Archive for the ‘Media Arts’ Category

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MICA Arts Ed Sessions

September 8, 2018

Three amazing sessions

This is the third blog post that provides information about the learning opportunities being happening in September from the Maine Arts Commission – the Pre-MICA At the HEART of Education, Thursday, September 27 at USM, Portland campus, Abromson Center. And, yesterday’s post with the overall details for the Maine International Conference on the Arts being held, same place, on Friday, September 28. This post includes the details on the ARTS EDUCATION track with 3 sessions for your interest. Below you will find the details.

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION

Kaitlin Young

Kaitlin Young is one of five speakers that will start off the day presenting in the Maine Artists Idea Lab. It is a fast-paced and engaging peach kulcha-style format that will knock your socks off with the newest innovations.  an Idea Lab.

Kaitlin Young is the 2018 Maine Teacher of the Year and Music Educator from Sedomocha School in Dover-Foxcroft. The room will be filled with Maine’s arts community members including educators. Very exciting opportunity for her to represent arts education among arts supporters.

ARTS EDUCATION SESSIONS

  • 11:00 – 12:00 How do teaching, learning and assessment work together in a positive, productive standards-based Visual and Performing Arts classroom? 

Description

The use of “standards” and “assessments” in visual and performing arts (VPA) education have been discussed, planned for, and developed over many years. A panel of educators will share the work they have underway. Participants are invited to join the conversation – bring your thoughts, questions, and curiosity on why standards and assessments are used in the arts.

Facilitator

Jeff Beaudry

Panel

Jen Etter, Kelly Hrenko, Michelle Kaschub, Holly Leighton, John Morris

Bios

Jeffrey S. Beaudry, Ph.D., Professor, Educational Leadership, University of Southern Maine

Jeff Beaudry

Dr. Beaudry is focused on high impact, classroom and leadership strategies, and how they relate to assessment literacy, assessment for learning (formative assessment), evidence-based practices, and STEAMSS (STEM and arts and service learning). Dr. Stewart MCafferty and Dr. Beaudry just co-authored a book, Teaching Strategies to Create Assessment-literate Learners and Educators, which Corwin Press released in May, 2018. The book provides the research base and multiple examples of practices of high impact strategies of assessment for learning. He also wrote a textbook, Research Literacy: A Primer for Understanding Research, and a book of teaching case study about concept mapping and critical thinking. Jeff passionate about the use of visual thinking in teaching, learning and assessment. He is also very proud of his time as co-director of the Southern Maine Partnership, a regional collaboration of schools and the University of Southern Maine.

Jen Etter

Mrs. Etter is a music teacher at York Middle School in York, ME.  She is currently in her 11th year of teaching chorus, general music and beginning band at YMS.  Within her district, Jen serves on the Leadership Team and played an integral role in helping to transition the York School Department to a proficiency based, student centered model of instruction and assessment.  She has presented on proficiency education at the regional and state level and is passionate about spreading the story of how this has transformed her classroom. Jen has been a teacher leader with the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative since 2013 and in 2014 was selected to featured in the Initiative’s video series on standards-based, student centered learning.  She is extremely proud of the work of this organization and feels blessed to have had the opportunity to be involved with MALI. It is a privilege to be able to work with such amazing arts educators from around the state of Maine.

Kelly Hrenko, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Art Education, University of Southern Maine

Kelly Hrenko

Dr. Hrenko’s current scholarship is within the field of integrated arts and multimodal creative literacies. She uses her position as a teacher educator in the visual arts as a place where several intersections occur; between art and culture, community and school; and interdisciplinary education. She comes from the Midwest where she worked in public and Native American BIA schools, assisting k-12 teachers as they work to integrate the visual arts and native cultures across curricula. Dr Hrenko’s recent publication, Decolonizing Vacationland (Hrenko & Paul, 2017) in Staikidis and Ballengee-Morris (Eds.) Transforming Our Practices: Indigenous Art, Pedagogies, and Philosophies, shares examples of culture based work from Maine classrooms, in partnership with Maliseet teaching artist Mihku Paul. Additionally, Dr. Hrenko works closely with Side X Side, a local arts education non-profit, to support the integration of creative teaching practices and arts-based curriculum across k-12 subject areas.

Michele Kaschub, Ph.D., Professor of Music, Coordinator of Music Teacher Education, Director-Center for Collaboration and Development, University of Southern Maine

Michele Kaschub

Dr. Kaschub is Professor of Music and Coordinator of Music Teacher Education in the School of Music, as well as Director of the Center for Collaboration and Development at the University of Southern Maine. Prior to teaching at the college level, Dr. Kaschub taught 6-12 general and choral music in Camden, ME, and elementary music in Glencoe, IL. Her research interests include children’s composition, composition pedagogy, choral music education, curriculum design/assessment, and the professional development of teachers at all levels. She is co-author of Minds on Music: Composition for Creative and Critical Thinking (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009) and Experiencing Music Composition in Grades 3-5 (Oxford University Press, 2016), co-editor of Composing Our Future: Preparing Music Educators to Teach Composition (OUP, 2013) and Promising Practices in 21st Century Music Teacher Education (OUP, 2014), and has contributed chapters to several pedagogy texts and articles to multiple professional journals.  Michele is currently the Chair & Academic Editor of Music Educators Journal, the most widely disseminated journal for music practitioners in the world. An active clinician and guest lecturer, she has presented research papers and workshops at conferences throughout the United States and abroad.  

