Posts Tagged ‘Danette Kerrigan’

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Positive Outcomes

June 5, 2020

What are your thoughts and experiences?

I Invited past Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leaders and Leadership Team members to answer 4 questions – both personal and professional. Each day this week another set of answers is being posted. Today’s blog post includes answers to number 3. Please don’t hesitate to share your answers to the 4 questions. To the teachers who responded (so far. THANK YOU for your honesty and sharing your new reality. One word that came up for me as I read your responses was BRAVERY! I am grateful that you’re being brave for the learners across the state!

  1. Name one thing that has been an ‘ah-ha’ moment for you during ‘teaching away from school’? One success.
  2. What have you learned that you didn’t know before the school shut down?
  3. What are you doing to bring yourself joy/to take care of yourself?
  4. When this is all over – what do you imagine might be a positive that comes from the pandemic?

Kris Bisson says it best – YOU ALL ROCK!

The last three days blog posts have been filled with inspiration from the voices of Maine visual and performing arts educators. Today’s post is filled with HOPE. And, as we continue to deal with the biggest challenges of our lives I hope that you won’t forget the struggles that have the possibility of morphing into positives for our communities and the world. It will take all of us to continue working together and supporting one another. Thank you all for the amazing work you’re doing and for being such an inspiration to me and those who you touch in your worlds! Know that I’d love to hear your stories – please don’t hesitate to contact me at meartsed@gmail.com.

