Posts Tagged ‘critical friends’

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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 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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MAAI at the State House

October 13, 2014

What a day!

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MAAI group Oct10Friday was a great opportunity for the Teacher Leaders from the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) to present their workshops as a “dry run” to critical friends. Fifty-eight educators traveled from all parts of Maine to participate in the day. Eighteen workshops were presented in 6 different groups to the critical friends, held in the State House and the Cross Office Building. Teachers bring students on field trips to the State House but it is not often that a group of teachers attend an all-day event there. As compared to when the legislature is in session, it was fairly quiet but that doesn’t take away from the beauty of the Capitol. The first session of the Maine Legislature was held in Maine’s State Capitol on January 4, 1832. As many of you know the dome is presently undergoing renovations and the new copper is gleaming and a site to behold with the changing of the leaves.

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We gathered in the beautiful space used by the Council Chamber which I am certain never held that many educators. The Chamber is a segment of State Government of the leadership, a small group that is led by the President of the Senate rotating with the Speaker of the House, to make decisions that impact the entire body of the legislature. Each of the six groups participated in two morning workshops that were held where some of the Maine State Government does their daily business, the Burton Cross Office building. The groups gathered for lunch back in the State House and USMs faculty member and MAAI leadership team member Jeff Beaudry shared the findings of the survey that many of you participated in during the last week on Proficiency and  Teacher Effectiveness. (I will post the info in another blog post).

Molly Ockett Middle School Visual Art teacher Samantha Davis presents her workshop to critical friends

Molly Ockett Middle School Visual Art teacher Samantha Davis presents her workshop to critical friends

 

Marshwood Middle School art teacher and Teacher Leader Amy Cousins participating in Teaching Artist Randy Fein's workshop using clay.

Marshwood Middle School art teacher and Teacher Leader Amy Cousins participating in Teaching Artist Randy Fein’s workshop using clay.

 

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Raymond Elementary School music teacher and veteran MAAI Teacher Leader Patti Gordan assists Ellsworth Elementary Middle School music teacher and new Teacher Leader Frances Kellogg with her workshop.

In the afternoon the groups participated in one more workshop and gathered for the wrap-up where the group facilitators provided an overview of what took place in their groups. Phase 4 music Teacher Leaders Kate Smith and Cynthia Keating lead us in song called “We Are One” and adapted for MAAI. It was a worthwhile day for all involved. The Teacher Leaders will tweak their workshops to ready them for the Mega-regional workshops being presented in five locations this year (listed below). Registration will be available soon if you are interested and able to attend please mark your calendars!

USM faculty and MAAI Leadership team member Jeff Beaudry shares the data recently collected from the survey all Maine arts educators were invited to participate in.

USM faculty and MAAI Leadership team member Jeff Beaudry shares the data recently collected from the survey all Maine arts educators were invited to participate in.

A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to the critical friends who participated in the day!

Mega-regional workshops 2014-15 school year

  • Tuesday, November 25 Mount Desert Island High School
  • Friday, March 6 Aroostook county
  • Friday, March 13 Oxford Hills Middle School South Campus
  • Thursday, April 2 UMaine, Orono
  • Friday, April 3 University of Southern Maine, Portland
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Critical Friends participate in movement workshop led by Teaching Artist John Morris in the rotunda in the State House while former Governor John Baldacci looks on.

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MAAI Leadership Team member Catherine Ring provides an overview from her groups workshops.

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Wrap up on Critical Friend Day at the State House.

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New teacher leaders and music teachers Kate Smith, Central Elementary School and Cynthia Keating, Village Elementary School lead the group in song.

 

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Critical Friends Come to the State House

October 9, 2014

MAAI Logo_Color_TxtCtr3LMAAI converges on the State House Tomorrow!

Three years ago the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) Teacher Leaders suggested that they have the opportunity to receive feedback on their workshops before they take them “on the road”. The MAAI prides itself in responding to the needs of the field. So, we created a day that we like to call Critical Friends Day, when the teacher leaders do a dry-run of their workshops before taking them on the road.

On Friday, tomorrow, 52 educators will travel to Augusta and the State House complex to do just that. All 52 will serve as Critical Friends providing feedback to each of the workshop presentations provided by the phase 4 and veteran Teacher Leaders.

It is sure to be nerve wracking, tense, fun, and very worthwhile. Those serving as Critical Friends come from all walks of education. Arts teachers, teaching artists, a retired teacher and Teacher of the Year, an ELA and Social Studies teacher, and an Assistant Principal. All bring something useful to the workshops and we are glad that they will attend!

You might be asking, “when will these workshops be offered to the rest of the education community?” Below is the list of the Mega-regional workshops. Watch this blog for the registration information that will be available in the near future. The regional workshops will also take place throughout the state so check in with the teacher leaders from your region to see when they will take place.

Mega-regional all-day workshop schedule

  • Tuesday, November 25—Mount Desert Island High School Friday
  • March 6—Aroostook County
  • Friday, March 13—Oxford Hills Middle School, South Campus
  • Thursday, April 2—UMaine, Orono
  • Friday, April 3—University of Southern Maine, Portland

Break a leg

Good luck to the Teacher Leaders who go bravely forward sharing their expanded knowledge from being a MAAI Teacher Leader and most importantly THANKS for taking on the leadership role. Thanks to those who will be joining us as Critical Friends. For more information on the MAAI please go to our new and wonderful site at http://www.maineartsassessment.com.

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