Archive for the ‘Theater’ Category

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In Today’s News

June 1, 2017

Congrats Lisa Neal

NEWPORT, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — This week’s Maine Education Association Inspiring Educator is Lisa Neal, a theater arts teacher at Nokomis Regional High School in Newport. Lisa is highlighted on WCSH-TV.

“Because this teaches so much more than content,” Neal said. “It teaches self-confidence, problem-solving on the spot, teaches them composure. There’s just so many facets to the theater arts to teach students.”

Lisa became a Teacher Leader with the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative in phase 3 and teaches at  Nokomis Regional High School, RSU 19. You can watch the news clip by CLICKING HERE.

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Teaching Artist Opportunity

May 26, 2017

Calling Teaching Artists – You’re Invited!

Summer Professional Development

Tuesday, August 1, 8:00 to 4:00

Thomas College, Waterville

The Maine Arts Commission invites teaching artists to attend an all day professional development opportunity on Tuesday, August 1. This will take place on the first day of the MAC Maine Arts Leadership Initiative summer institute on the beautiful campus of Thomas College in Waterville.

Teaching Artist Tim Christensen working with a Camden Rockport Middle School student during a residency

This year’s Teaching Artist professional development day is designed to focus on the role of the teaching artist and the relationship between the teaching artist and the K-12 arts educator.

The day includes workshops designed specifically for Teaching Artists focusing on a variety of topics: practices for Teaching Artists including standards, assessment, advocacy, marketing yourself, and more.

What will you get when you attend the Maine Arts Commission professional development day?

  • Information on applying your expertise as an artist to the structuring of your lessons and residencies.
  • Hands-on experience in relating the learning standards and assessments to your work.
  • Opportunities to network with PK-12 visual and performing arts teachers from Maine schools.
  • Participation in sessions that are planned to fit your needs as a teaching artist.
  • A light breakfast, a yummy lunch, and afternoon snacks

Teaching Artists interested in attending must register by CLICKING HERE.

Teaching Artist John Morris working with students in MSAD#33

To apply for the Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist roster artists are required to attend the summer professional development opportunity. The Commission will be accepting applications in the fall of 2017. CLICK HERE for the MAC Teaching Artist roster.

Presented by Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) of the Maine Arts Commission. To learn more about the MALI please CLICK HERE. Facilitated by Teaching Artist John Morris and Music Educator Kate Smith.

If you have any questions please contact Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education, Maine Arts Commission, argy.nestor@maine.gov or John Morris at JohnMorris08@gmail.com.

 

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Tonight!

May 25, 2017

Don’t miss it – Medomak Valley High School, Waldoboro

Tonight, tomorrow, and Saturday nights!

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Summer Theatre Courses UMaine

May 11, 2017

Learning opportunities

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Calling All Teacher Leaders

April 26, 2017

Regional VPA Teacher Leader Search

Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) – Phase VII

Join us for GREAT learning and networking opportunities! The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative invites YOU to be part of Phase VII. We are looking for teachers interested in leading and in taking a close look at effective teaching and learning in the arts.

Application at THIS LINK. Deadline: Friday, May 19, 2017.

Phase 1 Teacher Leaders, August 2011, Maine College of Art

If you are selected, you will be required to attend the summer institute, August 1, 2, and 3, 2017 at Thomas College. We will provide professional development and ask that you take what you’ve learned and share it with other educators in your region of Maine and beyond.

If interested, please submit a completed application by the Friday, May 19 deadline. Access the application by CLICKING HERE. Details are below.

Selected teacher leader responsibilities for the 2017-18 school year include:

  • Attend the 3-day Professional Development Summer Institute, August 1-3, 2017, Thomas College, Waterville. To prepare: Pre-reading assignments and responses are expected in google site. Each Teacher Leader determines individual plan for the school year/what the outcome of their learning will be and how to share with others. This enables teacher leaders to really take on the leadership role! (List of options available by contacting Argy Nestor at argy.nestor@maine.gov)
  • Communicate using a google site
  • Possible Critical Friends Day as a follow-up to the summer institute
  • Continuation of Another Teacher’s Stories on the Maine Arts Ed blog
  • Attend retreat to reflect on the work of phase VII with MALI participants – Saturday, March 10, 2018

Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Background Information

Overall Description 

Phase 2 Teacher Leaders, August 2012, Maine College of Art

Mission: 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.