Holly Leighton, B.S., Art Education, K-12 Mattanawcook Academy, RSU 67, Lincoln

Holly Leighton

Ms. Leighton is an art teacher at Mattanawcook Academy, RSU 67, Lincoln, Maine.  Holly began her teaching career in the district 20 years ago at the Ella P. Burr Elementary School by developing and implementing the first art program at the elementary level in RSU 67.  Holly is currently in her 4thyear as the art teacher at the high school. Over the past 4 years Holly has participated in district courses and workshops led Dr. Beaudry and Dr. Stewart MCafferty on assessment literacy which has become an important part of her teaching philosophy.  She has continued working with them by attending USM Literacy Conferences and co-presenting at workshops. Holly believes in creating a classroom environment of trust and respect where formative assessments are welcome and occur continuously between teacher and students and between students themselves.   Holly is proud to have become a MALI Teacher Leader and a Teacher Leader at Mattanawcook Academy.

John Morris

Mr. Morris is a dance educator and teaching artist based in Bridgton, Maine. Born and raised in Maine, John performed and taught dance for many years in New York City, before living in the United Kingdom for four years with his wife and stepdaughter. John promotes creative exploration and expression in his teaching, specializing in improvisation and inter-disciplinary collaboration. His writing on creativity and dance has been published in “Creativity Across Domains: Faces of the muse,” edited by James C. Kaufman and John Baer. In addition, he has created a resource for the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Resource Bank on creativity and dance. He also has a background in large-scale arts assessment, as a consultant for the NAEP arts assessment and the A.P. Studio Art assessment. John is a member of the MALI design team, and is on the Maine Teaching Artists Roster.

  • 2:00 – 3:00 When Teaching Artists and Arts Teachers Connect, Students Win  Description: During the past 4 years, teaching artists and arts educators in the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative have collaborated to provide meaningful, purposeful and authentic learning opportunities for students. Educator collaborations provide opportunities for learners that can surpass what a teacher, working alone, can offer. Hear the stories from these collaborators, bring your questions, share your experiences and imagine the possibilities in more Maine schools and communities.

Description

During the past 4 years, teaching artists and arts educators in the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative have collaborated to provide meaningful, purposeful and authentic learning opportunities for students. Educator collaborations provide opportunities for learners that can surpass what a teacher, working alone, can offer. Hear the stories from these collaborators, bring your questions, share your experiences and imagine the possibilities in more Maine schools and communities.

Facilitator

Kate Smith

Panel

Brian Evans-Jones, Kris Bisson, Tim Christensen, Lori Spruce, John Morris, Carmel Collins

Bios

Kate Smith

Mrs. Smith is an energetic music teacher currently teaching music to preK-third grade students in South Berwick, Maine. Kate earned her music education degree from USM and a Master’s degree in Technology in Education from Lesley University. Kate was honored as 2014 York County Teacher of the Year for her passion for innovation and creativity. Kate serves as a teacher leader and design team member for the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative, the Parade Coordinator for South Berwick’s annual Lanternfest and a coordinator for Central School’s farm-to-table program. Kate lives in southern Maine with her husband and three children.

Brian Evans-Jones and Kris Bisson

Mrs. Bisson is Director of Choruses and a music educator at Marshwood Middle School in Eliot, Maine. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music Education from the University of Southern Maine and has served as adjudicator and guest conductor for several district choral festivals. She is a teacher leader for the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative, and a member of the National Association for Music Education and the American Choral Directors Association. Her passion for student engagement is reflected in each class she teaches.

Mr. Evans-Jones is a former Poet Laureate of Hampshire, UK, now living in South Berwick, Maine. He studied Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Warwick, UK, and received his MFA in Poetry from UNH in 2016. His poems have appeared in magazines and competitions in America and Britain, and he was the poetry winner of the 2017 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award from Poets & Writers. Brian has taught creative writing to children and adults since 2005, and has run poetry residencies and workshops in schools, historic houses, prisons, libraries, and other community and educational venues.

Tim Christensen

Mr. Christensen is a well known ceramic artist, and teaching artist, living in the woods of Downeast Maine. In his practice working in sgraffito on porcelain, he seeks to understand and record the complexities of the systems operating, and changing, in our world today.  In his teaching practice, he helps facilitate learning through the use of visual art as a language, supporting students, teachers, and administrators as they unlock the wonders of our world through art and visual literacy. He has worked in clay since 1999, and been teaching since 2003.

Carmel Collins

Ms. Collins is both a visual arts and dance teacher at Lake Region High School, Maine.  She teaches a variety of arts classes that include ceramics, drawing, fundamentals and the latest addition graphic design.  The dance program offers dance showcase (primarily a performance class) and dance academy, as well as supporting a dance outreach program which serves the district schools. She has served on several educational boards and acted as teacher leader for MALI several times, and served as a member of the reviewing committee in the formulation of the NCCAS. In addition to her classroom duties Carmel also serves the district as K-12 fine arts coordinator and serves on the teacher evaluation committee.

