Archive for the ‘Visual Arts’ Category

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Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Michaela DiGianvittorio

March 24, 2015

MAAI Teacher Leaders series

This is the sixth blog post for 2015 on the Phase 4 Maine Arts Assessment Initiative’s (MAAI) Teacher Leaders sharing their stories. This series contains a set of questions to provide the opportunity for you to learn from and about others. You can learn more about MAAI at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/MAAI# and learn more about all 61 of the MAAI Teacher Leaders at http://www.maineartsassessment.com/#!teacher-leaders/c1qxk.

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 1.15.44 PMMichaela DiGianvittorio attended the Maine College of Art and graduated with a B.F.A. in Illustration in 2006. She taught pre-school at a local childcare center for a year and decided to go back to school to obtain a degree in Art Education. In 2008 she graduated from the Post-Baccalaureate in Art Education program at MECA. Michaela is currently a visual arts teacher at Gray-New Gloucester High School. She has been teaching art for seven years and has taught all seven at GNGHS. She is one of two art teachers at the high school. This semester, she is teaching Foundations In Art, Drawing, Multi-Media, Digital Media and Gifted & Talented Visual Art.

What do you like best about being an art educator?

I have a passion for art and a passion for teaching. What I like best about being an art educator is that I am able to practice what I love. It is not often that people love their job, but I truly do. Being an art educator is not just something that I do, it is who I am.

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

  1. Connections- Making connections with students, colleagues, administration, parents, community members and other VPA educators is crucial. Through connections you are able to collaborate, receive feedback, and advocate for your program.
  2. Life Long Learning- It is so important to be a life long learner. Staying up to date with new initiates, technology, and attending professional development opportunities will improve your knowledge, and keep you grounded/connected with your school/district and the field of education.
  3. Reflection & Revision- To have a successful program you need to be willing to make changes, take risks, and try new things. Making things new, exciting, and relevant to/for students will make your class more meaningful. Taking time to reflect, review and revise is so important in keeping your students engaged and improve your curriculum, instruction, and assessment. As a teacher, your job is never done. It can always be improved.

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

Assessment has not only helped me track student progress, but it also has helped in developing and revising my curriculum. When developing my rubrics, I organize and “unpack” the standards that are being assessed, then target what is essential for the student to know in order to meet each standard. This has allowed me to determine where there are gaps and also create essential formative assessments that help them be more successful when they are working on their summative assessment.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the arts assessment initiative?

Making connections with other art educators has been by far the most beneficial part of being involved in the arts assessment initiative. Also, it has made me reevaluate what I do and has given me ideas and inspiration for new and different methods in my teaching.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I am very proud of everything that I have contributed to the art department at GNGHS. I feel as though I have made a big impact on our art program through curriculum development and also transitioning to standards based instruction and assessment. However, what I am most proud of is the connections that I have made with students. I know that I have impacted many students lives throughout the years, and in return they have impacted mine. Teaching is such a rewarding career!

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

I always feel like I could be a better teacher. The only thing that can really ever get in the way of becoming a better teacher is myself. To be a “better” teacher, you need to be a life-long learner. To be a life-long learner, you need to have self-motivation. Lack of motivation can definitely get in the way of being a better teacher. The trick is to find out what will motivate you when you are in that rut.

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

I honestly don’t know. I feel very fortunate and “lucky” to have a job in art education. I feel as though I have worked hard to get where I am, but some might see that as luck? Art teaching positions are few and far between. Being among so many dedicated and inspirational art educators, I could see how some might see that landing in a position could be do to luck or circumstance.

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

Practice what you teach! It is so important to continue to nurture your own creativity, and when students can see that you are truly passionate about what you do, it helps to inspire and motivate them. Also, stay in the loop on new initiatives and keep up to date with technology.

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

If I was given $500,000.00 I would start an international travel program for the art department!

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

I can’t really predict future regrets when I still have many years to live before I am 94 years old. At 32, my only regret is that I haven’t traveled much. If I went back in time I would look into opportunities to teach abroad for a few years before I got married and started a family.

