Archive for the ‘Professional Development’ Category

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Rock Stars!

September 1, 2015

Great stuff happening with Arts educators and Arts education!

Photo on 8-25-15 at 2.44 PM

Sue Barre’s colleagues on the first workshop day: Strings Teacher Ciara Hargrove, Digital Arts Teacher and MALI Teacher Leader and Leadership Team member Suzanne Goulet, Strings Teacher Sam Lyons, and art teacher Dave Matteson

Everyday I hear about the focus and commitment that Maine Arts Educators have about teaching and to their students. The following all happened on the same day. YES, these made my day – I am so proud of the work that Arts educators do for the sake of their PK-12 students! These teachers are all making a difference and carry the sign ROCK STAR! in my book!

  • Sue Barre sent this early one morning… “In the opening school assembly today the Superintendent told everyone to look to the music document for guidance… kinda cool!” CONGRATULATIONS to Sue who teaches music in Waterville Schools and is a Teacher Leader with the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI). In addition, Waterville High School VPA teachers (seen in the photo to the right) established this goal: “We made a VPA goal to have all students in our Waterville High School VPA classes do at least one reflective writing assignment and then share those at a faculty meeting this year.”  Awesome work team!
  • jen - Version 2Jen Nash was on WERU morning show called Arts Alive and was a ROCK STAR! Jen was articulate and represented arts educators across the state…. Jen teaches music at Sebasticook Middle School and is an MALI Teacher Leader.
  • Theresa Cerceo is a MALI Teacher Leader who teaches K-12 Visual Art in Dr. Levesque Elementary School, Wisdom Middle/High School, MSAD 33 (all the way up in the County). Her Logic Model plan for her work as a Teacher Leader this year, involves advocacy work with students. In her own words: “I started working with my students today on advocacy work. I had K – 12 come up with possible blog titles and the high school art club created the, “Student Leaders in the Arts Movement” or S.L.A.M.!  We will have a meeting at the start of every art club meeting (once a week).  We had a great talk about the importance of messaging why the arts are essential. They had a lot of great ideas and really took ownership of the project. We have a board going for all the different activities we will work on. They are excited!” (There will be more information about this in the near future. Theresa is piloting this idea and will gladly share more with you about this in the months to come!)
Students (l to r): Daley Pedersen, grade 11 Elizabeth Raymond, Grade 12, Adam Weyneth, Grade 12, Jasmine DeMoranville, Grade 11, Sarah Harris, Grade 12, Dorothy Harris, Grade 10, Cassandra Boucher, Grade 10, Celine "Ce Ce" Young, grade 12

Students (l to r): Daley Pedersen, grade 11, Elizabeth Raymond, Grade 12, Adam Weyneth, Grade 12, Jasmine DeMoranville, Grade 11, Sarah Harris, Grade 12, Dorothy Harris, Grade 10, Cassandra Boucher, Grade 10, Celine “Ce Ce” Young, grade 12

  • Joshua Bosse is the PK-12 Music Teacher in Madawaska and a new Phase 5 MALI Teacher Leader and put this message on the MALI community wiki: “I would like to take the time to just say that I appreciate what each and every one of you have been doing for MALI and for your school districts. With school already starting for me, I can say that I have already seen a dramatic change in my teaching (for the better). I feel that MALI has done great things for me, and I am more excited than ever to be teaching students what I love most! Again, thank you so much for all that you have done, and I hope you all have a wonderful school year, and that all of your workshops go well! I saw a lot of great plans! I will definitely be keeping in touch throughout the school year, and I am so overjoyed about being able to be part of this wonderful organization!”

When you find yourself asking yourself the hard questions about your chosen career field, know that you are not alone! I suggest that you “get off your island” and attend a MALI event to connect with spirited Teacher Leaders. And, join us at the fall biennial arts conference, Arts Education: The Measure of Success, October 9, Point Lookout Conference Center. Information and registration (early-bird through September 9) is located at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Biennial-Statewide. MALI resources located at http://www.maineartsassessment.com/.

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Welcome Back!

August 25, 2015

2015-16 School year

Summer 2015 2nd group

MALI Summer Institute, August 3-5, 2015, USM, Portland

It’s back to school time and the air is changing. Whether you are in full swing with teaching or in your classroom preparing for students or perhaps waiting at home for the first day with “kids”, I know that the school year is upon you in some form.