John Morris

Mr. Morris is a dance educator and teaching artist based in Bridgton, Maine. Born and raised in Maine, John performed and taught dance for many years in New York City, before living in the United Kingdom for four years with his wife and stepdaughter. John promotes creative exploration and expression in his teaching, specializing in improvisation and inter-disciplinary collaboration. His writing on creativity and dance has been published in “Creativity Across Domains: Faces of the muse,” edited by James C. Kaufman and John Baer. In addition, he has created a resource for the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Resource Bank on creativity and dance. He also has a background in large-scale arts assessment, as a consultant for the NAEP arts assessment and the A.P. Studio Art assessment. John is a member of the MALI design team, and is on the Maine Teaching Artists Roster.

Lori Spruce

Mrs. Spruce is a visual art educator at Brewer High School in Brewer, Maine. She teaches multiple art classes including Art 1, Painting, Photography, Graphic Design, and Advanced Placement Studio Art.  Lori received her Bachelor’s Degree in Art education and Studio Art from the University of Maine in Orono. She is proud to have been instrumental in creating the digital media arts program that is now offered at her school that includes a traditional black and white photography darkroom as well. She is also the curriculum leader for the visual and performing art department at Brewer. She is a teacher leader for the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative, a member of the Maine Arts Education Association, and Art in the Heart of Maine. Lori lives in Lamoine, Maine, with her husband and son and is a painter in her artist time.

  • 3:15 – 4:15 Empowering Your Voice for Arts Education 

Description 

We often underestimate the power of our passion and voice for arts education. Yet, we’ve seen students, educators, artists, arts organizations and community members find their voice, build their stories and messages, back them up with research and evidence, and become leaders and advocates for arts education in powerful ways. In this session, we will explore ways to empower our voices, use helpful resources that are just clicks away, and be on our way to making an impact with our hopes and dreams for the arts in education!

Presenter

Ms. Ring is Executive Director of the New England Institute for Teacher Education and teaches graduate level courses to educators across the state of Maine. She co-founder of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative and has served on the core leadership team since it was established in 2010. Catherine completed her Education Leadership studies at the University of Vermont and received her Master of Arts from Vermont College of Norwich University. For her thesis, entitled “Education and the Arts, Toward Creative Intelligences,” she researched the role of the arts in learning and has worked closely with classroom teachers, helping them to integrate the arts into their regular curricula. As Principal, Catherine helped to bring to her school district the Kennedy Center’s National Partnership program. She assists school districts throughout Maine with differentiated instruction, arts integration, and gifted and talented programs. Catherine is the 2014 Advocate of the Year by the Maine Art Education Association. Catherine returned to the art classroom in 2016 and is teaching on Isle au Haut. 

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Wisdom from Maine Arts Educators

September 4, 2018

From the voices of veteran visual and performing arts educators on starting a new school year

Make it a delicious school year!

Whether you’re just starting to teach or you’ve been add it for 50 years or somewhere in between you might be excited out of your mind to start or having the back to school dreams and asking yourself “how the heck am I going to do this?!” or somewhere in between. I asked veteran teachers “what’s your message for new and veteran teachers starting off the school year?” Here they are – WORDS FROM THE WISE and EXPERIENCED! It’s an amazing, amazing (and amazing) collection. THANKS to everyone who contributed!

Collectively below is the wisdom of 654 + 65 years of teaching. These are not in any particular order!

Kate Smith – 20 years
Central School, South Berwick Music Educator, Grades PreK-3
-The first friends you should make are the secretaries and the custodians.
-Drink plenty of water.
-Advocate for transition time between classes (see above).
-Don’t take yourself too seriously.
-Take the time to know your students.
-Find an Arts mentor. (MALI teacher leaders are great!)
-Build/maintain/reach out to a network of teachers for a sense of community and just-in-time support.
-You are going to mess up and wish you could forget it all. Write it down instead. Some day it’ll make you laugh like crazy.

Jake Sturtevant – 13 years
Falmouth High School Music Educator
If there is one thing I have learned to do over the course of the time I have been teaching it is to breathe. The power of breath is so important, and it takes moments to do. I still have those feelings of being overwhelmed and always reaching for the surface of the water beneath the pile of to-dos and hope-to-dos, but now I just try to pause and take a breathe and allow that feeling to settle and often it moves further from me.