IMAGINE THE IMPACT 

  • That we will have made changes to focus on what really matters in our lives. This action will lead us to create teaching and learning environments that focus on relevance, action and compassion. ~ LINDSAY PINCHBECK
  • What scares me is that many educators, parents and administrators are saying “can’t wait to get back to normal”. All I can think about is the amazing things that we have learned to do in the past few months, how easy it is to collaborate, why push all that back into the “box” and “go back to normal”. CHARLIE JOHNSON
  • Normal wasn’t doing it for everyone. I like to think that we will be a much more compassionate group of educators, who, “Take time to smell the roses” with our students and not always operate at such a frenetic pace. I also think that snow days will never be the same again. We now know we can teach remotely on those wintry days! ~JENNI NULL
  • I hope with all my heart this will start a positive shift in education. I think teachers, empowered by the networking, shared experiences and tremendous PD opportunities, will demand change and in fact, be willing change agents. ~KATE SMITH
  • I hope families will continue to spend time together and walk together, slow down from the rush of life many of us were living in. I hope that all who are able will continue to work from home at least one day a week – this would cut the emissions by 20%.  ~SUE BARRE
  • My hope is that as a system we will have a better grasp of what students really need. I think many have seen first hand the joy that the arts bring while staying home with their families. I would love it if that carried over into schools and we begin to see more of a focus on social-emotional health and less on mandated testing. ~JEN ETTER
  • I hope there will be a greater appreciation for all the hard working first responders, grocery clerks, truck drivers and delivery workers. I hope that there will be greater respect and appreciation for teachers. Overall, I hope that the world views the arts as a cultural necessity to inspire, express, and support each other through stressful times. ~HOPE LORD
  • I really hope for a large scale “shaking of the etch -a-sketch” as I always say. We need to teach students how to learn, harness their natural curiosities and allow them to lead the way. Throw away our expectations of how and when things should be learned. I would also like to see a more cross curricular and holistic project based approach to learning. ~SHANNON WESTPHAL
  • I feel the obvious positive will be the appreciation for what teachers do on a daily basis. The bigger positive I am hopeful for is a change in society on people being kinder to each other and the planet, seeing the positive effects of humans being out and about less. ~JEFFREY ORTH
  • Families will eat dinner together, take walks together, sing together (I’ve seen some fabulous family sing a longs!) My wish is that they remember it all when this is over and don’t stop those things that are so important! ~LINDA MCVETY
  • Hopefully families will remember what it’s like to be a family and rely less on the screen and more on each other. Times spent outside together will be recognized as sacred and hopefully families will keep going outside together after this is all over. That’s my fervent wish.
    Personally, the positive for me is all the exercise and a little bit of weight loss. I’ve also enjoyed making the teaching videos for my kids. Whenever I run into parents or kids on the trails, they always mention how much they enjoy the videos. ~ALLIE RIMKUNAS
  • Our 7th grade students do not currently have art. Due to COVID 19, our 6th grade Gifted and Talented ART students will be missing a new field trip to the high school for ‘firing’ day. Our district has approved our elementary trip to be moved to the fall and to include the students leaving us for the middle school next year. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it inspired the school to create art field experiences for all 7th grade students? …recreate the 7th grade art classes as once existed? ~LYNDA LEONAS
  • When this is over I hope the clean, clear, fresh air so many, especially in cities, are experiencing right now will open their eyes to the beauty of it and have a positive impact on our environment and world for now on.  ~HOLLY LEIGHTON
  • I think one of the positives may be that we have a renewed appreciation for the community-building aspect of the arts. Right now it’s such a void that cannot be filled by technology. Yes, there are virtual ensembles that are beautiful, but they aren’t live. I’ve watched some phenomenal performances online, but for me, nothing matches the aesthetic power of being in the moment and sharing that moment with those around you.
    I think a positive outcome could be that we continue to make use of technological  resources we’ve discovered during this time of exclusively remote learning to change our thinking to how we can customize students’ experiences more. ~BILL BUZZA
  • There are many positives to this situation, but for me the biggest impact has been the ability to slow down without judgement.  I know this will be something I consider upon ‘reentry’ to my dance program. ~EMMA CAMPBELL
  • I hope we never have to use another snow day!  I hope there will be a better appreciation for teachers. ~JANE KIRTON
  • The increased connectivity and support between home and school, and between educators, has been the most apparent to me. It’s human nature to come together as communities during times of need. Even during these times where physical distancing is required, I have felt an increased sense of support and togetherness. This is a positive that’s come from COVID-19, and I hope it sticks around when we get “back to normal”. ~DORIE TRIPP
  • First of all, we have been “taught”, by being thrown into this situation, how to use a variety of resources that will help support our student’s learning. Whether through the use of online platforms, or simply the research of new ideas and possibilities, we have seen that many things are possible. I know I have learned a lot about different programs that I am excited about using in (and out of) the classroom. I think that this will also pave the way for utilizing “remote” learning in other situations as well such as snow days, or other interruptions to our daily schedules helping to support consistent development. It may also be an excellent resource for keeping students connected over extended breaks and bridge the gap of relapse we often see.While we have been separated, we have been able to connect with each other. In difficult times, people rise to the challenges. It brings communities together to fight and survive. It helps us to set aside differences to focus on what is most important. So, while I know this has been difficult, I think like many difficult situations in history, it will strengthen our communities.  ~ANTHONY LUFKIN
  • The one positive I can imagine is renewed appreciation for my real teaching experience, the one in the classroom, face to face, having those moments of greatness and inspiration and activity and noise and sass- from the students as well as me! ~DANETTE KERRIGAN
  • Many people will have adapted skills for distance learning and connecting with others anytime/anywhere. Distance learning is not only about using technology. It is about the human experience and reminding us of our desire for connectivity and the security that we are all in this together. ~LEAH OLSON
  • I have a saying that I have used with my students for a very long time…..”Yes you can, yes you will”.  After this is over I am hopeful they will know the truth in this and it will become. their mantra. ~DIANNE FENLASON
  • My fellow educators will be far more digitally savvy and will continue to utilize a blended learning approach since they now are beginning to understand the value of asynchronous learning. The Arts educators in my District have historically been excluded from targeted professional learning. Now we are actively developing courses and resources for them to continue their learning. The students will understand more about creation versus consumption. Their ability to explore resources and use their creativity with found objects in the Arts has already been exhibited. ~BARB VINAL
  • Professionally speaking I feel much better at technology. Personally I look at this time as a gift with my children. As a mom of teenagers I know they will be “leaving the nest” fairly soon and I truly cherish this time with them. ~ANDREA WOLLSTADT
  • A huge positive to carry over once this is done is the community that we have all done well to foster. Regardless of where we are geographically, people are willing to use any means of technology to help. That drive and ability to foster and support community is my hope of what carries into the after. It has been incredibly meaningful and heartfelt how we as a people honestly are striving to find the good in those around us.  ~IVA DAMON
  • I think we ALL – communities, parents, students, teachers – will all have a greater and deeper appreciation for school and all it entails. It’s been amazing to hear from everyone I talk to that EVERYONE misses it. We tend to spend a lot of time looking at the negative of our schools and jobs and not enough time just enjoying all that is wonderful about it all. I hope there is a lot we stop taking for granted. ~ROB WESTERBERG
  • My hope is that we do not lose the lessons we are learning about the interconnectedness of schools, teachers, and communities. I have reached out to the parents of my students in ways that weren’t really expected before we switched to remote learning. This will hopefully continue to be a priority once we figure out our ‘new normal’. ~LISA INGRAHAM
  • I think that teachers, families and students will be a little more appreciative of one another, and how much we need and rely on one another as we move forward. ~ CARMEL COLLINS
  • I’ve tried to provide very detailed lesson plans for students and families. Initially,  I still received LOTS of questions, “I don’t get its”, etc. That has lessened a bit. I think that sometimes we “overteach” and spoon-feed a lot of information. They are now forced to figure that out for themselves, and probably approach the assignments more creatively.  In any event,  those who are still engaged in their learning seem more resilient and creative. ~SUE BEAULIER
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Ah-ha Moments

June 2, 2020

What are your thoughts and experiences?

