Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

h1

HundrED Youth Ambassadors

July 3, 2019

Share with students

Are you a student reading this OR do you know students who are interested in participating in making positive change? If so, watch this video, join Jordy, and contact HundrED and apply to participate in the HundrED Youth Ambassador program.

 

h1

Express-a-Book

July 2, 2019

Not your traditional book club

Express-a-Book uses the Arts, to create a learner centered, collaborative environment to share ideas. Participants experience the Arts and the format highlights the accessibility and power of the creative process. When we bring people together in a collaborative and creative environment we see learners, of all ages, engage at a high level. The Express-a-Book process supports this notion.

In 2017 Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Design Team members Falmouth High School music teacher Jake Sturtevant and Sweetland School founder and director Lindsay Pinchbeck and Argy Nestor who was the Director of Arts Education at the time created Express-a-Book – an innovative and creative approach to a traditional book club.

They presented the idea, after creating a protocol and experiencing it themselves, to members of MALI. Other teacher leaders stepped up, formed groups and experienced the process themselves. The results were amazing!

“It was wonderful to have the opportunity and excuse to jump in the sandbox and find ways to play with, highlight, reflect, and communicate my learning in a unique way.”

~Jake Sturtevant

HISTORY
Lindsay, Jake, and Argy planned and tried the process and presented it to the MALI participants. Lindsay wanted to read about creativity in teaching and learning so she read the article A call to action: The challenges of creative teaching and learning by R. Keith Sawyer.
Jake was curious about the power of boredom. He listened to In defense of boredom on WNYC, Radio, Manoush Zomorodi’s Podcast Note to Self, and read the book Bored and Brilliant. Argy wanted to focus on leadership so she listened to Simon Sinek’s TED Talk called How Great Leaders Inspire Action.

Once they completed their review they responded by creating artworks. Lindsay made a painting and wrote a poem, Jake created a remix mp3, and Argy made a black and white illustration. They shared and responded to each image/sounds by giving feedback and asking questions. This provided the opportunity to learn about each of their topics in a collaborative environment.

What has been learned by using Express-a-Book?

  • Share ideas and resources through an active process
  • Use the arts to make information accessible and engaging for learners
  • Learn together as a community
  • Allow for individuals who do not often engage in art making processes to experience the potential of the arts to enhance learning 
  • Offer a low cost, simple, scalable and refreshing approach to a ‘book club’ 
  • The process has practical applications for a variety of classrooms and settings. Express-a-Book can be applied across disciplines or in professional learning communities, it can take place face to face or electronically, within or across schools, districts, across a region/state/country/ or even the world.
  • Individuals must be willing to stretch and be vulnerable
  • Example of teachers teaching teachers

If you’re interested in seeing the protocol please email Argy at meartsed@gmail.com.

Express-a-Book has been used successfully at conferences and gatherings in Maine and beyond in a variety of ways. The format has been shared in workshops, videos, short articles and highlighted in Teaching Strategies That Create Assessment-Literate Learners by Jeffrey Beaudry and Anita Stewart McCafferty.

 

h1

Creating Live Paintings

June 26, 2019

Buffalo, NY

A friend sent me a photo of an event that they were visiting in Buffalo, NY called Arts Alive. It is held at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, a museum which is a major showpiece for modern and contemporary art.

St. Mary’s High School’s re-creation of James Ensor’s The Intrigue, 1911 (Collection Minneapolis Institute of Art). Photograph by Tom Loonan.

For 23 years the gallery has hosted the annual Arts Alive event where participants create living representations of famous works of art for cash prizes. Anyone can and does participate including students, community groups, organizations, families, and individuals. Participants build their stunning replicas—often called tableaux—using people, props, and their creativity.

More than $1,000 in cash prizes is given to winning tableaux. Celebrity judges will select the Best Tableau from the Albright-Knox’s Collection or AK Public Art, Best Craftsmanship, and Most Creative Entry. The awards are presented in each category (Grades K–8, Grades 9–12, and Adult/Family Group). There is also a People’s Choice Award. And, of course, music, art activities, and more is celebrated as part of this special community event.

View a short YouTube video from the 20th year of the Arts Alive event.