Jen Etter – 11 years
York Middle School Music Educator 
My biggest words of advice starting a new school year and something that I am attempting to be mindful of is to not lose sight of the big picture getting bogged down in the details. Education is ever changing and constantly evolving and that can be frustrating at times. Keep focused on the big picture and what you know to be important and always keep students at the center!
Patricia Gordan – 37 years
RSU#14 Windham Raymond, Music Educator
  1. I do not just teach music to children. I teach children through music.
  2. Whenever I get to the point where I begin to think I know what I’m doing, I gain more wisdom and realize I still don’t know what I’m doing. (Keeps me humble.)
  3. When I have a student who is a behavior challenge I try to get to know them better and build a relationship with them outside of class.
  4. Music is a vehicle for expressing all thoughts and emotions. It can be scary to share the sad and angry songs with students. Will I get negative feedback from parents? “Go Tell Aunt Rhody” is a song about death! Should I use it? Of course we should be tactful and careful, but songs in music class should cover all emotions.
  5. A musician must have the heart of a gypsy and the discipline of a soldier. -Beethoven – Some students will be really good at the heart thing and some will be really good at the discipline thing. Stretch them toward the other skill.
  6. Sometimes I have a hard time with the word, “fun.” Music is fun but it is also hard work. I want the students to have more than “fun.” I want to feed their souls. I want them to feel the natural high that comes from producing a fantastic product that is the result of extreme effort.
  7. Especially for elementary teachers – Listen very, very closely. The “music” is in there somewhere. 😊
Iva Damon – 10 years
Leavitt Area High School, Turner, Visual Art Educator
Going into this year I am really resonating with going “back to basics”. We’re here for the kids as they are at the heart of everything we do. Remembering that at the end of each day, I am able to make connections and help achieve steps in their learning. At the same time, this year I am going to work harder at self-care and making sure to take time for myself.
Holly Leighton – 10 years
Mattanawcook Academy, Lincoln, Visual Art Educator
Teaching is not something you learn and then implement for the next 30 years. It is a constant.

The more I learn the more I realize what I don’t know. It is the “what I don’t know” that drives me to learn more. This is how I grow as a person and educator. It is a continuous cycle that inspires a fresh outlook to each new school year. Take workshops and conference opportunities, no matter how long you have been teaching. After 20 years of teaching I am always come back with something I can use to positively affect student learning and engagement.

Cindi Kugell – 29 years
Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, South Paris, Visual Art Educator
Know your “Why”. When we focus on our reason for teaching, and for me it’s because there is nothing cooler than working with kids, it gives our lives purpose, clarity and focus. Working with kids keeps me young, inspired and energized and the gratification that I get from students excitement centered around the arts fuels my passion. I truly feel that teaching is my purpose.
Hope Lord – 28 years
Maranacook Community Middle School, Winthrop, Visual Art Educator
Each school year is a new opportunity for teachers to inspire students, innovate, take risks, collaborate, and celebrate the arts.
Adele Drake – 15 years
Hampden Academy Visual Art Educator
I believe in always being open to learning and receiving help and support from others.
Jane Snider – 26 years
Hancock Grammar School Art Educator
While working outside all day in my gardens to end my summer season I was thinking about all of my gardens, how much they had grown since early spring. I realized how much my teaching is like my gardening! Many plants are now in need of a rest, much like my students and I are in late Spring! I have nurtured the seedlings, plants and bushes throughout the season. I have carefully and thoughtfully helped them showcase their beauty! They’ll be back next year, bigger and brighter! Tomorrow I return to school to nurture my students and showcase the beauty of their learning through their art! I’ve had my rest and restored my spirit, I’m ready to carefully and thoughtfully begin a new season for my students! What do they need to grow and flourish?
Sue Barre – 25 years
Waterville Senior High School Music Educator 
Every year (on the advice of my first principal) I work to learn something about each of my students that has nothing to do with music. This process keeps me on my toes and it is also fun for my students to share their non music passions. I am often uplifted, sometimes saddened, and every so often astounded, to the response I can get from “share three things you did this summer.” My personal goal this year is to greet my students every day at the door……they deserve my attention, whether they are making music or not.
Carmel Collins – 20+ years
Lake Region High School, Naples, Dance Educator
Education today is like working with a living breathing organism. It is forever in a state of flux; morphing, refining, retracting, reshaping……Practice being flexible, adaptable and innovative, learn to let things go and move on, keep light on your feet and don’t get stuck in the mud!
When a parent or guardian becomes angry or frustrated with you, always remember that to them they are fighting for their child, a child they have loved and nurtured since birth. Most of the time they are not angry with you, rather it is the situation they are frustrated with and they are looking for help. Try to stay focused on the issue and don’t make it personal. Practice this and they will become your friend and loyal advocate.
Melanie Crowe –  16 years
Marshwood Middle School, Eliot, Visual Art Educator 
The anticipation of a new school year brings up so many emotions – a changing of the seasons, realizing summer is coming to an end, wiping sand off of my sandals for another season, and the vegetable garden bearing fewer treasures. Although, the excitement of meeting new students and having a chance to bring in a fresh approach and atmosphere to the classroom is a just as much a welcome adventure today as it was entering my first year 17 years ago. I am honored to share the art studio with my middle school artists, the opportunity to engage, challenge, and expand their minds is such a precious experience. The years go by in a blink of the eye, the students faces change, but the desire to light the flame of love for art grows stronger each year. I look forward to working with my colleagues integrating art in as many avenues as I can, bridging the gaps from one content to another so students can see how their learning is not in isolation but interconnected. When students can see how valued they are in the art studio, they begin to believe how valuable their art making experience is. I wish you all a wonderful school year working with the youth of Maine and beyond!
Lindsay Pinchbeck – 12 years
Sweetland School, Hope, Founder, Director, Teacher 
New Beginnings
An opportunity to start again
Still jitters – every year, conditioned since a child
Now knowing
The mix of wonder, unease and transition
Breathe
Fear not the unknown
Anthony Lufkin – 12 years
Friendship Village School, Prescott Memorial School, Union Elementary School, Rivers Alternative Middle School, RSU 40 
Every year is similar, but never the same. Each summer goes by faster and faster, but despite wish for more R&R, I always look forward to the new school year. Art and teaching are similar to me in that they are both all about making connections. In art we attempt to connect with artists of the past to understand their ideas, or we try to connect people with our own ideas and perspectives through creation. Teaching effectively requires making connections with students in a way that they can relate to, understand, and appreciate what we are teaching. If we lose connection, not only does artwork become insignificant to us, so does the purpose for learning. Each school year is an opportunity to make connections in new ways. Being in relatively the same position for several consecutive years gives me the insight for identifying ideas and processes that will relate to specific students. As I prepare to start my 12th year of teaching art, I am looking forward to “reusing” successful lessons, opportunities, and connections I have been able to make thus far.  However, I am also looking forward to experimenting with new ideas to better convey ideas, and give students new ways to understand, and more importantly connect, to what art has to offer.
Andrea Wollstadt – 20 years
John F. Kennedy Memorial School, Biddeford, Music Educator
Allow yourself to get caught up in the excitement. Students involved in music have a passion for music. Their joy and excitement is infectious. These kids are PUMPED UP about playing in an ensemble or participating in a music class. Whatever worries or anxieties you might have about the upcoming school year, make sure you give yourself a chance to catch some of their enthusiasm.
Lisa Marin – 22 years (and this is her last)
Jonesport-Beals High School & Jonesport Elementary Visual Art Educator     
Words of wisdom for the new teacher: I remember that first year being very excited, nervous and worried about doing a good job for my new students, the school system, and my colleagues. I tried to get as much input as I could from my fellow art teacher friends, who were very gracious and generous with advice and materials. I was told to relax, have fun, and realize that it takes a few years to make the program your own. So, cut yourself some slack and you’ll be great. Oh yes, and make friends with the custodial staff. Their help over the years has been invaluable.
Words of wisdom for the veteran teachers: It may sometimes be hard to keep up the energy and enthusiasm in the face of new and increasing demands on your time that have little to do with quality teaching for students. I’ve tried to combat this by finding ways to shake up my lessons. I’m looking for ways to incorporate materials I’ve been unfamiliar with or slightly intimidated by to blow out the cobwebs! It’s been fun and I often find I am helped in my success by my students. We say we are all in this together!
For the soon to be retiring teachers (like me): Plan ahead for what you’d like to do post retirement. That will make the transition so much easier. This sounds like a no brainer but is often overlooked. As much as you might love your job remember, you do the job, you aren’t the job. A new teacher’s approach can be wonderful. We were once new teachers as well with fresh ideas. Enjoy your new year!
Shalimar Chasse – 25 years
Wiscasset Middle High School Visual Art Educator rk Middle School Music Educator 
I like to start right off with hands on- avoiding the loooooonnnnnnnngggggggg and boring “expectations” talk that mostly sounds like “wha wha wha wha, wha wha, wha wha” to students just waking up after a summer of sleeping in until noon. I refer students to my on-line site and a unit binder that holds class expectation information. I send them home with a parent guide to art class and encourage them to review this with their parents and return with a parent note confirming their time together and comments or questions. I encourage students to ask me any question to help them acclimate to our space and class while we are doing our first day art activity. Students know what is expected, some need reminding or clarification or simply to know they might not get away with something they have tested. They come to art to Do art- so I like to meet their expectations hoping they might return the gesture.I love the newness of a brand new school year- with no mistakes in it. I like to think of the upcoming year and classes as the best we will experience yet.
Allie Rimkunas – 14 years en Etter
Great Falls Elementary School, Gorham, Visual Art Educator 
Love your students. The most difficult ones need the most love. As an art teacher, I rarely know the home situations, or past trauma that these little ones might have or are still dealing with. I try to keep that in mind when I know a difficult student is coming into my room. Every day is a new day and a possibility for new positive interactions.
I have been teaching for 14 years, and every August brings a new batch of school anxiety dreams. Never fails. I figure that if I didn’t get them then I am not doing my job and changing it up enough.
Catherine Ring – 65 years
Isle au Haut Visual ArtEducator 
Share your passion for learning with children. It’s contagious!
Jane Kirton – 20 years
Sanford High School Music Educator 
Be Compassionate . . . Be consistent . . . CommunicateBe compassionate – Music is one of the few subjects that connects the heart and the brain. Showing compassion towards my students and my colleagues is who I am. The world is filled with so much pain, we don’t know what our students are going through at home. I take great pride in the fact that from day one I tell my students that my classroom is their home and we are a family.  No bullying is allowed. If there is a drama free atmosphere in the room, our music will sound better!  Show you care, smile (even though you are a nervous wreck). Don’t forget to be kind to yourself.  Take care of you – exercise, drink plenty of water, yoga, anything to relieve stress.

