GRATEFUL!

I was reminded over and over this month of how grateful I am to be engaged in education at this point in my life. It seems like the roles of teachers and schools are continually shifting; expanding to meet the many needs of children AND our society and at the same time being challenged by outside forces.

I am grateful

I am grateful to have helped in the planning of the conference that over 100 educators attended on a beautiful Saturday: Truth, Hope, and Creativity: How the Arts Can Deepen Any Curriculum at Thomas College. How fortunate we were to be together in person with other educators learning and exchanging ideas. We stretched our thinking around the importance of teaching Truth. The presenters answered questions and created many more, the learning continues beyond the day.

I am grateful to have visited a high school to learn about their Book Arts program taking place, not in the art room, but in social studies, science, and language arts classes. Sadly, it was a just a week after the active shooter hoax locked down 10 Maine schools. It was a horribly scary situation and sadly for some it didn’t last for only that one day. The students have been working on amazing books that demonstrate their learning of The Depression and The New Deal. (Watch for a future blog post with the details.)

I am grateful to be substituting and spending time with learners of all ages. So enjoyable to see students learning and laughing. Each one has a story and many are anxious to share.

I am grateful to live in a region of the state where theatre programs are thriving. There is no greater joy than to see students on stage. They bring their very best and many times surprise themselves by what they are capable of. Acting for an audience provides opportunities that sitting in a classroom can not. The pride, OH MY, the pride!

I am grateful to be on a committee planning the Sestercentennial (250 years) celebration for my community. Looking Back to Look Ahead will give people of all ages the chance to come together to celebrate our town while recognizing those who have come before us.

Giants

I know that I stand on the shoulders of giants and wouldn’t be who I am today without them. I invite you to think about who has influenced you and taught you. Whether those people are alive or passed away perhaps you’ll take the time to thank them on this Thanksgiving Day. I appreciate you your commitment to education and to show my appreciation I’m sending you flowers!

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Education Has Lost a Giant

November 15, 2022

So long Phil Brookhouse

For those of us who came in contact with Phil Brookhouse, we are all better for it. You may know Phil from his days with the Maine Learning Technology Initiative. He and Barbara Greenhouse played off of each other while providing professional developing with technology. They were quite a team. For many Maine educators this was their first introduction to technology in the classroom so it needed to be top notch. The delivering was excellent, the content was spot on, but more importantly Phil understood it was ‘all about the relationship’. He was gentle, kind, and knowledgeable, AND he understood how to communicate with teachers because he had teaching in his heart and soul. A teachers teacher!

Phil worked with the State of Maine to roll out and support one of the first “one to one” laptop programs in the country. Phil always had a pleasant look on his face and often he spoke with a ‘pirate accent’. In fact, he was the first ‘pirate’ I ever met. Phil loved music and performed in community theatre. He understood the value of arts education and took the opportunity to include the arts in the work he did. He was proud to be named an Ambassador to Jupiter through NASA. After leaving the state work, Phil returned to the classroom at Edward Little High School in Auburn working with the gifted and talented program before retiring. He will be missed but the seeds of learning he spread will live on. I am grateful for the work he did in Maine education! You can read his entire obituary at THIS LINK.

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November Gifts

November 12, 2022

Theatre – alive and well in Maine high schools

One of the best parts about November is that high schools across Maine provide opportunities for students to perform in theatre productions. The added benefits to our state are many! People of all ages can engage in stories, some old and classic, and some newer. The community including parents, children, seniors, retired folks and anyone who lives in the town where the school is located, as well as surrounding towns, have a chance to watch, listen and learn as teens take to the stage. There aren’t many opportunities during a school year for citizens to enter our school buildings. These performances can serve as advocacy for not only theatre programs but dance, music, and visual art since all of the arts are often utilized through the theatre production.

The skills and experiences gained through participation in theatre productions are not learned elsewhere!