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Wowzer YAM Show!

March 21, 2015

Outstanding exhibit

The Portland Museum of Art has worked with the Maine Art Education Association for over 20 years to provide an outstanding art exhibit in recognition of Youth Art Month. The show is a wonderful way to celebrate student artwork in grades K-12.

Lida Kanoti, Grade 2, Windsor Elementary School, RSU #12

Lida Kanoti, Grade 2, Windsor Elementary School, RSU #12, Art Teacher Genevieve Monks Keller

The show has over 100 pieces in it and will remain until March Sunday, March 29. The museum is located at 7 Congress Street in Portland. Don’t miss it!

For more information please click on http://www.portlandmuseum.org/learn/youth-art-month.

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Maine Art Ed Assoc Spring Conference

March 19, 2015

Saturday, April 11, Brewer High School

Registration is open! Creativity is a Constant, Quality is Our Standard Spring Conference. Being held at Brewer HS on Saturday, April 11 and it is sizing up to be a very dynamic event. Professional development to meet your needs will be
delivered by colleagues that are committed to quality. Sessions include studios, best
practice, technology and forums. There is something for everyone.

Amy Cousins with Jennie Driscoll and Brian McPherson at an MAAI Mega-regional workshop

Amy Cousins with Jennie Driscoll and Brian McPherson at an MAAI Mega-regional workshop

Amy Cousins, Gorham Middle School art teacher and Maine Arts Assessment Initiative Teacher Leader will present the keynote entitled: “From Overwhelmed to In Control – Connecting the Dots of Assessment”

Participants may earn .6 CEUs for full conference participation.

Brewer HS has recently been renovated and the state-of-the-art facilities are a must-
see for you to consider.

Awards and recognitions event to be held later thatevening.

A gentle reminder that Susan Bryand (Bangor HS) and our Art in the Heart colleagues first instituted the “Adopt an Art Teacher” program to help with defraying expenses at statewide events and are looking forward to hosting again.

To register and see workshop details please click here aeforme.org

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Art in the Heart YAM Show

March 13, 2015

Student exhibit up until March 22

Here is a taste of what you will see if you travel to the Bangor Mall between now and March 22 – PK-12 student artists from the greater Bangor area. Thanks to Eric Hutchins, Bangor High School art teacher, for creating this video to document the Youth Art Month exhibit.

 

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Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Samantha Davis

March 10, 2015

MAAI Teacher Leaders series

This is the fourth blog post for 2015 on the Phase 4 Maine Arts Assessment Initiative’s (MAAI) Teacher Leaders sharing their stories. This series contains a set of questions to provide the opportunity for you to learn from and about others. You can learn more about MAAI at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/MAAI# and learn more about all 61 of the MAAI Teacher Leaders at http://www.maineartsassessment.com/#!teacher-leaders/c1qxk.

Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 4.53.33 AMSamantha Davis is a visual arts teacher for grades 6 through 8 at Molly Ockett Middle School in Fryeburg, Maine. She is in her first year in this position. She teaches all students at Molly Ockett Middle School, which is approximately 240. The students have visual art for one quarter – 5 days per week, 50 minutes per day (and then rotate to Physical Education, Health, or Music for the next quarter(s)). Prior to teaching in Fryeburg, Samantha taught visual art at the high school level at Sumner Memorial High School in Sullivan, Maine from 2010-2013. She obtained her B.A. in Art Education at the University of Maine in Orono in 2010.

What do you like best about being an art educator?

I like being a part of my students’ experiences of discovery and creativity; of their excitement with exploring media and engaging in their varied artistic processes.

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

  1. CONNECTION – Arts educators collaborating with one another, administration, parents, and most importantly, students!
  2. RISK-TAKING – A willingness to try something new and different…and do it often.
  3. ADVOCACY – Getting others on board with believing that the arts program is essential to the educational experience of all children.