 

h1

Summer Reading

June 18, 2019

Recommended books 

Ahhh, summertime and a better chance of reading. I’m sure some of you have selected your summer reading material and others are considering what to read. Whatever you decide on I do hope that not only do you find the books inspirational and filled with new learning but, that you find a place to read that is comfortable and allows you to squeeze every morsel of enjoyment out of each read. My suggestions include a variety.

If you’re looking for something on teaching and learning Jeff Beaudry and Anita Stewart McCafferty, professors at USM, have a new book called Teaching Strategies That Create Assessment-Literate Learners. The Foreword is provided by Rick Stiggins, from Corwin Press, published in 2018. It is based on their expertise and experiences in Maine schools and what they’ve observed. It includes many examples straight from the classroom, provided by Maine educators.

The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros, Dave Burgess Consulting, 2015, is another practical book. George was a teacher, principal and now an educational consultant. He believes in the power of teacher leadership and empowering and supporting teachers so they can be better at teaching. He is ‘spot on’ about the importance of innovation in education.

The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogratz, Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale, 2009, is an inspiring story about how Jacqueline left a career in international banking to spend her life on a quest to understand global poverty and find powerful new ways of tackling it. She wanted to make a difference in the world and through education, empowerment and forming relationships her journey led her across the globe and back again several times. The book starts with her how Jacqueline had donated a beloved blue sweater to Goodwill. Eleven years later she saw a young child wearing her sweater in Rwanda. It became clear to her that we are all connected – in our actions and inactions. It is a wonderful story that I just couldn’t put down.

dare to lead by Brené Brown, Penguin Random House, 2018. Brené’s approach to living is refreshingly honest. She looks at her years of research on leadership and interacting with leaders and organizes it in this book. She emphasizes how important it is to be vulnerable and brave over comfort and the easy pathway. If you’re a leader who is looking for assistance in moving forward or in challenging your mindset, this book could be helpful.

Thirst: A Story of Redemption, Compassion, and a Mission to Bring Clean Water to the World by Scott Harrison, Crown Publishing Group, 2018. Yes, this story is about Harrison’s focus on bringing clean water to people who don’t have access to it but it is so much more than that. It is about pulling yourself up by your boot straps, unconditional love, believing in people and yourself, never giving up, looking in the mirror and reaching out to others, and making the world a better place. It is a very inspirational book and I couldn’t put this one dow. It would be a great read for the beach (or pool, or deck, or almost any place comfy).

If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? by Alan Alda, published by Random House, 2017. This is a book about communication BUT the best part is it’s about how Alda’s goal is better communication through his  experiences with acting, improv, science, and storytelling. The skills he offers are from his years hosting Scientific American Frontiers. Definitely many plugs for the value of the Arts.

I hope you’ll share what you’re reading this summer so others can be inspired!

h1

AFTA Resources

June 14, 2019

Americans for the Arts

AFTA has tons of resources on their website. Like many outstanding sites there are too many resources to locate. Over the next few weeks I will provide resources on the blog that you can include in your summer independent learning or perhaps use when coming together with colleagues for collaborative learning. I encourage you to share them with others. And don’t hesitate to email me at meartsed@gmail.com with resources that you find useful so I can share them with others on the Maine Arts Education blog.

AFTA has a collection of videos called “Encourage Creativity: Teach the Arts”. Who to use each video ‘with’ and ‘what for’ is included with each description to help you determine if they will work for you. They provide the length of each video and they are each downloadable. The four videos range from 42 minutes to a documentary that is 7 hours and 19 minutes long. They are filled with stories, facts and figures to use for advocacy, and voices of learners of all ages.

They are creative documents that are very well put together. Please check them out at THIS LINK

h1

Music Scholarship

June 8, 2019

Westbrook High School – Don and Barbara Doane Music Scholarship

Trombonist Don Doane practices at the Maine Veterans’ Home in Scarborough in 2014. In addition to being a professional musician, Doane taught music to hundreds of students across Maine. File photo Portland Press Herald

This is a wonderful way to honor someone who has made an impact on the world of music education. After both of them are going their memory lives on with this scholarship.

Don Doane (1934-2015) was, in the words of one of his former students, the “best musician Maine has ever seen.” This designated fund honoring Don and his wife Barbara (1931-2015) supports a graduating senior from Westbrook High School seeking post-secondary study, with preference given to students pursuing music as a major or minor field of study.