CONGRATULATIONS…

…to all the high schoolers taking part in plays. I know that to give your best performance you have practiced for many days and weeks which amount to many hours while still keeping up with attending classes and doing homework. You’ve worked individually and with your peers practicing lines, your position on stage with how and where and when to move. You have collaborated with teachers, actors, light and sound students, costume and make up people. Your success relies on the commitment and cooperation of a huge number of people.

THANK YOU…

…to all the educators who give opening of their time after the normal school day to support the many students who participate in the theatre program. I know we have some Maine schools with theatre teachers who provide classes during the day that contribute to the production but most are doing this work after school. Your patience, kindness, and influence inspiring theatre students is amazing.

SUPPORT…

We know that it takes many people beyond the actors and teachers who help support the production in many different ways. Thank you to all of you lovers of the theatre and students who participate. I encourage everyone reading this blog post to attend a play going on at your local high school. Nothing like a full house to feel appreciated when performing!

The following are a few of the plays that are taking place in the next couple of weeks. If you are aware of others please email me at meartsed@gmail.com and I’d be glad to add them to this blog post. Thanks!

Thornton Academy, Saco presents The Odyssey. MORE INFORMATION!

Camden Hills Regional High School presents Mamma Mia! MORE INFORMATION!

Medomak Valley High School, Waldoboro presents Hello Dolly! MORE INFORMATION!

Waterville Senior High School presents Momma Mia! LEARN MORE!

Belfast High School present Grease. MORE INFORMATION!

Orono High School presents Mamma Mia! MORE INFORMATION!

Mount Desert Island High School presents Oliver! MORE INFORMATION!

Break a leg!

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Conference Lift-off

November 4, 2022

Teaching Truth, Hope, and Creativity: How the ARTS can deepen any curriculum

During the last 7 months a group of committed educators have been planning, writing grants, communicating with each other and many other educators to plan the conference being held tomorrow, November 4, at Thomas College. Those of you who have planned conferences know of the thousands of details that it takes to pull together a successful conference. Those of you who have attended education conferences know how critical they are to advancing teaching and learning.

The Teaching Truth, Hope, and Creativity conference is for all Maine educators and is supported by many organizations through funding and planning. We are fortunate to have Connie Carter, Education Director from Americans Who Tell the Truth AWTT, take the lead on many of the details. Connie is amazing and knowledgeable about what is needed to face the tough conversations in schools today. Karen MacDonald from the Maine County and State Teachers of the Year Association has been involved in planning several conferences since her retirement as a middle school Language Arts. She is great at taking on responsibilities and at asking the questions to continue moving forward in the planning. Chelsea Fay representing the Maine Math and Science Alliance has been a top notch planner and she along with her colleague at MMSA Emma Carey will be presenting a workshop at the conference. Iva Damon representing the Maine Arts Education Partners in Leadership has wowed us with her technology skills setting up the Padlet and the jam board participants will use. Hope Lord representing Maine Art Education Association has been instrumental in many of the hundreds of details. Sooooo grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with this amazing group of educators!

The conference couldn’t happen without the cooperation and generous support of many organizations. Unum, Veterans for Peace, Farnsworth Art Museum, and Kane-Lewis Productions. Thomas College is a wonderful organization to work with and has a beautiful campus. Staff member Darren has been excellent every step of the way!

The conference is scheduled for 8:45-3:00, tomorrow, November 4. We have 130 registered. If you’re interested in attending we have a few spaces available. Register at the link below OR show up at the door with cash or a check for $25.00 made out to Americans Who Tell the Truth. Included in registration is light breakfast, full lunch, an AWTT book, a padlet filled with resources, amazing workshops presented by Maine educators, access to two films: Truth Tellers and Natasha Mayers: An Un-still Life, wonderful gifts, and contact hours. There will be the opportunity to purchase the film Truth Tellers at a special conference price. Briar Patch books will have books to purchase. The door prizes are amazing!

I’m looking forward to seeing old friends at the conference and making new ones. YAY!

REGISTRATION

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