I Invited past Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leaders and Leadership Team members to answer 4 questions – both personal and professional. Today’s and the next three blog days posts will include the responses. Please don’t hesitate to share your answers to the 4 questions. Today’s post includes answers to the first question. To the teachers who responded (so far)- THANK YOU for your honesty and sharing your new reality. One word that came up for me as I read your responses was BRAVERY! I am grateful that you’re being brave for the learners across the state!

  1. Name one thing that has been an ‘ah-ha’ moment for you during ‘teaching away from school’? One success.
  2. What have you learned that you didn’t know before the school shut down?
  3. What are you doing to bring yourself joy/to take care of yourself?
  4. When this is all over – what do you imagine might be a positive that comes from the pandemic?

AH-HA MOMENTS

  • I am heartened to find that both kids and parents seem to see art class as an important part of their education. I’ve seen great response in student work, parent questions, teacher consideration, when it comes to the projects that I’ve provided remotely. I’ve heard from parents who do not show up for P/T Conferences (ever). The Administrative Assistant at our school expressed that her 2nd grade daughter would not work on her art homework with her. The second grader said, “Mom,  I need Mrs. Beaulier! You don’t even know who Pablo Tabasco is!!!”  We had a private ZOOM in response to that. ~SUE BEAULIER
  • Connecting with the families in our school in new and authentic ways. A deeper understanding for the work we are all doing on both sides has strengthened the teaching and learning opportunities. Building relationships has happened through purpose and we have had more time and direct application for us to do this work. ~LINDSAY PINCHBECK
  • The “ah-hah” moment is realizing the content needs to be about something that ties itself to students, something that gives them ownership, not just a set of criteria to follow. ~CHARLIE JOHNSON
  • Students have been paying more attention to their assignments than what I anticipated. They are really getting on board! ~CARMEL COLLINS
  • I sent a hand-written card to every homeroom student in my Advisory the first day of vacation so they knew I was thinking of them. I wanted them to take a much-needed break from their devices and the card allowed that friendly reminder to occur. ~KRIS BISSON
  • Realizing that the content of what I am teaching is not as important as the connection with students. At school we are so curriculum-driven and as a music teacher, I’m always preparing for that next concert looming ahead. Now, thanks to remote learning, I realize that my students look forward to simply hearing from me…receiving my silly frog video taken along my daily walk, sharing my boomwhacker videos of pop tunes, or asking one of them about a new puppy. It’s all about sharing and realizing that we are all in this together, young and old... ~JENNI NULL
  • I would say the greatest success was the immediate networking between music teachers from across Maine and beyond. What could have been tremendously overwhelming alone became easier through sharing resources and experiences.  Teachers built trust through shared vulnerabilities. Everyone was building the plane while flying it. I was incredibly proud of my profession and the way we rose together to meet the needs of our students, all of our students. ~KATE SMITH
  • Having a parent reach out after “sitting in” on a class to thank all teachers for what we do – in her words – “These past few weeks have definitely opened my eyes to all that you guys have to do. So thank you for that. Teachers are definitely under appreciated and do more than parents know. You guys are my rock stars!” ~SUE BARRE
  • These are not my words but totally ring true! This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon! Our superintendent said this to us on day 1 of distance learning but it took me about 2 weeks to realize what that really meant. For probably the first time in my teaching career I needed to REALLY lower my expectations for what students would accomplish in terms of content and replace that with what I felt was best for them both socially and emotionally. Many kids are really struggling right now and they need relationships with their teachers more than anything. Finding a way to connect and reach as many students as possible is tricky but it needs to be at the center of everything we do in order to try to protect the well-being of our kids. ~JEN ETTER
  • The importance of creativity in teaching all subjects remotely. As teachers we are recreating our curriculum, so that we can deliver instruction remotely. We have had to think creatively to problem solve what means, technology, and resources do we have to teach our students. Many students lack art materials at home, some still have no internet access available to them. However, we are creative teachers and we find ways to connect to our students and inspire them to create art during this stressful time. ~HOPE LORD
  • I have posted a quote by Commissioner Makin above my work station: “Children’s brains are wired for learning.  Learning happens everywhere and doesn’t always require a specific plan of measurable outcome.” This ideology helps me stay focused on the goal of inspiring an art curriculum that is engaging, inspires curiosity and is rooted in the real world. I am so inspired by my children (daughters, ages 3 & 4)and their curiosities and imaginations. I try to harness that sense of wonder to inspire my curriculum. We have to let go of all of the things we are usually required to control; behavior management, rule following, accountability for learning and finishing assignments. For some that is extremely hard to move on from, but if you can you are free to create something really special for children. ~SHANNON WESTPHAL
  • As an observer, I am amazed already at the sheer numbers of resources teachers have put together and are willing to share. Never before have I seen so many businesses reach out to help – from Zoom to media outlets, online courses, apps, state and federal government, non profits and others. We are a world that connects and doesn’t wait for someone to tell us how or when. ~CATHERINE RING
  • The one ah-ha has been the reaffirmation of the importance of the arts to allow people to express their feelings, their joys, their anxieties. My students have used their art as a way to cope with the ‘stay at home order’ and it shows that the Arts goe beyond just an assignment or some standard.  ~JEFFREY ORTH
  • That students want that music connection. ~LINDA MCVETY
  • I joined a few classrooms on zoom and was surprised to see a keyboard sitting behind one of my most difficult students. It was a total surprise and really made me think about my preconceptions of our students. Now I have a new tool to connect with this kiddo-Music! ~ALLIE RIMKUNAS
  • One positive was calling a home without internet to check on an advisee. I talked to a mom for a long time. She was stressed and worried and yet doing an amazing job helping to teach her 5 children. My phone call cheered her up and helped her to realize just how well she was doing in an emergency situation. I will now call and talk to this mother each week because I have a connection with her that I might not have established except through the desire to maintain connection with students and their families. I’ve certainly learned the value of parent teacher relationships. I will never again make an assumption about a parent without truly interacting with a parent in an authentic way. ~GLORIA HEWETT