 

 

 

h1

State Teachers of the Year

May 28, 2019

57 Teaches Recognized

National Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson

On April 29th, the White House and the U.S. Department of Education welcomed the State Teachers of the Year at the annual National Teacher of the Year Ceremony. National Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson is a social studies and history teacher at a juvenile detention center in Richmond, Virginia. Robinson was inspired to teach by his mother, who went to a segregated school and couldn’t afford to complete her education. This event, sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), celebrates 57 teachers from the continental United States as well as its territories.

The CCSSO said of Robinson in a statement:

“He creates a positive school culture by empowering his students — many of whom have experienced trauma — to become civically minded social advocates who use their skills and voices to affect physical and policy changes at their school and in their communities.”

The 2019 Maine Teacher of the Year was among those educators being honored as well. Joseph Hennessey who teaches English at Piscataquis Community High School in Guilford represents Maine this year and kindly provided the following description of his experience in D.C. In addition Joe provided the photographs that are embedded.

“From April 28th through May 3rd, I was fortunate to attend the Council of Chief State School Officers’ (CCSSO) Washington Week. During the five day program, I, along with the other 56 members of the Teacher of the Year cohort, was able to meet with Congressional representatives on Capitol Hill, participate in educational policy focus groups and professional development, attend formal receptions at the White House and Vice President’s Residence, and tour a number of the landmarks scattered throughout the city. It was a week of firsts for me as I had never been to our nation’s capital before. My initial impression, sure to be one of many as I continue to ponder, is a reflection upon the enormous ideological and political scale assigned by time and circumstance to a medium sized, coastal American city.
The governmental institutions and their physical structures were awe-inspiring, and the reality is that many of our fellow citizens and neighbors will not have an opportunity to visit them, let alone be formally received. Thus, I felt it my duty to appreciate the enormity of it all. The pillars, pedestals, pediments, and windows are intended to overwhelm the senses– as if the ideas which the buildings house transcend the individual’s intellectual repertoire, skill set, or influence. What is more, those who designed these buildings– in effect, temples to democracy, to capitalism, to individualism– did so with an eye supposedly averse to the imperial aesthetic. And yet, from the giant obelisk at the center of the political complex, to the colossi which populate the monuments, it is clear that there is great homage being paid to Greece, Rome, and monarchical/imperial Europe. I found these buildings and places to be interesting counterpoints as we educators were in town to contemplate the various pathways which we had already walked in the interest of identity, equity, and pluralism staunchly opposed to such trappings of the “Old World.” As I share my experiences with colleagues and students, I am eager to see how my perspective will evolve on this front.

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Also during our week in the center of America’s political sphere, I was by turns inspired and humbled to visit the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) and the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). In addition to viewing keystones of their art and cultural collections, I was fortunate enough to attend lectures by several prominent figures from throughout the Smithsonian Institution who gave me context for what I was able to glean. These structures and their collections were massive like the United States Supreme Court and United States Capitol Building, but their scale represented an even more crucial component of the complicated historical discourse which America continues to have with its various cultures. These

United States Supreme Court

museums are intellectual achievements which seek to further educate our population about our tremendous, invaluable diversity; as a person of comparative privilege, it was important for me to listen attentively to what was being said and to internalize what I was being shown. It also, subsequently, reaffirmed the role of the educator to me– which is to bring the interconnected world into the frame of reference of all young people, not to the exclusion,  subversion, or exception of academic skills. Education is indeed the path to self betterment and community betterment– when I use the materials and resources which the Smithsonian provides at no charge to all Americans, it will be with a new gravity which I was unfamiliar with before despite having used the resources in years past.

United States Capitol Building

In sum, my time in Washington was spent celebrating education, reflecting upon our roles as individual people and as part of interconnected cultures, and reaffirming the greater socioeconomic imperative of public education– to provide the essential public service. Each of the structures and institutions which I encountered was staffed by Americans from far and wide, including Maine, who were both adamant in their beliefs and fallible as we all are. So, while we must appreciate the scale and grandeur of what America has accomplished thus far in art, architecture, and philosophy, and politics, we must also be vigilant as public servants and individual citizens to continue to support our institutions, structures, and neighbors at the individual, interpersonal level.

What a wonderful, important week that it was…”
%d bloggers like this: