Archive for the ‘Professional Development’ Category


Getting Ready!

July 28, 2015

Fast and furious

I love the days that are jam packed with activity knowing that the outcome is a chance to bring educators together for professional learning. The task can feel daunting since there are so many details that need to be addressed but I know that there are many hands contributing to the planning. On August 3-5 sixty five educators will come together at USM to learn and talk about leadership, assessment, proficiency-based education, social media, messaging, creativity, arts census, cross content connections, and much more. The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) is providing the summer institute for returning and new Teacher Leaders. In addition there will be 14 Teaching Artists joining us as well.

Planning for the institute, August 3-5. Catherine, Argy, Theresa, Kate

Planning for the institute, August 3-5. Catherine, Argy, Theresa, Kate

I am excited especially since the MAAI team returned from the Teach to Lead Summit in Washington, D.C. There was so much positive energy and for us it translates into the next steps for MAAI. In some ways we are reinventing the initiative. Pretty soon there will be a new title and a new mission. Don’t worry we will still include the essential components just with a clearer focus on teacher leadership. Across the country they are focusing on the value of teachers as leaders. Consequently, the country is taking notice of the MAAI and realizing what a truly “good thing” it is. Not just for teachers but for learners. If it wasn’t for them, why would we strive to do the work we do at an even higher level?

If you’re thinking about participating in the initiative consider attending the biennial statewide conference Arts Education: The Measure of Success being held on Friday, October 9, Point Lookout Conference Center, Northport. Registration is open and there is a “deal” for registering early. I hope to see you there. And, if you wish to take on a leadership role be sure and apply to be a teacher leader.


Graduate Program

July 27, 2015

Lesley University Graduate School of Education

graduatesFor over 30 years, Lesley University’s Graduate School of Education, the largest and most respected provider of teacher education in New England, has been committed to extending its reach through off-campus programs. Those who are unable to travel to Lesley’s Cambridge, Massachusetts campus can now attain their masters of education at the university’s six learning sites located throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.

Each off-campus program prepares students to become capable, reflective teachers by providing a foundation in both theory and real-world practice. Designed for working professionals, the flexible format allows students to take one course per eight-week semester, meeting just one weekend a month (Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.). Those enrolled will start and finish the program in a cohort—a close-knit community of students—gaining them a network of colleagues, teachers, and connections to future opportunities.

Sweet Tree Arts in Hope, is an off campus location and accepting applications for a Fall starts in a new cohort group in the Creative Arts in Learning / Arts Integrated M.Ed cohort.

To learn more about Lesley’s off-campus programs, register for an upcoming info session at or call 207 542 8008.

About Lesley University

Lesley University empowers students to become dynamic, thoughtful leaders in education, human services, and the arts. Located in the heart of Cambridge, Massachusetts, home to the world’s best-known universities, Lesley combines an intensely creative environment with the practical experience students need to succeed in their careers. Each year, 2,500 undergraduate and 5,300 graduate students pursue degrees on campus, off site, online, and through our low-residency programs. They discover the power of creativity to overcome obstacles, foster connections, and reveal fresh answers to the world’s problems.


Teach to Lead

July 25, 2015

What an experience

Catherine Ring, Jeff Beaudry, Theresa Cerceo, Kate Smith and I just returned from Washington, D.C. where we attended the Teach to Lead Summit sponsored by the US Department of Education and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. The team represented the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) and I was so proud of all the teams accomplishments.

balconyWe participated in high quality professional development using the Logic Model which helped us to focus on our project from beginning to end. The Logic Model is a framework to help create a plan. The reason for using the Logic Model is it really helps to increase the effectiveness of implementing a project. Our purpose in going was to determine the future for MAAI so the summit was a great opportunity. We started with clearly stating the Problem (as it is called in the Logic Model):

The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) was created to address the inconsistency and gaps in access to quality professional development for arts educators. After five years in operation, MAAI is looking to sustain the successful work it has begun, and to address the emerging needs of arts educators in our state.

Jeff and Kate

Jeff and Kate

The next step included creating the goals which we decided would have a strong focus on Teacher Leadership. For 4 years now MAAI has focused on leadership by inviting visual and performing arts teachers to be Teacher Leaders (75 to date). This segment of the D.C. work helped us to dig deep on the topic of teacher leadership. It was very useful to take a close look and realize how much the focus on teacher leadership has impacted the successes of MAAI. To hear the clarity around teachers as leaders repeated over and over during the summit was validating and gave me a sense of pride in Maine arts educators.

Catherine and Theresa

Catherine and Theresa

From there we moved on to identifying the inputs, activities, outputs, and outcomes. From this step it was fairly simple to fill in the last two segments: the rationale and the student impact. Below you see a blank template that we used to get started.

Logic Model template

Logic Model template

MAAI was selected to attend as one of 27 teams from 125 proposals. MAAI was the only team with a statewide project represented. Also participating were 85 critical friends. Jacob Bruno who is employed by Corwin and lives in Portland, Oregon was assigned to the MAAI team and he was a great match for us. And, we were glad that Rob Westerberg could join us electronically a couple of times during the Summit.


The Logic Model template MEGA size

Once we got the bulk of the work on paper we shared with a few other groups to get and give feedback from a fresh set of eyes. We also had some professional learning around developing our message. Its one thing to come up with a good project but also important to be able to communicate about it. After more tweaking every team displayed their plan and we had time to provide feedback to each team.


The highlight of the summit was definitely having the opportunity to have the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, visit our table (one of 4 selected) to learn about the work of MAAI.