  • The Joy of Art as Positive Outreach – Adding our art show to the world of tech!!!! Parents (even some that classroom teachers had not had contact with) are responding and replying to the positive outreach from the arts department. We have been working together to gather permission to add students’ work and names online for the new VIRTUAL ART SHOW at two schools! ~LYNDA LEONAS
  • I have always taught by talking to my students face to face, building relationships, giving support and conferencing over their art projects. So now I reluctantly had to learn to use technology to do my job and I was very apprehensive. I have found (ah-ha) it can be effective and even though I  am just learning I can do it and am enjoying it with my students. ~HOLLY LEIGHTON
  • I have been very pleased to see some of my students take ownership of their own learning and embrace this opportunity to direct their own educational experience. For these students, I’ve truly felt like a guide / coach by providing them resources and materials to further fuel their own internal motivation as they choose the areas and skills to explore and develop. In my situation as a band director, I’ve told the students they need to change their mind set from “being a member of the band” to “having the opportunity to develop their own musical ability and interests”. ~BILL BUZZA
  • I have tried to keep my students in a positive mindset by adopting different assignments — I am not trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, we are not in our normal space so I am adjusting my expectations accordingly, which has worked well for me. We are doing things like video choreography, online movement classes, and Zoom interviews with dance professionals. I am actively trying NOT to do the same things I would do if we were meeting in person, I think that creates a sense of disappointment in the kids and for us, this is working well. ~EMMA CAMPBELL
  • Lesson #1 – online never sleeps. ~JEFF BEAUDRY
  • As a music educator, teaching remotely has made me realize, you can’t teach chorus with success unless you are in the same room as your students. When we make corrections, we need to make them as they happen not at a later time. We also desperately need to feel each other in the same room to make the music beautiful. A success would be the new ways I have learned how to use a variety of technology tools that I would most likely never have done. ~JANE KIRTON
  • LESS IS MORE. Initially, I had the idea that I needed to recreate school for students to access at home. After a week or two of juggling my “work from home” responsibilities with my new “homeschool Mom” responsibilities, I got a glimpse into what some schools are really asking of their families. It’s been very overwhelming at times, and so I have been able to change MY expectations and activities to help ease the burden for my students and their families. I have found success in collaborating with my colleagues to create meaningful and creative activities for my students to enjoy at home. ~DORIE TRIPP
  • When schools closed their doors and we were asked to create remote learning opportunities I was intrigued by the possibilities albeit stressed and a little confused by how it would work. I have to say one thing that I have been impressed with, is the capabilities of technology platforms.  I don’t think there is any substitution for the in-person instruction that our educational systems are built on, however technology is constantly improving to give better alternatives when that is not available, like right now. Having done my master’s program completely online, as well as working in several different school systems on different platforms, and using several different types of online programming certainly prepared me for attempting to teach remotely.  At this point in our current situation, I am not getting a lot of participation, however, I feel that I am using due diligence to provide students with many opportunities to develop their understanding and ability to communicate visually.  While we can’t teach in a traditional manner, we can still teach. Where there is a will, there is a way.  It is amazing to see what can be done that would otherwise have been said to be impossible. ~ANTHONY LUFKIN
  • I can still be surprised by my students- in particular those who were historically not as active as I would have hoped and are really doing amazing things in these challenging circumstances. I find myself hollering YES when opening e-mails. This insight will be so helpful in supporting those students in the future.~DANETTE KERRIGAN
  • It was when a student said during a Zoom meeting that she is experimenting even more with art materials.  She said, “You see this?” while pointing up, “It’s a butterfly mobile that I made with dental floss, sticks and colored paper.”  She shared it with the class with no fear at all. Students are sharing stories and ideas about making art I would have never known about otherwise. They are opening my eyes about what is possible right at home. ~LEAH OLSON
  • I made a rap (my least favorite genre of music ironically) video for my students and staff the day before our online learning started in order to encourage everyone and I know it lifted the spirits of all who viewed it.  The “ah ha” was that if we can put aside our uncomfortableness for others, the reward is priceless (I have attached the link below for you)  I will be sending out another one this Sunday providing them some encouragement for the last 7 weeks) ~DIANNE FENLASON
  • It has been so amazing to see that FINALLY Arts educators are getting included in technology training. I have had the privilege of being part of VPLTs (Virtual PLTs) with Arts educators and providing training for hundreds of educators in my District. ~BARB VINAL
  • As an elementary specialist is that it is challenging to make connections with students remotely. Recently I started joining zooms that the classroom teachers or case managers have. This has been a nice way to make a connection with the kids. As far as getting activities out to them we have been doing this through the packets that are sent home and through a facebook page that I set up. ~SAMANTHA ARMSTRONG
  • I have really been able to dig my teeth into some of the technology that I never seem to have time to really explore. I feel much more confident using various applications. I am also extremely lucky to have two musical children who are willing to help me. We’ve been able to put out material that I think is appropriate and user friendly for my students and their families. ~ANDREA WOLLSTADT
  • The personal relationships between teacher-teacher, teacher-student, and teacher-parent are the most important aspects of effective teaching. Regardless of the content I am trying to still teach my students, it’s the relationships and reaching out to others that really matters the most right now. In this new world of teaching virtually, often just a personal email, a phone call, or hosting a Zoom Meeting just to check in matters far more in the grand scheme of things than whether an assignment was handed in on time. ~IVA DAMON
  • Technology and online resources are pretty amazing if you have the time to dive into it and actually figure out how to best utilize it all for your own situation. This is SO happening for me right now, and it will positively impact me and my work for years to come. ~ROB WESTERBERG
  • I was struck by how much I miss making art with my students. This is something that I just took for granted in the whirlwind of the school day. ~ LISA INGRAHAM
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MALI Summer Institute: Day 2

