Archive for the ‘Professional Development’ Category


Teaching Artist Workshop

April 30, 2016

May 23-25, Hartford, CT

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Southern Maine Partnership

April 29, 2016

Learning opportunity at USM – two day conference

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Arts Integration

April 17, 2016

Delta Kappa Gamma

100_1215Last week I had the opportunity to share information on Arts Integration with 35 educators at the Viles Estate in Augusta. It was a Saturday morning at 8:30 but you would never know it was an early time at the end of the week, by the enthusiasm from the participants.

Participants in Catherine Ayer's bookmaking workshop

Participants in Catherine Ayer’s bookmaking workshop

The professional group is called the Gamma Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. The participants represent key women educators, active and retired, from the Augusta, Gardiner, Hallowell, Maranacook, and Winthrop area. Their purpose includes promoting professional and personal growth of all educators and excellence in education.


Following my presentation participants had three outstanding choices:

  1. Susan Lockhart, the Literacy Specialist from Mt. Vernon Elementary School  provided participants with practical ways to engage young learners in shared/choral reading activities using songs and poetry. Participants learned the value of songs in reaching and reinforcing print concepts, increasing phonemic awareness, and promoting fluency.

    2. Kathi Wall, the Executive Director of the Maine Lakes Resource Center in Belgrade presented on “The Intersections of Art and Science”. Participants explored the concept that art is all around us and ready for use by the student and teacher. She shared many resources including those found on the Internet.

    3. Katharine Ayer who was an art teacher at Manchester Elementary School presented a book making workshop. She shared many many examples and participants created books to take back as samples. Participants were totally engaged.


The resources that I shared are on an open wiki called me arts integration and located at It has hundreds of resources including articles, websites, books, TedTalks, and much more.

The organization is always seeking new members. If you are interested please email A slide show summarizing the day is located at THIS LINK.


Calling All Teacher Leaders

April 14, 2016

Regional VPA Teacher Leader Search

Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) – Phase VI


MALI winter retreat, March 2016, Bowdoin College

Join us for a GREAT opportunity! The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative invites YOU to be part of Phase VI. We are looking for teachers interested in leading and in taking a close look at assessment in the arts. If you are selected, you will be required to attend the summer institute, August 10, 11, and 12, 2016. We will provide professional development and ask that you take what you’ve learned and share it with other educators in your region and beyond.

IMG_1813If interested, please send a completed application by the Friday, May 6, 2016, 11:59PM deadline to Argy Nestor at ASAP. Details are below. TEACHER LEADER APPLICATIONS ARE AVAILABLE AT

Selected teacher leader responsibilities for the 2016-17 school year include:

  • Communicate by wiki
  • Attend the three-day Summer Institute, August 10-12, 2016, USM, Portland
  • Present workshop to critical friends, all-day, date and location to be determined
  • Present a workshop in your region, planned by you
  • Present a workshop at the mega-regional workshop site that will be coordinated by the MALI leadership team
  • Attend a retreat to reflect on the work of phase VI with teacher leaders and the leadership team to be held winter/spring 2017

Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Background Information


IMG_1814Committed to the development of Teacher Leaders to ensure deep understanding and meaningful implementation of high quality teaching, learning and assessment in the Arts for all students.

Since 2011 the initiative has been building capacity by training arts educators on the “what” and “how” of arts assessment so they can provide the leadership in Maine through professional development opportunities. The details of the initiative are at


IMG_1808Create and implement a statewide plan for teacher leadership in arts education. This includes professional development opportunities, regionally and statewide, which will expand on the knowledge and skills of teachers to better prepare them to teach in a proficiency-based learning environment.

  • Develop and implement standards-based high quality teaching and learning statewide for Visual and Performing Arts
  • Continue to build an expanding team of arts educators and teaching artists representing all regions of Maine
  • Provide workshops and other professional development opportunities for educators

HISTORY – Phase I, II, III, IV, V – Summer 2011 to present

  • IMG_1818Seventy – three teacher leaders attended summer institutes on assessment,
    leadership, technology, creativity, proficiency-based standards-based and student-centered teaching and learning
  • Teacher leaders presented workshops at two statewide arts education conference, USM, Portland, UMaine, Orono, and Point Lookout Conference Center with over 600 educators attending
  • Teacher leaders facilitated regional workshops across Maine
  • Teacher leaders facilitated workshops at 12 mega-regional sites across Maine
  • Another Arts Teacher’s Story series (72) on the Maine Arts Ed blog
  • Arts assessment graduate courses offered by New England Institute for
    Teacher Education
  • Nine arts education assessment webinars for Maine educators facilitated by Rob Westerberg and Catherine Ring – archived
  • Video stories of seven teacher leaders that demonstrate a standards-based arts education classroom
  • Teacher Leader Resource Team ongoing development of items for resource bank
  • Maine Arts Assessment Resources website that contains a plethora of information

Phase VI components

  • IMG_1811August 3,4,5, 2015: Summer Institute, Portland
  • Regional and mega-regional workshops throughout Maine
  • Continuation of Another Teachers Stories on the Maine Arts Ed blog
  • Continuation of the Resource Bank
  • Professional development for teaching artists

For More Information

The Initiative is a partnership with MAC, MDOE, USM, MAEA, MMEA, MLTI, University of Maine Performing Arts, and New England Institute for Teacher Education


Full STEAM Ahead

April 10, 2016

Center for Innovation in Education, Thomas College 

Experiencing the art and science of teaching through creative innovation

Grant Application for Full STEAM Ahead Institute
June 29-30, 2016 at Thomas College, Waterville. Maine

The Full STEAM Ahead Institute provides participants an opportunity to develop…

  • A STEAM unit fully integrating the principles of proficiency-based learning for implementation back in the classroom.
  • Ways to integrate technology emphasizing critical thinking, creative problem solving, and design principles.

Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 10.17.01 PMThe Center for Innovation in Education is offering grants to pay the cost of registration for school teams numbering up to five people — a $1250 value. If a school wishes to send additional people, then the $250 registration fee will apply to them.  Registration includes a continental breakfast and lunch each of the two days plus CEUs.  Overnight accommodations are not part of this grant, however they can be arranged through Thomas College or local hotels.

The purpose of the Institute grant is to make professional development opportunities in STEAM, proficiency based learning, and digital learning accessible to all schools.

Because the success and sustainability of school-based initiatives depends on administrative support, we request that grantees obtain the backing of their school administrator.

Proposals are due by May 15, 2016

Institute participation is limited to 50 people.

The application is available by CLICKING HERE.


Sculpture Opportunity

March 20, 2016

Teaching Artist Anne Alexander

Alabaster-3Anne Alexander is a sculptor on the Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist roster. She has a dream for all Maine middle and high school teachers – to be able to teach soft stone carving to their students. She’s moving to making that dream a reality by offering a weekend alabaster carving workshop at Waterfall Arts in Belfast on April 15 – 17. Friday 6 to 9 pm, Saturday 10 to 1 & 2 to 5, Sunday 10 to 1. $130 + $15 materials


Students will carve a small pieces of alabaster stone into an organic forms. We will look at examples of nature from the surrounding ecosytem (shells, lichen, plant pods) for inspiration for the forms of our work. Methods of carving including hammering with chisels, filing, sawing, and drilling will be taught. The various methods of finishing the stone from wet sanding to oiling and waxing will be the final part of the workshop.


Anne Alexander at the Viles Arboretum Sculpture Symposium, September 2015

Anne Alexander at the Viles Arboretum Sculpture Symposium, September 2015

Anne Alexander received a BA in sculpture from Bard College, NY and an MFA in sculpture from Alfred University, NY. She has been living in Maine teaching and sculpting since 1989. She has received two Pollack-Krasner Foundation Grants and a Fulbright Senior Scholar Grant to study the Art and Artifacts of The Taino Indian in The Dominican Republic during the 1998/99 school year. Anne primarily carves her work in wood and stone. She makes pieces that range in size from small hand held pieces to human size exterior installations. Her work is organic in form and are abstractions of small life forms from the natural world, (marine life, plant pods, insects etc.). Her work also refers to the human body and expresses themes of life stages, germination, growth, regeneration, sexuality, and cyclic changes. Please refer to her website- to see examples of her work.

Workshop information at

If you have questions please contact Anne at



March 6, 2016

Sooooo proud!


MALI at Bowdoin for Winter Retreat

I am continually amazed and proud of the commitment and passion of Maine’s visual and performing Arts educators. Yesterday I had the opportunity to spend all day at Bowdoin College with the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative’s (MALI) for the Phase 5 winter retreat. Twenty five MALI members were able to join us. Thank you to the Bowdoin College Art Museum for hosting. The beauty of the room and the delicious food added to the energy, thoughtfulness, and incredible knowledge of the MALI Teacher Leaders.


Teaching Artist and Teacher Leader John Morris

The topics of the day included overarching questions that are helping us to formulate the details of MALI’s Phase 6. The ideas are created based on the needs of teachers to meet the needs of Maine’s PK-12 students in the Arts. Who better to know about the needs of Arts education than Maine Arts educators?!

MALI’s 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 for all students.

Teaching Artist/Teacher Leader – John Morris

During phase 5 John put together Creativity resources for the Resource Bank located at The description of the Creativity resource: This discussion group model will help participants make connections with creativity research, while promoting inquiry and dialogue about the nature of creativity, as well as the role of creativity in K-12 teaching, learning and assessment. John facilitated the use of the model yesterday and the conversation was one that I wish every educator in the state could engage in. Contact John if you have questions about the resource at

IMG_1805MALI and Teaching Artists

We spent some time yesterday considering the role of the Teaching Artist and brainstormed ideas on possibilities for Phase 6. The Maine Arts Commission is committed to continue to develop opportunities. The Teaching Artist roster located at will continue to grow and be available for those interested in contracting with a Teaching Artist to provide learning opportunities for students.

MALI focus


Deep in thought, Rob Westerberg, Mari-Jo Hedman, Jake Sturtevant

The bulk of our day was spent on looking at and discussing the MALI topics that have become essential components of our work. Using the MALI Logic Model we asked two questions: 1) What is the role of the Teacher Leader working with the MALI mission? and 2) What activity or output could be created or included to implement the essential topics? The topics include: Arts Integration, Creativity and 21st Century Skills, Proficiency-Based Learning and Reporting, Educator Effectiveness, Advocacy, Assessment Literacy, Effective Teaching and Learning/Best Practices, Funding, Legislative Policy, and Guiding Principles.

It was a great day and I am so grateful to know and be part of a group that is so positive about the work they do educating PK-12 student in Arts education. It is a pleasure to LISTEN to what each Teacher Leader is doing and has to offer! If you are considering applying to be a Teacher Leader for Phase 6 please watch for the “call” and email me at


Gorham School district Art teachers Elise Bothel and Allie Rimkunas


Beth Lambert, DOE VPA specialist and St. Agatha art educator Theresa Cerceo


Dance teacher MaryEllen Schaper and Music teacher Jen Nash


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