I can sense that it is going to be a great year for visual and performing arts education in Maine! The Maine Arts Commission has been busy all summer supporting the work of Maine Visual and Performing Arts Education. Read below just a few of the ways in which MAC is doing just that:

  • It’s official, on August 3, the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative became the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative during the opening at the summer institute. Read about the shift at https://meartsed.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/maai-goes-to-mali/.
  • In addition to the name change MALI sent a representative team to the Teach to Lead Summit in Washington, D.C., July 22-24 sponsored by the US DOE and the National Board. The experience launched us into phase 5 in an amazing way. We found ourselves at the same table with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Read about it at https://meartsed.wordpress.com/2015/07/25/teach-to-lead/.
  • On August 3-5 the MALI summer institute took place at USM, Portland campus. It was a fabulous learning opportunity where 12 new Teacher Leaders created an action plan that is turning into a workshop to be presented during the 2015-16 school year across Maine. This brings the total of Teacher Leaders to 73! You can read about the Teacher Leader work at https://meartsed.wordpress.com/2015/08/13/teacher-leaders/.
  • The veteran Teacher Leaders used a Logic Model to guide their work. Starting with a “problem” they created a plan that they will take action on during the next several months. Pretty amazing work!
  • The biennial fall arts ed conference is happening on Friday, October 9, Point Lookout Conference Center, Arts Education: The Measure of Success. Early bird registration and detailed information is at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Biennial-Statewide.
  • Fourteen Teaching Artists participated in one day of the MALI summer institute – what a treat to have so many in one location. Read about their participation at https://meartsed.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/teaching-artists/.
  • The Teaching Artist roster expanded this summer to a total of 40. You can read about the program and check out the roster at https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Teaching-Artist-Roster. Please consider contracting with one (or more) of these artists for your students during this school year. Another call for the roster will go out in the near future. Watch this blog and arts ed list-serv for the invitation.
  • The statewide visual and performing arts education census will be launched this fall and plans are underway to collect data from all 100% of Maine schools. Watch for more information because we will need everyone’s help to make this happen!
  • MALI had an incredible Critical Friend day with 45 educators attending including PK-higher ed teachers and administrators. Read about it at https://meartsed.wordpress.com/2015/08/22/mali-critical-friend-day/.

As you begin a new school year know that the MAC and MALI are here to assist you on your educational journey. More information on all of the MAC education programs can be found at https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Arts-in-Education.

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MALI Critical Friend Day

August 22, 2015

A great day in Portland!

IMG_0233So impressive were the presentations all day on Thursday during the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Critical Friend Day. Forty-five educators convened at Luther Bonney Hall on the USM, Portland campus. Twenty-four educators made presentations, either a workshop or a logic model idea. When not presenting they joined the critical friends who were a collective of teachers, a principal, an assistant principal, curriculum leader, an assistant superintendent, and an Apple employee. In addition, we had three educators join electronically and two actually gave their presentations from Aroostook county during their prep periods (school is underway). Needless to say it was very cool that they could join us from a distance. The entire day was a TERRIFIC learning opportunity for all involved. The presenters received valuable suggestions so they can tweak and expand on their ideas and the critical friends walked away with new information and ideas to apply to their own work. It is a fabulous opportunity for all involved.

Dance and visual arts teacher leader from Lake Region High School Carmel Collins and music teacher leader from Sebasticook Valley Middle School

Dance and Visual Arts Teacher Leader, Lake Region High School Carmel Collins, and Music Teacher Leader, Sebasticook Valley Middle School

The presentations were in direct connection with the three-day MALI institute that was held earlier this month where over 50 visual and performing arts educators and teaching artists came together for a professional learning opportunity. You can read about the institute in several consecutive blog posts starting with August 10. They had a chance to gain more knowledge in teaching, learning, assessment, proficiency-based education, leadership, advocacy, technology, creativity, integration, and several other relevant topics related to the challenges faced in the visual or performing arts classroom. I had a chance to go from one workshop to the next and it was amazing to see the high quality of work that has been formulated.

Visual Art Teacher Leader Mandi Mitchell from Hermon High School

Visual Art Teacher Leader Mandi MItchell, Hermon High School

You might be wondering what a critical friend is or does. Below is how we guided the work of those who graciously took on the role as “critical friend”.

One definition of “critical” is expressing or involving an analysis of the merits and faults of a work of literature, music, or art. A “friend” is a person who gives assistance. The MALI leadership team asks you to do both in a gentle helpful way. We want the teacher leaders to create the best work possible so please be honest in your feedback.