August 4, 2017

Wowzer!

Kate Cook Whitt

Day 2 kicked off with an amazing STEAM presentation from Kate Cook-Whitt. The opening was titled This is your Brain on Art: Neuroscience and the Arts  – “Examining the World Through Different Lenses: Art and Science”. Kate is an Assistant Professor of Education at the Center for Innovation in Education (CIE) at Thomas College. Participants agreed that Kate’s presentation was outstanding!

Teacher Leaders participated in several great mini-sessions, some led by teacher leaders and teaching artists leaders themselves including:

  • Nancy Frolich, Social Justice mini-lesson

    Social Justice and the Power of the Arts with Nancy Frohlich from Leaps of Imagination

  • 7 Strategies of Assessment with Jeff Beaudry from USM and visual art teacher leaders Holly Leighton and Samantha Armstrong

  • National Board Certification with visual art teacher leader Danette Kerrigan

  • Connecting the STUDIO HABITS of MIND to the NATIONAL STANDARDS in the Visual Arts classroom with visual art teacher leader Jane Snider

  • Things Into Poetry session with Brian Evans-Jones

    Things Into Poetry with poet teaching artist leader Brian Evans-Jones

In addition Bronwyn Sale and John Morris provided a session called Teaching for Creativity. The afternoon brought all three strands together (teaching artist leaders, new PK-12 teacher leaders and returning PK-12 teacher leaders) for a session with teaching artist leader and potter Tim Christensen. We engaged with a small medallion of clay using the process Tim is so in tune with: sgraffito.

The rest of the afternoon was spent on leadership, advocacy, and putting it into action on the follow up plans for the next year. Strand 1, the Teaching Artist Leaders met with Jeff Poulin, electronically, from the Americans for the Arts.

Day turned into night and educators gathered around the Thomas College fire pit for drumming and a chance for Tim to fire the clay pieces created earlier in the day in the propane fire pit. This provided a wonderful opportunity to connect with colleagues from across the state. What a great way to end an outstanding day!

Strand 1 with Jeff Poulin, Americans for the Arts. Kate Smith, Design Team member, holds the computer during the question and answer period

Jennie Driscoll, Elise Bothel visual art teacher leaders

Jen Etter, music teacher leader

New teacher leaders David Coffey – music and Amy Donovan-Nucci – visual art

Tim Christensen firing the clay pieces

Fun around the fire pit!

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MAAI Resource Team

May 17, 2015

Working on documents

The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative Resource Team is furiously creating more rich resources to add to the Resource Bank that was established in June of 2014. The MAAI Resource Bank is located at http://maairesourcebank.pbworks.com.

The 2015 MAAI Resource Bank Team

The 2015 MAAI Resource Bank Team

The site has full units developed by the 2014 MAAI Resource Team and includes lessons and assessments for dance, music, theater, and visual arts. In addition, the team from last year created templates that are also included in the website for you to download and adapt for your own lessons, units, and/or assessments.

The 2015 Resource Team will be completing their work at the end of June and their resources will be added to the resources at  http://maairesourcebank.pbworks.com. The work is pretty exciting! This years resources will be a bit different and I really enjoying watching their ideas develop. Along with documents with templates, examples, and detailed information the resources will also include videos. I think you will find that they will be a great addition to the bank. The team meets periodically (electronically) to update the team of their progress and and for feedback using the MAAI Critical Friends model.

Catherine Ring, Executive Director, New England Institute for Teacher Education is the MAAI Resource Team Project Manager. The 2015 MAAI Resource Team is made up of the following:

  • Theresa Cerceo, Visual Arts Educator, grades K-12, Wisdom Middle/HS, Levesque Elementary School. MSAD #33, Frenchville
  • Patti Gordan, Music Educator, grades K-4, Raymond Elementary School, RSU #14, Raymond
  • Danette Kerrigan, Visual Arts Educator, grades 6-8, Sacopee Valley Middle School, MSAD #55, Hiram
  • John Morris, Teaching Artist, grades K-12, Independent, Bridgton
  • Jake Sturtevant, Music Educator, grades 9-12, Bonny Eagle High School, MSAD #6, Buxton
  • Sarah Ritz Swain, District-wide Director of Art, grades K-12, Westbrook School Department, Westbrook

The 2014 Maine visual and performing arts teachers who made up the first team are listed below. You can find those resources at http://maairesourcebank.pbworks.com.

  • Jennie Driscoll, Visual Arts Educator, grades 9-12, Brunswick High School
  • Beth Lambert, Performing Arts Educator, grades 9-12, Carrabec High School, MSAD #74, North Anson
  • Brian McPherson, Visual Arts Educator, grades K-5, Woodside Elementary School, MSAD #75, Topsham
  • Jenni Null, Music Educator, grades K-12, MSAD #61, Lake Region Schools, Bridgton
  • Jeff Orth, Visual Arts Educator, grades 7-12, Richmond Middle/High Schools, Richmond
  • Jake Sturtevant, Music Educator, grades 9-12, Bonny Eagle High School, MSAD #6, Standish

In addition, you can find many, many more resources on the Maine Arts Assessment website at http://www.maineartsassessment.com/.

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Danette Kerrigan’s View

June 2, 2014

Going away to understand what is happening right here in Maine arts education

Thank you to Danette Kerrigan for contributing this post and sharing her experience and her ah-ha moments while on a trip to Washington, D.C. earlier this Spring. Danette is an art teacher at Sacopee Valley Middle School.

Danette and her two colleagues in Washington, D.C. at a Chagall mosaic.

Danette (in center) and her two colleagues in Washington, D.C. at a Chagall mosaic.

As part of our district’s participation in the Schools for Excellence Grant, three colleagues and I were chosen to attend the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Teaching and Learning Conference in Washington, D.C. this past April. Our group consisted of an ELL teacher, Special Educator, First Grade teacher and myself (middle school art). We seemed an unlikely bunch, but we share a passion for teaching and learning, so in retrospect it was a pretty fantastic fit.

The amount of professional development available to us during three days was staggering. Plenary speakers ranged from Arnie Duncan and Doris Kearns Goodwin to Bill Gates and Bobby McFerrin.  While a star studded event, the content was serious, meaningful, and frankly, game changing for me and my colleagues.

There was a very clear message throughout……

Teachers are the best resources for educational change and Teacher Leaders can be the conduit for that change.

I attended a number of sessions devoted entirely to leadership. One in particular, Teacherprenuers: Leading teachers that don’t leave was amazing and featured 2013’s Teacher of the Year, Jeff Charbonneau. As I listened to him, he could have been any one of the teacher leaders of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI). His passion, innovation and energy have changed his high school and district by enabling students to receive as many as 27 college credits in the sciences. He shared how when he created a hybrid position for himself that splits teaching with coordinating the college interaction within the district he had to give up nine other extra curricular positions do so. Just as so many of us with a passion for change, he had spread himself quite thin.

I also attended a session with Jen Nash, held by the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards for a glimpse of those newly developed National Core Core Standards and the different plans for support of them. I know that many of us have seen and explored their site, as well as taken part in their public review.  What I would like to share with all of you are my observations about the presentation and discussions therein.

As I listened to the speakers present and the audience questions I was struck by a thought. People were speaking in a way that lead me to believe that they are still scared, searching for the thing that is going to cement relevance for the arts in education. In all of the meetings and workshops that I have attended for MAAI, the tone was different. I thought carefully about what was being said and I realized that MAAI and its members have moved on to a more sophisticated advocacy. No longer are we on the convincing side of persuasion. We don’t have to extol the virtues of an arts education. WE PROVE IT.

We do so every day with actions both within our schools, districts and statewide. With the many presentations we have brought to others we are providing a road map to the future of the advocacy of the arts. During the presentation I thought, MAAI is so far beyond this!

Another sneaking thought crept in….we are not fearful.

MAAI is making strides I don’t think others are. I think we are making a presence and setting the stage for advocacy that is based in fact. I think we are unique and powerful. I want to let Argy and Jeff and Catherine and Rob and all of our people know that we are on the right track….

It was an amazing conference and I encourage any of you to try to attend in the future. But know, we have a solid route to leadership and success in advocacy for the Arts right here in Maine.

To become a teacher leader with the MAAI, applications are now available at this link with a deadline of today, June 2. All teacher leaders need to attend the New England Summit on Arts Education. In addition, all educators are invited to attend the Summit being held at USM, Portland, July 29-31. Registration is available at this link.   Please email Argy Nestor at argy.nestor@maine.gov if you have any questions. Thanks for considering this opportunity!

 

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Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Danette Kerrigan

May 28, 2013

This is the 33rd in a series of blog posts telling arts teacher’s stories. The first 19 were told last year by the phase I Maine Arts Assessment Initiative teacher leaders. The series continues with the stories from the phase II teacher leaders. These posts contain a set of questions to provide the opportunity for you to read educators stories and to learn from others.

SONY DSCDanette Kerrigan is a Visual Arts Teacher at Sacopee Valley Middle School. She has been teaching in the district for seven years, initially as a traveling elementary teacher in four schools, for two years. Danette then moved into the middle school and currently teaches grades 5-8, approximately 360 students. Her main responsibilities include those grades and she also assists in Response to Intervention (RTI) services in grade six.

What do you like best about being an art educator?

There are moments of such clarity when students gain insight, learn a new skill; experience the joy of success in the shadow of a failure.  It is a privilege to be apart of those moments.

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

  1. The passion and commitment of the teacher.
  2. A well thought curriculum that is multidimensional, interdisciplinary and accountable.
  3. Students!

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

Assessment has been monumental in my ability to provide a rich and individualized experience for students. It has informed my instruction and helped me understand the impact of that instruction.

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

Getting involved with the Arts Assessment Initiative came at a crucial time in my career. That 5-6 year period where the shine has come off a little bit, where the politics of education seems to bite a little harder. I was beginning to languish and was primed for being re-energized as a teacher. Being involved in the initiative has re-ignited my passion for the quality of my students’ experience, a renewed energy to reach beyond the school day and explore the possibilities of things I haven’t even yet thought of. It has informed my learning and supported my work as a National Board candidate. It has pushed me to reach out and network with others so that I can be reminded of all the reasons we do what we do.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I am most proud of the experiences with my students. Our district is one of the districts working with teacher evaluation and we are constantly reflecting on goals and outcomes. One of the reflections I have been working with this year has been…”What do I want them to learn?”

As a test, I asked a student…”What do you think you learn in this class? ”  She responded, “I learn to think for myself.  I learn to try something I haven’t tried before. I learn that even if something doesn’t work out, I can get something from it.”

It made my day.

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

My inability to say “no”.

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 truly put much hard work into creating an environment in my classroom where students can have respite in their day, whether it is during the art class, or recess, or free time. I believe we all need a place to go where the work we do is valued and that we are appreciated. We all need a safe and welcoming space to create, and not simply art; middle school students create friendships, character and sometimes a little chaos. It is work, it isn’t just circumstances or class lists or the luck of the draw that creates an environment that students can grow, I have to facilitate it.