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

Assessment has taken many shapes and forms in my classroom, but it consistently keeps me grounded. As a teacher, developing assessments requires me to reflect on what is truly essential for my students to know and be able to do as a result of being in the art program. Developing my units, lessons, and projects around assessments keeps everything focused on the end goal. Having clear assessments steers my classroom away from the “opinion-based” or “judgement-based” grading that many students have experienced, and drives it toward meaningful conversation and reflection, authentic learning, and measurable growth.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the arts assessment initiative?

By far, the benefit that stands out in my mind the most is that of connection. In my short career as a teacher, I have already discovered how detrimental it is to be isolated in this field (in particular, as an arts educator). Being a part of MAAI has brought me to the heart of what I do, and that is connecting with others through meaningful collaboration, shared experience, team-building, constructive feedback, and all of the other fruits of being connected with other people who are passionate about what I am passionate about.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I cannot point to a single event or achievement in time, but I am proud of my “spark.” I crave new learning about my field. I am excited about trying new things and I continue to work toward improving myself as a teacher and artist. I am a big-picture person, so I am continually thinking about the vision for my classroom and the art program in my district. I am excited about things to come and I think my “spark” will take me to places I can now only dream of.

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

I think many things get in the way of a becoming a better teacher. First and foremost, I think a teacher can get in his/her own way. I know this to be true from experience. Self-doubt can be crippling and it can have a domino effect.  Teachers also need to take care of themselves (eat, sleep, play) or their work will suffer. Lack of support from administration will most certainly get in the way. Lack of connection with other educators will, too.

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

I have a difficult time thinking of something that I have done that would be considered due to luck or circumstantial, but what I will say (that is somewhat related to the question) is that we teachers (especially arts educators) do a lot of background/behind the scenes work that is not obvious to others. We have to prep materials and space, practice  skills with our students outside of regular class time, test projects before assigning them to students, and the list goes on! What is visible to others is not always the full picture of the work that was put in!

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

Keeping reasonable expectations of ourselves as teachers is important. Celebrating small accomplishments can keep teachers excited and motivated. Fixating on seemingly large shortcomings can set huge obstacles and does not lead toward improvement, but rather more self-doubt and criticism. Being kind to ourselves is necessary before we can be kind to others we work with – especially our students.

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

I would like to expand the art program at my school by obtaining the following: a ceramics studio,  photography equipment, printmaking equipment, standing tables, full-size easels, and funding for field trips.

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

I think I will always have small regrets in life, but in general, I do not have any major ones. I see a life fully lived and many dreams fulfilled. I see many lives I have touched, but most importantly, many lives who have touched mine.

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TED Ed Art Analysis

March 8, 2015

How art can help you analyze – Amy E. Herman

Thanks to Greely High School Visual Arts Teacher, Jennifer Doane for sharing this link.

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Viles Arboretum

March 7, 2015

Special opportunity for art teachers and their students

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 5.52.12 PMNOTICE: This is early notice that once again the Viles Arboretum in Augusta, in farrington#23conjunction with its Sculpture Symposium, will offer five weekday interactive opportunities for the first five teachers who contact us. There is no charge for participation. All you need to do is arrange on your end for transportation to our location in Augusta, Maine.

THE OPPORTUNITY: Interact with 12 nationally known artists. Ask questions. Observe technique. Learn how raw stone is made into art. Understand where each artist’s inspiration comes from. Learn how each artist became an artist.

STAY TUNED: We are also hoping to couple each class visit with a soft stone workshop where each student will have the opportunity to create his/her own art piece. These will be exhibited during the closing reception and students will be able to invite their family and friends to the reception to see the art they created and share the world of art they have discovered here at the Viles Arboretum.

SYMPOSIUM DATES AVAILABLE FOR SCHOOL GROUPS: September 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18

CALL OR E-MAIL VILES ARBORETUM TO RESERVE A PLACE FOR YOUR ART CLASS. 626-7989 OR INFO@VILESARBORETUM.ORG

 

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