Rob Westerberg, Nancy Kinkade, Holly Leighton, (hidden) Shari Tarleton, and Virgil Bozeman provide feedback

Rob Westerberg, Nancy Kinkade, Holly Leighton, (hidden) Shari Tarleton, and Virgil Bozeman provide feedback

The workshops will be presented at the local level during the 2015-16 school year. The new teacher leaders (https://meartsed.wordpress.com/2015/05/26/phase-5-maai-teacher-leaders-announced/) will be selecting a location and time and all of the information will be posted so you can see what is offered and plan to attend.

Trevor Marcho Music Teacher Leader Mattanawcook Academy

Trevor Marcho Music Teacher Leader Mattanawcook Academy

The veteran teachers selected a problem and created a plan to solve the problem. The logic model is just that – a way to guide those using it to a clear picture of how to influence and create change. You can read a bit about logic model at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logic_model.

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Allie Rimkunas, Great Falls Elementary Art Teacher Leader

During the afternoon session we participated in a “messaging” workshop that was facilitated by Kate Smith, music teacher leader from South Berwick. Participants selected a topic that they wanted to refine to be able to communicate clearly and concisely at a moments notice when the opportunity arises.

Art Teacher Leader, Lisa Ingraham, Madison and Critical Friend Hollie Hilton

Art Teacher Leader, Lisa Ingraham, Madison and Critical Friend Hollie Hilton

Needless to say yesterday was a great day for Arts education in Maine. Nothing like being in an environment where everyone is talking, thinking, exchanging about visual and performing arts education – directly connected to all the issues and topics of education in general! If you’d like to read about the teacher leaders and leadership team please go to the Maine Arts Assessment site at http://www.maineartsassessment.com/.  You can be part of the next quality learning opportunity at the Biennial Statewide conference being held on Friday, October 9, Point Lookout Conference Center, Northport, Maine. Information and registration for the great day we have planned is located at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Biennial-Statewide. If you’d like to learn more about being involved in MALI and the opportunities that the initiative provides please be sure and email me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

Music Teacher Leader Kate Smith, and Critical Friends, AOS 92 Curriculum Leader Mary Boyle and 2014 Maine Teacher of the Year Karen MacDonald

Music Teacher Leader Kate Smith, and Critical Friends, AOS 92 Curriculum Leader Mary Boyle and 2014 Maine Teacher of the Year Karen MacDonald

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 https://meartsed.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/maai-goes-to-mali/. Please email me know if you have any questions at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

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MALI is Ready!

August 15, 2015

Stuff happening!

Every time I reflect on the work that the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI)* has underway I can’t help but smile. There are now 73 Maine arts educators who have attended the summer institute and taken on the role of Teacher Leader (TL). Fifty Teacher Leaders are taking an active role during the 2015-16 school year.

IMG_0088Their roles will vary depending on where they are in their educational journey. The 12 new MALI TLs will be presenting workshops throughout the state that they have created on a variety of topics. The returning TLs have used the Logic Model to take on a “problem” facing them and will solve that with a strategic plan they have each created.

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 2.09.37 PMIn addition to the TL workshops, the biennial arts ed conference Arts Education: The Measure of Success, will take place on October 9,  at the Point Lookout Conference Center, Northport. The format is unique this year to meet the needs of the 21st century. Take a look at the 1-minute videos at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Biennial-Statewide-Workshop-Descriptions# that the nine workshop presenters have created so you can see and hear what the sessions are all about. During the morning at the conference the nine will each present for 5 minutes with 5 images to provide further information of what will be an exciting afternoon of 1 hour and 15 minute workshops (you can attend 2). This unique format is designed to provide you with more varied and deeper learning opportunities. Conference early-bird registration is available so I suggest you save yourself a spot. Once the conference is full, we will close down registration so don’t delay! Check out the details and registration at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Biennial-Statewide.

The MALI Leadership Team continually listens to the Teacher Leaders and those who attend workshops to make available what is needed for addressing the needs of quality arts education for all students. The Maine Arts Education Resource website at http://www.maineartsassessment.com/is managed by Rob Westerberg and is continually updated with new professional learning opportunities.

The new Mission: “MALI is committed to the development of Teacher leaders to ensure deep understanding and meaningful implementation of high quality teaching, learning and assessment in the Arts.”