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 https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Programs/MAAI.

MALI’s OVERALL OBJECTIVES

  • Create and implement a statewide plan for teacher leadership in arts education. This includes professional development opportunities, locally, regionally and statewide, which will expand on the knowledge and skills of teachers to better prepare them to teach in a student-centered and proficiency-based learning environment.
  • Develop and implement standards-based high quality teaching and learning statewide for Visual and Performing Arts
  • Continue to build on expanding the team of arts educators and teaching artists representing all regions of Maine
  • Provide workshops and other professional development opportunities for educators

Phase 3, Critical Friends Day, 2013, Point Lookout, Northport

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

  • Eighty-one teacher leaders and four teaching artists leaders attended summer institutes on assessment, leadership, technology, creativity, proficiency-based standards-based and student-centered teaching and learning
  • Teacher leaders presented workshops at three statewide arts education conferences, USM, Portland, UMaine, Orono, and Point Lookout Conference Center with over 600 educators attending
  • Teacher leaders facilitated almost 100 regional workshops and 15 mega-regional sites across Maine
  • Another Arts Teacher’s Story series (78) 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 at https://mainearts.maine.gov/pages/education/maai-webinararchives#
  • Video stories of seven teacher leaders that demonstrate a standards-based arts education classroom located on Maine ARTSEducation YouTube channel or at http://newenglandinstitute.org/.
  • Teacher Leader Resource Team development of items for resource bank
  • Maine Arts Assessment Resources website that contains a plethora of information

Phase 4, Summer Institute, 2014, USM Portland

Phase VII components

  • August 1, 2, 3, 2017: Professional Development Summer Institute for PK-12 teacher leaders (new and returning), teaching artists, and teaching artists leaders at Thomas College.
  • Each Teacher Leader determines individual plan to share their learning at the local, regional or statewide level.
  • Continuation of Another Teacher’s Story on the Maine Arts Ed blog
  • Winter Retreat: Saturday, March 10, 2018

For More Information

Phase 5, Critical Friends Day, 2015, USM Portland

Questions?

If you have questions or would like more information please contact Argy Nestor at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

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Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Jean Phillips

April 11, 2017

MALI Teacher Leaders Series

This is the seventh blog post of the Phase 6 Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leader stories. This series includes a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about the work each Maine visual or performing arts teacher or artist is doing.  CLICK HERE  for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE  for more information on the 81 Teacher Leaders plus 4 Teaching Artist Leaders.  CLICK HERE  for Arts education resources. CLICK HERE  for the MALI Resource Bank. Search in the “search archives” box on the bottom right side of this post for past teacher leader stories. There have been 77 posted to date. Thank you Jean for sharing your story!

Jean Phillips has been a teacher at Wiscasset Middle High School for fifteen years. Originally hired to teach English, but, in 2008, when the drama coach and director left, she picked up the three drama classes. In 2010, when the person hired to direct the One Act Festival play suddenly quit, the opportunity to direct came along. The following year, Jean was “hired” to teach three drama classes: Acting Workshop, Children’s Theatre, and Tech Theatre Design and to direct the two yearly productions. She has been doing both “jobs” ever since. Presently, Jean also teaches the 8th Grade drama component of their Allied Arts program. Her  yearly responsibilities include two public performances – one in the fall and the One Acts Festival piece – creating, building, or procuring all the sets, costumes, and props, as well as the maintenance, storage, and upkeep of the lights and the stage. She usually teaches nine to twelve 8th graders per quarter and 10-15 students per year in the Acting Workshop class per year; 8-12 students per year in the Children’s Theatre class; and 20 – 30 students per year in the Tech Theatre Design class. Jean’s Acting Workshop class involves teaching the terminology specific to theatre, stage positions and body positions – creating characters through analysis and fulfilling the performance standard by producing a public performance piece. Children’s Theatre begins with each student reading a children’s book, creating a story board for the book, a group decision of which play be the best to produce, writing a script, practicing together, and putting on a public performance – sometimes with children in the audience. Tech Theatre Design involves the technical aspects of theatre – specifically the design and construction off a set, sometimes the design of costumes, if time permits lighting and makeup.