Be consistent – Consistency, in my eyes, is critical in good parenting. Set your classroom code of cooperation on day one and stand by it! Treat everyone the same. Discipline can be challenging for a new teacher. Discipline allows a successful start for the entire class. I always remind myself I can always ease up a bit as we get into the year but hold firm to your rules. Keep up with the paperwork (yes, there are certain things we need to do as part of the job which doesn’t have anything to do with what we teach – just “get it done,” don’t put it off.)

Communication – I always tell my students that I’m not a mind reader. I encourage them to tell me what’s going on. It is also important to communicate with them and their parents – concert schedule, paperwork, etc. Communicating with your colleagues is also important. I recently read a post where a new teacher was critical of older teachers in their district in the ways they were teaching. Not a great way to start!  We’re all in this together. Reach out and communicate.  Communicate with your administration, janitors, secretaries, etc. Ask if you don’t know!!

Rob Westerberg – 32 years
York High SchoolMusic Educator 
It’s not about the product, it’s about the process. Precious few are going to remember your concert or art exhibit or play or dance recital three years from now. But dozens of years from now every single participant will remember their journey with you to create that product, and whether or not you caused them to flourish academically and blossom personally. If you take care of those two things – on a daily basis – the rest will take care of itself. Academic without personal is tedious. Personal without academic is cheating them. Both combined is spot-on and will leave you at the end of the day feeling like it was all worth while. Because it will have been.
Charlie Johnson – 44 years
Mount Desert Island High School Visual Art Educator 
Get to know your learners; it is through positive connections that a teacher can discover that which is not always overt from an individual. We are all unique and we are all special, and if you endeavor to learn about your students in a positive manner, it goes a long way toward developing a teacher/learner relationship that benefits both parties.
I’m just starting my 45th teaching year, and I’m just as excited about my new students and classes as I was my first year, because I haven’t fallen into “the same old thing” trap and have many new pieces to explore with my students!
Barbie Weed – 14 years
Gray-New Gloucester Middle School Visual Art Educator 
I always find that the best way to begin a new school year is to forge connections with students as soon as possible. Whether students are returnees for new to the school, taking a little time to get to know something about them sets a positive tone for the whole year. I’m excited for the new experiences that students will bring to my classroom.
Jean Phillips – 30+ years
Wiscasset Middle High School English and Drama Educator
Life is an occasion; rise to it.
Lisa Ingraham – 12 years
Madison Elementary School Visual Art Educator 
Plan meticulously, but keep your mind open to teachable moments. Some of the best learning experiences in my art room began with a student question, interest, and/or aha! that changed our direction for that day.
I’m looking forward to a great, creative, messy year!
MaryEllen Schaper – Retired in June with 42 years
Dance Educator 
Take your work seriously; don’t take yourself too seriously. The work is VERY important, but you can be replaced.
For new teachers, yes, you want to develop positive relationships with your students, but they are NOT your friends. If you need friends at work, develop friendships with your colleagues.
My former superintendent, used to say, “we are there to teach ALL children. Parents send us their best. They don’t keep “the good ones” home”.
We never know the baggage a student brings to school, so listen and be kind. Help students learn that that baggage may be a reason, but it shouldn’t be used as an excuse by the student, the teacher, or the parent. There’s a difference.
Applicable Lin Manuel Miranda “Hamilton” quotes:
“Why do you assume you’re the smartest in the room?” You might not be. I have learned A LOT from my students.
“I am not throwing away my shot.”  You have amazing opportunity to influence lives now and beyond anything in your wildest dreams, so go in EVERY DAY and give 100%.
“I am looking for a mind at work”. Teach your students to think outside the box, ask questions, and how to find answers, even if they might not be what you had in mind.
“Talk less. Smile more.”  Breathe. listen. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll see and hear.
“I wanna be in the room where it happens”.  You ARE in the room where it happens every day. Savor it. It goes by quicker than you’d think!
Lori Spruce – 10 years
Brewer High School Visual Art Educator 
Contribute to the knowledge and skills that you have not only in your own content area, but also expand out to involve your colleagues content areas as well. By doing so, you help not only yourself,  but also students and teachers can learn and grow in the same way. By getting out of your comfort zone and content area, the relationships that you build are invaluable and help build the confidence needed to model what you learn.
Pam Chernesky – 26 years
Mt. Blue High School, Farmington Visual Art Educator 
Start each school year open and ready to build a new community! Bring your best self and a positive attitude to what you do. Every year there will be new initiatives and demands on your teaching and your time, but the real focus should be meeting your students and sharing the excitement of creating and learning with them. Remember that you have content knowledge, passion, and experiences to share and that your students want to learn from you. Don’t become bogged down by the initiatives, administrative demands, or even the details of lesson plans. Offer challenges and take risks in your classroom! Laugh with your students!  Have fun!
Kris Bisson – 16 wonderful years!
Marshwood Middle School, Director of Choruses 
No matter what type of learners you have in your classroom, every student needs understanding.

When I’m excited about what I’m teaching, my students are excited about what I’m teaching!

Theresa Cerceo – 15 years
Dr. Levesque Elementary School & Wisdom Middle High School, MSAD # 33 Visual Art Educator
Trust your instincts, value your strengths and keep yourself open to learning new things.
Danette Kerrigan – 13 years
Sacopee Valley Middle School Visual Art Educator 
Every year is different, but poses the possibility of new discovery and greatness. Every year is the same – the same bright expectant eyes, sleepy heads, hugs and growth. Starting a new year is never boring, always keeping me on my toes, yet is as exciting as opening a new box of crayons… the possibilities are endless. Fashions change, expectations change, requirements change, students stay the same – still needing reassurance, encouragement, celebration and a champion.
For new and veteran teachers – breathe. Embrace each day and reflect at the end on what went well and be honest about what did not. Remember that everyone has something to offer, even those adults who may try your patience. They too, got up this morning, hoping to do the right thing. Assume good intentions. Always apologize – even to students – especially to students – when you have had a bad day and spoke shortly when you shouldn’t have. Remember that you are making an impact you don’t even know about yet.
Rick Osann – 15 years (retiring this year!)
Bonny Eagle High School Media, Theatre, and Visual Arts Educator 
Be sure to be yourself. Teaching can be really stressful and it’s easy to try to be different to either be the “perfect teacher” or to get your students to “like” you.  The most important thing is to feel comfortable in your own skin.  Students of any age recognize quickly if you’re not being true to your core beliefs. Students will respect you if you just be yourself.
Bill Buzza – 25 years
Edward Little High School Music Educator 

Some words of advice for the beginning of the year:

#1 – Take time to get organized. We get so busy and there are many demands on our time. Using an organizational system that works for you allows you to spend more time teaching.
#2 – (New teachers) Find a mentor and don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s much more efficient to learn from others than trying to reinvent the wheel.

#3 – Don’t be afraid to say “No” but keep an approachable demeanor. Many times students try to learn / push a teachers limits. We need to be committed to our response and consistent so students know what to expect.

#4 – Build relations with everyone; students, administrators, parents, colleagues, custodians. There will be a time when those connections will pay great dividends.
What’s your advice to new and returning educators? Please email me yours and I will collect them for a future blog post. How will you include and support new teachers in your school/district? Please introduce them to the Maine Arts Education blog – its easy to subscribe (on the right side, half way down). And, invite them to join the community by joining the arts education list-serv by sending me their email address.
Before we get to the “wise words” from Maine, Nancy Flanagan taught K-12 music for 30 years in Michigan. She blogs for Education Week, the TEACHER section called TEACHER in a Strange Land (you may want to follow her on twitter) and on August 6 she wrote a post called Ten Non-Standard ideas About Going Back to SchoolIt’s worth the read (after you read what Maine arts educators have to say)!
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MALI Summer Institute Day 1

July 31, 2018

Storytelling at its finest

Today marked the first day of the phase 8 Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Summer Institute and what an amazing day it was! Almost 40 educators are attending the three day professional development, exchanging ideas, collaborating, and building on their knowledge.

Participants comments

  • “Learning to lead the story to my “why” versus the “what” was a huge revelation today – and we’re only on day 1!” ~Shawna
  • “Love the social aspect of MALI and seeing old friends and making new ones.” ~Catherine Ring
  • “Exciting and inspiring safe space to share ideas with people who get it.” ~Dorie
  • “Such a beautiful and supportive group.” ~Nicole
  • “Always wonderful to have the “tribe” back together!” ~Pam
  • “Hair on fire.” ~Tom

The institute theme is “storytelling” which is integrated throughout the institute. The day started with the MALI story and ended with a story from Dorie Tripp who shared information about the drums created by the students of Dorie and art teacher Hope Lord. Making music together was amazing!

Throughout the day there were sessions on assessment, the Logic Model design, Express-a-Book (MALIs version of a book club), and making stories.

Tomorrow will be another day filled with new learning. If you have questions please be sure and email me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

 

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Maine International Conference on the Arts

July 30, 2018

September 27 and 28

The Maine International Conference on the Arts (MICA) is taking place at USM, Portland campus on September 27 and 28, 2018. Learn about the details and registration by CLICKING HERE. Early bird discount is available until July 31. Watch the video below and see familiar arts education colleagues and their students from the last MICA that was held in Lewiston.

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Tell The Story

July 6, 2018

Consider this project

In a recent newsletter from the National Endowment for the Arts there was a feature article on a 7th grade photography student from Detroit. What would it take for you to consider doing something like this? Perhaps select one student to highlight, work with the technology yourself or team up with other staff to facilitate. Better yet, look to your students to take the lead and create similar documentation. Have your students help tell each others stories. DonRico Hawkins, Jr. story might inspire you. DonRico’s story and others are pat of a program funded by the NEA called Focus: HOPE Excel Photography program. The video is featured in the new issue of NEA Arts.

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Ashley Bryan Screenings

June 7, 2018

Documentary on Children’s Book Author Ashley Bryan

June – August 2018 Screenings in Belfast, Great Cranberry and Portland

Portland, ME— The new award-winning film I Know a Man … Ashley Bryan, winner at 14 film festivals, will be screening in three Maine locations: Belfast, Great Cranberry Island and Portland from June through August 2018. See schedule below.

I Know a Man … Ashley Bryan (2016), directed by Richard Kane, is a powerful documentary film featuring one of America’s greatest living African American poets, illustrator and artist, named a Library Lion by the New York Public Library, a recipient of three Coretta Scott King Awards, and a 2017 Newbery Honor for his book “Freedom Over Me” reviewed in the NY Times.

