Archive for the ‘Professional Development’ Category

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The Blog is Back!

March 9, 2020

Yahooooo

I’m back at the Maine Arts Education blog for all you amazing blog readers, 1,472 of you – educators, artists, arts directors, community members and so many more people who I know read the blog every day. So much has happened during my hiatus in the world of arts education. I realize I can’t go back and provide you with ALL of the information that has come across my desk and that has been happening BUT I can share some of the highlights – starting tomorrow. In the meantime if you’ve had an event, attended one, know about an upcoming one and you’d like to send me the information and photos to include in the  blog please don’t hesitate to email me at meartsed@gmail.com. Thanks so much!

I’ve been busy and I’m sure you have as well. Some of my highlights:

  • Meeting with the following educators planning our June trip to Mpamila Village in Malawi to provide professional development workshops in arts integration for 10 days for 20 educators from several villages in the Ntchisi district:
    • Lindsay Pinchbeck, Director and Founder Sweet Tree Arts and Sweetland School
    • Ian Bannon, Teaching Artist and Director of Education, Figures of Speech Theatre and Associate Project Manager, Celebration Barn Theater
    • Amy Cousins, Visual Arts Teacher Gorham Middle School and 2019 Maine Art Education Association Teacher of the Year
    • Hannah Wells, Teacher at Sweetland School and Illustrator & Designer
    • Hope Lord, Visual Arts Teacher Maranacook Community Middle School
  • Mid-Coast School of Technology

    Sewing dresses and pants for the learners in Mpamila School. If you’re interested in supporting this work, please let me know. We have 100 dresses sewn and 70 pants (30 to go). We can use some support to purchase underwear to put in the pockets. T-shirts and beanie babies have been donated by very generous people.

  • Recently we took the Sweetland Middle School students to the Mid-Coast School of Technology for a tour. Amazing new building and the mural designed by students and a local artist at the entrance inside and out is amazing. We will be visiting a sailmakers shop next week and continue making our boat that compliments the Odyssey studies underway. Each week during photography the learners travel to Maine Coast School of Photography to use their facility. Our middle schoolers are participating in apprenticeships with a local photography, jeweler, actor, and at The Apprenticeshop in Rockland. They are having amazing learning opportunities with wonderful artists.
  • Through my HundrED work we’ve connected with an arts integration program in India and are excited about planning with them on a project for the fall.
  • Arts education events including this past weekends performances of Maine Drama Festival at Camden Hills Regional High School – wow, the students were awesome!

I look forward to hearing from you with your news to share!

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MALI Update

February 4, 2020

Good news from the Maine Arts Commission

The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) members and Martha Piscuskas the new director of arts education at the Maine Arts Commission have been working since last summer on the valuable work of MALI.

For those veteran readers of this blog, you are probably well aware of MALI and its importance to the field of Maine Arts Education. For any newcomers, and those needing a refresher, MALI is a program of the Maine Arts Commission. MALI is a network of Maine Arts Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders dedicated to supporting each others’ leadership, growth as educators, and promotion of authentic arts experiences in all genres for all Maine students. It grew out of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, a grassroots effort by some Maine Arts Teachers to educate themselves and create some guidelines and practices for arts assessment. Almost every year since 2011,  MALI has held a summer institute for visual and performing arts teachers to deepen their mastery of teaching the arts. A yearlong cohort continues to work together, working towards specific individual goals and culminating in public presentations.

TWO IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER

  • Winter Retreat – Saturday, Feb 29
  • Summer Institute NOTE NEW MONTH: — Thursday and Friday, June 25 & 26

With a leadership transition, MALI is taking this year to re-evaluate its purpose, clarify its structure and strengthen its role. Two leadership teams are tackling these tasks, and will be seeking feedback from all MALI members.

VISION TEAM

Vision Team members Dana Legawiec, Jen Driscoll, Lynda Leonas, Jake Sturtevant, and Sue Barre. Skyping in: Shawna Barnes, Jen Acosta

The Vision Team is a think-tank tasked with establishing a system and structure for MALI to grow and thrive into the future. It is comprised of 7 MALI Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders, including Jake Sturtevant (Phase 1), Jen Acosta (Phase 1), Shawna Barnes (Phase 8), Sue Barre (Phase 3), Jennie Driscoll (Phase 1), Dana Legawiec (Phase 7), Lynda Leonas (Phase 5) and Martha Piscuskas (MAC). The team members have had a variety of powerful MALI experiences, and agree that the organization has had a lasting impact on Maine Arts Education.

The Vision Team has reviewed the MALI vision and mission statements, as well as the current structure of MALI. It is their goal to ensure that MALI will continue to foster a community of passionate Arts Educators and Teaching Artists. The community will allow for professional growth that will directly impact students. It is their intent to help maintain, and sustain, the positive aspects of MALI, while strengthening the organizational mission that MALI represents.

In order to focus discussion they have been investigating answers to these questions:

  1. What does it mean to be a MALI Teacher Leader/Teaching Artist Leader?
  2. How can MALI gain fiscal stability?
  3. How can the MALI community bring in more passionate Arts Educators and Teaching Artists?
  4. How can MALI develop an institutional governance structure that allows for flexibility and growth, and maintains a grassroots approach for developing a community of Arts Educators?

They will continue discussions, and would welcome thoughts and ideas from anyone who has been touched by the MALI community. They will develop a future MALI Vision at the Winter Retreat on Saturday, February 29, 2020.

PROGRAM TEAM

Program Team members Kate Smith, Dorie Tripp, and Kaitlin Young deep in thought. Other side of table include Melanie Crowe, Bronwyn Sale, Iva Damon, and Brigid Rankowski

The Program Team was tasked with maintaining MALI’s current offerings such as the Winter Retreat, a call for new members, the Summer Institute and Critical Friends’ Day. The Program Team members are Kate Smith (phase 4), Bronwyn Sale (higher ed rep), Iva Damon (phase 5), Melanie Crowe (Phase 3), Kaitlin Young (phase 7), Dorie Tripp (Phase 7), Emma Campbell (phase 4), Brigid Rankowski (Phase 6)  and Martha Piscuskas (MAC). The team has met several times via zoom conference and in person on January 26th. They have chosen the themes “teacher leadership” and “self-care” for the MALI Winter Retreat on February 29th and look forward to seeing all MALI members past and present.

MALI Teams thank all Maine arts educators for all you do and continue to do, and look forward to hearing from you. To share feedback or for more information, or to MALI folks for sign-up information, please connect with a Team member, or Martha Piscuskas, Director of Arts Education at the Maine Arts Commission: martha.piscuskas@maine.gov 207-287-2750.

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Monhegan Artists’ and Educator Residency

February 3, 2020

Applications being accepted

The Monhegan Artist’s Residency is offering two residencies during the summer of 2020. One is a 2-week summer residency from June 27th through July 10th designated for Maine art teachers (K-12) and a 5-week fall residency from September 5th through October 10th.  The fall residency extends over Monhegan’s annual Trap Day event on the 1st of October that kicks off the lobstering season and provides an opportunity to experience this unique island-wide event.

The Monhegan Artists’ Residency provides comfortable living quarters, studio space, a stipend of $150 per week, and time for visual artists to reflect on, experiment, or develop their art and ideas while living in an artistically historic and beautiful location. Both residencies will be located at Elva’s Old PO, in the center of the village with a panoramic view of the meadow. The building offers both studio and living space. There is a stipend of $150 per week to support living expenses while you are on the island.

Deadline for applications is March 15. Applicants will be notified by April 13, 2020.

To learn more and to access the application go to the Monhegan Artists’ Residency website.

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Social and Emotional Learning

January 23, 2020

Maine Teacher of the Year Association

The Maine State Teachers of the Year Association will be kicking off our 2020 Webinar Series with a one-hour online interactive professional development opportunity surrounding Social and Emotional Learning in the Classroom! Join us on Sunday, January 26th from 7:15-8:15 pm via the online Zoom platform.

Karen MacDonald, MTOY 2014, and Talya Edlund, MTOY 16, will present a session where participants will explore an overview of the critical elements of a systematic Social and Emotional program in your school or district. At least two of the elements of a systematic approach will be examined more closely, including student voice. The intended audience for this webinar includes teachers and education technicians serving students grades K-8.

Please complete the Google Form below to participate. The meeting will be held via the Zoom platform and the live link will be shared with participants emails collected in the form. Participants will earn one contact hour for the webinar.

Sign up here:
https://forms.gle/btzqg339r2C1rYyA6

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The Art of Education

December 9, 2019

Photo booth in the classroom

Informative blog post put out by The Art of Education. Seven Reasons You Need a Photo Booth in the Art Room. A Lightbox is one and a studio photo setup is another. The ARTICLE expands on these two topics providing you with useful information.

The Art of Ed University provides resources in a variety of ways. Check out the WEBSITE to learn more.

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Early Childhood Conference

December 6, 2019

Young Audiences

2020 National Conference – Young Audiences Arts for Learning. March 25-27, Nopsi Hotel, New Orleans – Arts from the Start: An Exploration of Early Childhood Learning. This year’s conference will explore timely issues around the theme of early childhood learning.

Call for Workshop Proposals
Deadline: January 15, 2020

Save the Date!

March 25-27, 2020

 NOPSI Hotel
317 Baronne St., New Orleans, LA 70112

Proposals are now being accepted for workshop sessions that address the conference theme, or relate to other priority topics as detailed in the 2020 Conference Workshop Session RFP Guidelines and Application document.

To Submit a Proposal, please download, review, and fill out the 2020 RFP Guidelines and Application document. Email the completed application form to Lauren Altschuler (lauren@ya.org) by 5:00 pm ET on January 15, 2020. Incomplete applications will not be considered. You will receive email confirmation upon receipt of your proposal.

Evaluation and Selection of workshop proposals will be completed by a Conference Advisory Committee. Lead Workshop Session Presenters will be notified via email of the final selection by February 3, 2020.

Questions? Please contact Lauren Altschuler at lauren@ya.org or 212.860.1563 ext. 107.

Stay tuned for the Official 2020 Conference Site, conference.youngaudiences.org, for the latest information, including how to book accommodations through YA’s room block at  NOPSI Hotel, where workshop sessions will be held.

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Lifelong Learning

November 13, 2019

Professional Development

Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leaders at the music education conference in September 2019 with Denise Gagne. Front, LtoR Catherine Newell, Dorie Tripp, Back LtoR Kate Smith, Linda McVety, Pamela Kinsey, Denise, Will Stecher

Often educators get so caught up in the day to day challenges of teaching that they forget to take time to reflect on what is actually happening. Taking time for professional development, getting off your island, and seeking colleagues for collaborations is critical to feed your soul and positively impact the art of teaching!

TEACHERS NEED TEACHERS! Reaching out and connecting with someone can make all the difference for you personally and professionally. I believe if you don’t take care of yourself (personally AND professionally) it becomes more difficult to take care of your students.

Now that we’re about 6 weeks into the school year, take a minute and ponder these questions:

  1. How often have you searched for professional development opportunities that really challenged your thinking about teaching? There are opportunities if you search – some in state, some regional and national and there are opportunities on the international level.
  2. When was the last time you asked a colleague to give you feedback on a lesson or unit? It doesn’t matter if you’re new to teaching or if you’re a veteran, asking someone you trust to step into your classroom and give you feedback can provide a totally different perspective to your teaching. I know this is may be difficult for a variety of reasons but if you want to be successful and look back on many years of teaching with a smile please don’t hesitate to reach out to someone that you trust and respect. If you have no other teachers of the same discipline in your school or district, reach out to someone in a nearby district, the professional organization leadership or perhaps a college/university. (By the way, I’d be glad to help out).
  3. Have you ever seen yourself teach? Set up a video camera in your classroom so you can view it later on? Perhaps having someone visit is to much of a stretch at the moment. No problem, borrow a video camera, if you don’t have one, set it up on a tripod and take some footage of yourself that you can view later on in the comfort of your own home.
  4. What research or book on education have you read lately? Who are you following on social media? There are so many outstanding books and writers on education topics. If you need a recommendation on where to get started check out the blog post from June 2019 called Summer Reading. for suggestions. Or go to a professional organizations website and read what they’re suggesting. There are also amazing resources on the web including blogs, podcasts, and audio recordings of information that you can visit over and over. Follow someone on Twitter, Instagram or one of the other social media tools available.
  5. Do you have a curriculum that you’re actively using? Many educators are required to write a curriculum and it gets put on a shelf and not revisited until it’s time to write a new one. Is that you? I’m not suggesting for a moment that you use your curriculum for every lesson/unit but what I do suggest is asking yourself this – can you map your daily lessons to a curriculum? Is it aligned with standards? Do you have assessments in place that support what you’re teaching or your students learning? Can you answer these two questions – What am I teaching? and Why am I teaching it? If you can’t answer, I suggest that you take time and ask yourself: what do I want my students to know at the end of the school year or perhaps in 5 years or when they are adults? Good teaching and learning should drive your work!
  6. What are you doing to take care of yourself? Are you mindful of your mind, body, and spirit? This is probably the most important one and it is the one that has taken me years to integrate into my daily living practices. We are fortunate to teach the arts because many of us went into teaching for two reasons – one is we want to teach and the other is we want to be an artist. So, what is your discipline and what are you doing to focus on that personally? I have made a practice of painting every day I can for a few minutes. If there is time that few minutes turns into an hour. I get lost in my art making. When I have more time I am making mosaics. Talk about getting lost in art making. I have no idea how the day disappears. If you’re a parent I realize taking time to make art on top of being a teacher and a parent there is no time left for art making or you. Please know it took me many years of parenting and teaching to get to this point. My suggestion? Start small – 5 minutes of meditation, yoga, writing and/or reading poetry, playing an instrument, moving in a mindful way or whatever way works for you. PLEASE take care of yourself!

it’s all about being a life-long learning! What are you doing to expand and build on your thinking? And, what you doing to take care of yourself? Please share your ideas at the bottom of this blog post.

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