What do you like best about being a theater educator?

My most favorite part of being a theatre teacher is watching students become hooked on working on the stage – either behind the scenes or as actors. I love that many disenfranchised students have found a home in theatre and even if they don’t pursue it any further than high school, they will have gained skills that will carry them throughout life.

What do you believe are three keys to ANY successful visual and performing arts education?

The three essential things to a successful performing arts education is full support by administration, parents, and state; less interference by outside agencies; and fewer budgetary constraints.

How have you found assessment to be helpful to you in your classroom?

I am just beginning to utilize more formative assessment in the classroom. The public performance has always been the summative assessment, but I have found it important to the success of the summative assessment if more formative assessments are given.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the Maine Arts Leadership initiative?

Before becoming involved in MALI, I taught my three classes and directed my plays. Now, I have never been as involved with professional development for the arts as I have this year. I have made more contacts and found advocates. I have also been able to engage more students in advocacy for the arts, too.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I am most proud of two things: first, that I have been directly responsible for having students opt to become theatre arts majors in college; and two, that students who have not normally found a home in high school have found a safe haven on stage.

What gets in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?

For me there are two things that get in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as an educator: people who have no idea what happens on stage telling me how to do my job – the more constraints put on me by bureaucrats makes connecting with students harder because I’m spending more time with pointless paperwork than working directly with the students; and my own inhibitions. I am not a risk-taker and feel safer with the tried and true.

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear at first glance to be due to “luck” or circumstances?

My whole life has been about hard work and determination. I have major anxiety and live my life in stress. In spite of this, I have earned two BA’s and an MA – all because I do not believe in quitting. I broke my leg my third year of getting my MA and learned to drive with my left foot so I could continue going to class because I knew that if I took the rest of the semester off, I would never go back. I set my sights on a goal and just push forward since I’ve never been very lucky or relied on circumstances to get what I want.

Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers?

Wow – I’d tell them there’s a fine line between keeping discipline and being a hard nose about following the rules. I’d tell them that there will be times when you won’t sleep because you’re worried, or you’re scared, or you’re frustrated, or you’re stuck – and all of those sleepless nights will be worth it when just one student comes back to thank you or remembers you fondly later in life. I’d say that no matter how much your budget gets cut just keep on keeping on. Arts education is important and students need this creative edge as well as a haven – be these things and more.

If you were given a $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

If I had $500,000 I would build a separate arts facility for Wiscasset Middle High School – one with adequate space and light for the visual arts, a clean, soundproof room for band and chorus, and a dedicated space for the construction of sets, the construction and storage of costumes, and a place for all performances. If this isn’t feasible due to budget constraints, I would overhaul the stage lighting, build a space for the construction and storage of sets, maybe get more tools, and have someone come in and design a much cleaner, more organized space for the lights.

Imagine you are 94 years old. You’re looking back. Do you have any regrets?

Who doesn’t have regrets? I guess my biggest regret would be that I didn’t reach more students, especially since many of them shied away from my program because they were anxious about performing or because they were afraid of me because of what they had heard from other people. I hope to have worked on the latter before I’m 94.

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Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Rick Osann

April 4, 2017

MALI Teacher Leaders Series

This is the sixth blog post of the Phase 6 Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leader stories. This series includes a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about the work each Maine visual or performing arts teacher or artist is doing.  CLICK HERE  for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE  for more information on the 81 Teacher Leaders plus 4 Teaching Artist Leaders.  CLICK HERE  for Arts education resources. CLICK HERE  for the MALI Resource Bank. Search in the “search archives” box on the bottom right side of this post for past teacher leader stories. There have been 76 posted to date. Thank you Rick for sharing your story!