Ashley lives on Little Cranberry Island in view of Mount Desert Island where the local school bears his name. Now available on Vimeo on DemandVideo TRAILER

Born in Harlem in 1923 and drafted in his teens into an all-Black battalion in World War II, Ashley preserved his humanity through drawing and painting. Soon to be 95, he is an award-winning poet/illustrator of 50+ published children’s books, maker of magical puppets from discarded materials and stunning sea glass windows inspired by his African heritage. Ashley urges us to seek unity over division, peace over war and love over intolerance and bigotry.

Reviews:

 “… a vibrant, inspiring, personal portrait of an artist who possesses the desire to help people find their inner child”  — BOOKLIST

“The film is … a wonderful tool to learn about diversity, cultural competency, inclusion and social justice.” — AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION” 

“elegantly constructed … intriguing and palpably warm … vibrant, joyous, evocative, witty, and thoroughly engaging.”  DennisPerkins, MAINE TODAY

Website with more information.

SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2018, 2pmBelfast, ME Senior College Festival of Art, U Maine Hutchinson Center Auditorium, FREE. Director Richard Kane will be in attendance for a Q&A.

SUNDAY, JULY 1, 2018 at 3pm – GreatCranberryHistorical Society, GreatCranberryIsland, ME. IN PERSON Ashley Bryan!! Q&A with director Richard Kane. Contributions welcome for the further distribution of the film. Mail boat from SW Harbor, CranberryCove Ferry.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 3, 2018 at 6pm – Portland, ME, University of Southern Maine Wishcamper Center, Room 133, the Lee Room. IN PERSON Ashley Bryan!! Q&A with director Richard Kane. Contributions $5-$20 for the further distribution of the film. Seating is limited. This screening follows the August 3rdPortland Museum of Art opening exhibit of Ashley Bryan’s art.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 19, 2018 at 3:00pmGreatCranberryIsland, ME  GreatCranberryHistorical SocietyIN PERSON Ashley Bryan!! Q&A with director Richard Kane. Contributions welcome for the further distribution of the film.  Mail boat from SW Harbor, CranberryCove Ferry.

These events are sponsored by the Union of Maine Visual Artists.

For Further Information Contact:

Richard Kane

207-359-2320

kanelewisproductions@gmail.com

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Maine International Conference on the Arts

June 6, 2018

USM – September 27, 2018

THIRD BIENNIAL MAINE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE ARTS

Join the Maine Arts Commission at the University of Southern Maine Portland Abromson Community Education Center, where we will explore art making, arts education, capacity-building strategies and skills, and more – all specifically for Maine artists, arts educators, and arts organizations.

Please join us Thursday, September 27 at USM in Portland for the opening reception with entertainment at 5 p.m., followed by Maryo Gard Ewell’s 7 p.m. keynote.

Schedule and Early Bird registration

Thursday, September 27 | 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. 

      • Pre-conference Sessions – Discussions on Rural Community Development, professional development for Arts Educators, and Maine craft and traditional art apprenticeships  
      • 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. – Opening Reception: A celebration of the arts with keynote speaker and performances
      • Keynote Speaker Maryo Gard Ewell– Rural Community Development in and Through the Arts

Friday, September 28 | 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

      • 7:30 a.m. – Continental Breakfast/Networking
      • 8:15 a.m. – Maine Artists Idea Lab : 6 speakers using the fast-paced and engaging pecha kucha-style format will knock your socks off with their newest innovations. Confirmed speakers include Lucas Richman, Music Director, Bangor Symphony Orchestra; Rene Johnson, Executive Director, Theater Ensemble of Color; Erin McGee Ferrell, Visual Artist; Kaitlyn Young, 2018 Maine Teacher of the Year; Jeremy Frey, Passamaquoddy basketweaver;
      • 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – 20 professional development sessions in 5 tracks running concurrently
        • Leveraging Investment. Learn to attract and leverage greater investment through corporate sponsorships, development planning, capitalization and more
        • Visibility. Discuss ways to increase awareness of creative opportunities, as well as their value to communities and local economies. Participate in a new, two-part workshop by MICA 2016 superstar Matt Lehrman, “Opportunity Everywhere, Parts I & II. Or attend a dynamic session hosted by DataArts/The Cultural Data Project on ways to connect your data to stories about your mission and impact, for more effective communications with key stakeholders
        • Arts Education. Participate in sessions on fostering PK-12 arts education and lifelong learning programs, including Creative Aging and Traditional Arts
        • Cultural Tourism. Gather the information you need to enhance experiences and leverage cultural tourism. Hear from organizations on their successes creating experiences outside of traditional venues, or attend a Rural Community Arts Development session facilitated by Maryo Gard Ewell.
        • Building Capacity. All you need to know on strategies for sustainability and increased impact, from an intensive on strategic planning with Julie Richard to a session on The Role of the Arts in Communities in Crisis.
      • 12:30 p.m. – Maine Arts Awards Luncheon hosted by ArtsEngageMe
      • Pop-up performances throughout the day
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