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 https://meartsed.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/maai-goes-to-mali/. Please email me know if you have any questions at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

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MALI Leadership Team

August 14, 2015

Those amazing leadership team members

Sooooo…. hours of meetings, zoom sessions for brainstorming, tons of time planning, phone calls for tweaking, emails of questions, google docs of compiling, scheduling and keeping lists. The dedication that the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) leadership team has devoted to planning and implementing the summer institute has been unbelievable. I am humbled by their work and grateful for their enthusiasm and commitment.

Three of the team members have been around since January 2011 when we had the first planning meeting of the initiative’s leadership team. Periodically I reflect on where MALI is and think about how none of this would be possible without the time that the leadership team has devoted. They are funny, creative, problem-solvers with a “never give up” attitude. They are by far top notch professionals who continuously make me a better person! I am sooooo thankful and Maine arts education is fortunate! Each of the following attended zoom meetings almost weekly since January!

  • Catherine Ring – Executive Director, New England Institute for Teacher Education
  • Rob Westerberg – Music Educator, York High School
  • Jeff Beaudry – Associate Professor, Educational Leadership, USM
  • Pam Kinsey – Music Educator, Easton Schools
  • Barb Vinal – Instructional Technology Facilitator, Raleigh, NC and former Maine Music Educator

In addition Nancy Salmon planned the Teaching Artist segment of the institute which received rave reviews! Thank you Nancy!

Since the Teach to Lead Summit in Washington, D.C. July 22-24, two teacher leaders have stepped up and worked with the Leadership Team with the planning of the institute. Without them the 3 days would have been very different.  I want to thank the following for the work each of them have contributed intensely after returning home from the Teach to Lead Summit.

  • Theresa Cerceo – Visual Art Educator, Dr. Levesque Elementary School, Wisdom Middle/High School, MSAD 33, K-12
  • Kate Smith – Music Educator, Central Elementary School, PK-3
Theresa and Kate in D.C.

Theresa and Kate in D.C.

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 https://meartsed.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/maai-goes-to-mali/. Please email me know if you have any questions at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

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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 https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Biennial-Statewide. 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 https://meartsed.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/maai-goes-to-mali/. Please let me know if you have any questions.

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MALI Critical Feedback

August 11, 2015

A favorite part

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Teacher Leaders working on their posters creating their action plans and logic models for sharing

The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) continues to use a Critical Friends model to provide feedback to each other as the work progresses. This years new Teacher Leaders created Action Plans that start with Essential Questions. For example, Why and how should we assess students in instrumental ensembles? The questions vary depending on what each teacher leader is learning and needing in their classroom. The template that is used helps the teachers formulate their ideas so they can present a workshop on the topic for other visual or performing arts teachers during the 2015-16 school year.

Along with the question(s), the template includes the following categories:

  • Rationale
  • Workshop Objective
  • Workshop Description
  • Timeline 1-6 months out
  • Resources Needed
  • Student Impact

You can imagine once the above are fleshed out, a plan develops for the workshop format. This is not to say that the plan is simple. In fact, some teachers really struggle to bring the plan together. It is amazing to watch the progress.

The returning Teacher Leaders used a different format this year – new to MALI as well. Teachers started with a Problem and a Goal.

From there they developed the following:

  • Inputs
  • Activities
  • Outputs
  • Outcomes
  • Student Impact
  • Rationale
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A Logic Model poster with comments on stickies

The MALI team that went to Washington, D.C. for the Teach to Lead Summit in July learned about the Logic Model template and decided hands-down that it was the way to proceed with the returning Teacher Leaders.

On the third day of the summer institute held at USM, Portland on August 3-5 all the Teacher Leaders shared their ideas in small groups with critical friends and received feedback that they could immediately apply and make any of the changes.

The frosting on the cake comes during the afternoon when teachers participated in a gallery walk reviewing the plans of each teacher. It was silent for 90 minutes while each Teacher Leader provides thoughtful feedback on stickies that the teachers use to make further changes. Both groups produced an amazing amount of high quality work during the 3-day institute.

In addition, the Critical Friend assigned to the MALI team while in DC for the Summit joined us electronically to provide feedback to Teacher Leader and music educator from Bonny Eagle High School, Jake Sturtevant. It was great to watch the process in action.

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Jacob Bruno from Corwin, MALIs Critical Friend, providing feedback to Jake Sturtevant

On August 20 the MALI will have a Critical Friends Day to provide feedback for the last time before they take their workshops and plans “on the road”.

Just a reminder that 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 https://meartsed.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/maai-goes-to-mali/. Please let me know if you have any questions.

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