Rick Osann teaches grades 9-12, Theatre, Film & Video at Bonny Eagle High School in Standish. He has been teaching for 13 years, 11 at Bonny Eagle. His courses include Theatre 1 and 2, Stagecraft, Film History, and Video Production. The theatre classes are all experiential learning classes. In Theatre 1 students produce a children’s play that tours the elementary schools. In Theatre 2 students write their own play and perform at an evening at the high school. In Stagecraft students design and build the scenery for the main stage productions. The Stagecraft class has won a “Set Design Commendation” at the One Act Festival for the last several years! Rick has about 80 students per term between four classes.

In addition to classes, Rick serves as Drama Club and Thespian Society Advisor. Thespian Society is a dramatics honor society sponsored by Maine Educational Theatre Association. He directs two main stage productions per year, a full length play in the fall and a one act play in the winter, taking part in the Maine Drama Festival, and Rick serves as Producer for their spring musical. In addition, he  volunteers as State Chapter Director of the Maine Educational Theatre Association.

What do you like best about being a theater educator?

I often tell my friends I get to go to work and play every day. Now, this is not saying I don’t work hard. I spend more hours working and work harder each of those hours than I did before I was teaching. The difference is that I totally believe that what I am doing is important and meaningful. When I was in high school I was totally passionate about theatre and I love having the opportunity to share this passion with students. Theatre is a place to create magic- we bring into existence whole worlds out of our imagination, and then we invite the public to live in our world for a couple of hours. It is a life-changing experience to create a moment of extraordinary beauty on the stage!

What do you believe are three keys to ANY successful visual and performing arts education?

  • Be passionate- We need to be passionate about our art and believe it is the most important study that our students will experience in school. I often tell my students that our theatre class is the best place to learn the skills they will need to succeed in the modern world. We study and practice collaboration, creativity, communication- all the 21st century skills- and we do them with a strict deadline. Business leaders are recognizing this!
  • Love- We need to love our students and support their own passions. Sometimes this isn’t easy!
  • Learn- Keep learning something new every day.

How have you found assessment to be helpful to you in your classroom?

It is so important for students to understand what they are doing well and where they can improve. Traditional grading methods average out student strengths and weaknesses. Proficiently Based Education (PBE) identifies for the student each individual strength and weakness and how to improve.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the Maine Arts Leadership initiative?

Getting a handle on PBE is challenging! Working with MALI has forced me and helped me to make my own assessment practices more genuine so they’re meaningful for my students.

What are you most proud of in your career?

We just won the Maine Drama Festival Class A State Championship!! This was pretty darn exciting. I am incredibly proud of how well my students worked together and supported each other to reach this goal. It was an honor to help these students grow and mature through their years in high school. A long time ago it was pretty spectacular working on the film, “The Muppets Take Manhattan”!

What gets in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?

There is never enough time to do all the things we know we should do to help our students. I struggle to get my priorities straight to balance home, family, classes, theatre, and volunteer work. There are so many important things we can do to help our students and sometimes I worry I’m not doing any of them well enough.

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear at first glance to be due to “luck” or circumstances?

I still consider my first teaching job to be my greatest moment of “luck”. Sylvia Pease, Superintendent of SAD #55, will always be my angel for hiring an inexperienced teacher and giving me this chance. I would like to think she recognized in all of my “non-teaching experiences” something that might be of value to students.

Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers?

Believe in what you do and the importance of every moment you share with your students. You are making a difference in many lives. Be confident that what you do and say MATTERS, even when it looks otherwise.

If you were given a $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

Create more opportunities that would encourage students to get involved in theatre. Open a theatre somewhere? We went to London over February break and saw that the upcoming London production of “Hamilton” is enabling them to renovate and open a theatre that has been closed for over 50 years. Awesome!

Imagine you are 94 years old. You’re looking back. Do you have any regrets?

When I was fresh out of graduate school, my wife encouraged me to try teaching public school. I thought it was crazy, when my degree qualified me to teach at the college level, that I would need to go back to school to teach at the high school level. What a fool I was! When I finally took the education classes after about 30 years in various careers, I realized how helpful and important they were. I don’t regret my other careers and learned a tremendous amount from the experiences, but I wish I had listened to my wife and started teaching sooner. The past 13 years have been my very best!

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