We were so grateful to be participants in the Teach to Lead Summit. I was honored to be part of a fantastic team representing Maine and MAAI. If you are interested in attending with a project that you are considering the next one will be held in Tacoma, Washington on September 26-27 with a deadline for applications August 7. For more information including the application please go to

Flying over the nations capital.

Flying over the nation’s capital

Flying into Portland, home again.

Flying into Portland, home again.



MAAI Goes to DC

July 16, 2015

Maine Educators will showcase work at U.S. Department of Education event
MAAI Logo_Color_TxtCtr3LThe Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) has been selected as one of 28 teams out of 125 proposals to participate in one the Teach to Lead Regional Leadership Summit happening July 23-24 in Washington, D.C.

MAAI will be sending a team of five:

  • Theresa Cerceo—Visual Art Teacher; Dr. Levesque Elem, Wisdom Middle/High School, MSAD 33
  • Jeff Beaudry—Associate Professor; Educational Leadership, USM
  • Catherine Ring—Arts Education Consultant and Executive Director, New England Institute for Teacher Education
  • Kate Smith—Music Teacher; Central Elementary School, South Berwick
  • Argy Nestor—Director of Arts Education, Maine Arts Commission

The participating teams were selected by a panel of educators based on the teacher leadership ideas put forth for the conference. The MAAI team will be working on plans for the next 3-5 years of the initiative.

To make their time in D.C. to be as productive as possible participants will be using a variety of strategies the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative teacher leaders have been employing in planning and implementing Maine’s work.

See more at:

MAAI is a program of the Maine Arts Commission and was established in 2015 by the Maine Department of Education.


Biennial Statewide Conference

July 3, 2015

Don’t miss it!

MAAI Logo_Color_TxtCtr3LArts Education: The Measure of Success Biennial Statewide Conference is being presented by the Maine Arts Commission’s Maine Arts Assessment Initiative. Now in phase 5, the MAAI has 74 Teacher Leaders who have provided over 100 workshops to almost 1500 educators. We are proud to continually offer high quality professional development opportunities and The Measure of Success proves to continue this tradition.

The one-day conference will be held on Friday, October 9, 2015 at Point Lookout Conference Center in Northport, Maine from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The conference offers a rich choice of workshops facilitated by some of Maine’s finest educators and artists. Information and registration available at

Maine Arts Education: The Measure of Success conference participants will:

  • Participate in a dynamic format of 5 x 5 presentations (9 topics, 5 minutes, 5 images).
  • Attend arts education workshops that are facilitated by colleagues.
  • Explore assessment methods and strategies designed to expand teaching and learning the proficiency-based education environment.
  • Build connections among the arts disciplines: dance, media arts, music, theatre and visual art.
  • Provide networking opportunities.
  • Learn more about creativity, literacy, authentic assessment, technology, and much more!

Educators, teaching artists and PK-higher education visual and performing arts teachers are encouraged to attend. The event promises to provide participants with a plethora of insights and choices for teaching in the proficiency-based education environment.




Teaching Artist Opportunity

July 1, 2015

Novice and Experienced Teaching Artists invited

Monday, August 3, Wishcamper Center, USM, Portland, 8:30 – 4:00

The Maine Arts Commission invites you to a day of networking and professional development with PK-12 Visual and Performing Arts teachers.

MAAI Logo_Color_TxtCtrThe day includes workshops designed specifically for Teaching Artists plus opportunities to engage with more than 50 teachers from Maine and NH about arts education; teaching, learning, standards, assessment, advocacy, and other pertinent topics.

You may choose to participate with the teachers as they continue their professional development work on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 4 and 5. However, Monday is designed especially for YOU, the Teaching Artist.

The day includes lunch and is FREE but you MUST APPLY by July 15. The application is located at THIS LINK.

Participants will:

  • Network with PK-12 Arts Educators and other Teaching Artists
  • Exhibit your Teaching Artist materials and skills
  • Participate in workshops designed specifically to help you succeed as a Teaching Artist
  • Gain insights and new knowledge about working in public schools
  • Identify as part of a professional Teaching Artist field
  • Learn more about the Maine Arts Commission’s Teaching Artist roster

Presented by Maine Arts Assessment Institute (MAAI) of the Maine Arts Commission. To learn more about the MAAI please go to

If you have any questions please contact Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education, Maine Arts Commission,


Teacher Leader Quotes

June 28, 2015

Great opportunities

100_3195We often hear what participants have to say about the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) but we don’t share those comments quite enough. Below are some that really speak to me and hopefully they will you, as well!

You will have the opportunity to attend the Statewide Biennial Arts Education Conference: The Measure of Success, Friday, October 9, Point Lookout. The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative is proud to continually offer high quality professional development opportunities and The Measure of Success proves to continue this tradition. For more information and to register (during the early bird registration) please click here.

  • “(The Institute) affirmed what I already do and encouraged me to look for more ways to improve my practice”
  • “(I’m interested in) how to implement standards-based assessment in a school system that still uses a traditional grading system”
  • “I’ve changed my rubrics to better reflect what I’ve learned from the workshop and also to reflect what I’m learning about proficiency-based education”
  • “I’m using student input more now to create rubrics and (exemplars) as a basis for creating criteria for student work”
  • “I’m more aware of work other teachers are doing in this area”
  • “It totally changed my assessment practices”
  • “I’m learning with a renewed sense of purpose and a feeling that we WILL make a difference in re-inventing education.”
  • “I have shown video clips to students, I have started my own blog and become a lover of Twitter.  I have learned more about technology and the arts this year than I ever have in my life.”

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