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

Take care of yourself financially. Put 10-15% of your money away every paycheck and after a few months, you’ll never miss it. Plan ahead. Advocate every chance you get.

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

Pay off my daughter’s student loans; they are just starting off in their lives and already in so much debt. Then mine. Set up a charity. Invest the rest.

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

I certainly hope not, I’m working on the bucket list now!

Thank you Danette for telling your story!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Join MaryEllen, Jake, Danette

March 29, 2013

Maine Arts Assessment Initiative

MAAI
Maine Arts Assessment Initiative
Regional Workshop
April 3, 2013
Bonny Eagle Middle School
5:00-7:30
Join local arts educators in Dance, Music and Visual Arts
for a FREE workshop, including potluck dinner and networking opportunities!

Bring some food to share, and learn about what our colleagues are doing in their classrooms. Three workshops will be offered simultaneously in separate rooms that address innovations in assessment and best practices in the classroom.

Workshop #1

MOVIES TOWARDS BETTER ASSESSMENT, Mary Ellen Schaper

What do Netflix and this workshop have in common? Learn to use tools on your MLTI device to create formative and summative assessment that you can watch on demand.  (open to any art form and/or physical education)

Workshop #2

Individual Assessments in an Ensemble, Jake Sturtevant

Participants will learn how to use technology to help with individual assessments, sharing, and keeping track of them over an extended period of time.  The workshop will focus on using Quicktime, networked shared folders, and Bento to categorize files and assessment information. If time permits, participants may also explore web based recording and sharing including SoundCloud (which would require a free registration to use).

Workshop #3

Assessment, A Self Help Program for the Art Teacher,  Danette Kerrigan
A journey to understanding the power of authentic assessment and using technology to manage student product and track student growth.

RSVP:
(OR Please  contact any of the teacher leaders for more information about the event.)
Mary Ellen Schaper: mschaper@bonnyeagle.org
Jake Sturtevant: jsturtevant@bonnyeagle.org
Danette Kerrigan: dkerrigan@sad55.org

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Danette

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Jake

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MaryEllen

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Maine Association for Middle Level

October 29, 2012

MAMLE

This past Thursday and Friday I attended the MAMLE conference at Sugarloaf where arts educators were well received in the workshops they presented on a variety of topics. I have included a bit of information below on each of the sessions where the arts teachers presented.

Allied Arts in the Standards World

Sacopee Valley Middle School art teacher and Maine Arts Assessment Initiative teacher leader Danette Kerrigan and Medomak Middle School music teacher Julie Sanborn participated in a panel presentation on the work they are doing at their respective middle schools and in their classrooms. The other panel members Lisa Hogan from Mt. Ararat, Barbara Greenstone from Boothbay and Phil Brookhouse from MLTI also made connections to the arts. Friend of arts education, Jill Spencer facilitated the session.

Panel members: Lisa Hogan, Julie Sanborn, Barbara Greenstone, Phil Brookhouse, Danette Kerrigan

Steel Drum Band

Julie also presented a session with the Pantastics, the school’s steel drum band. The band performs at community events and has traveled to other schools and events in and out of Maine. The students played several pieces at the start of the conference as well as in an individual workshop. Other middle school teachers were invited to play one of the drums as well. The members of the band promised to write a blog post on their involvement playing the steel drums. Look for that in the future.

How Can I Teach for Creativity?

Danette was joined by MAAI leadership team member Bronwyn Sale from Bates College for a session on creativity. They made quite a team with Bronwyn presenting foundational information on the creative process, creativity, and creative problem solving. Danette shared the practical components of addressing the topic in a classroom setting and provided participants with hands-on exercises including SCAMPER which stands for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Magnify, Put to Other Uses, Eliminate (or Minify), and Rearrange (or Reverse).

Bronwyn Sale and Danette Kerrigan

Service Learning and Music Appreciation

Leonard Middle School music teacher Shianne Priest had students join her to share a service learning project that she her music appreciation class has undertaken for two years now. The 8th graders this past year raised $1600 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. They collaborated to write the lyrics for a song that 9th grader Lily Muscatell took a step further and wrote the music for and performed. Selling the CD was one part but hearing about their learning and how the experience affected them was amazing.

Shianne and Lily listen while the 8th graders explained the project.

Thank you to everyone for their fabulous work and sharing the opportunities that you afford Maine students!

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Schools That Shine – WCSH6

May 9, 2012

Sacoppee Valley Middle School

“Sacopee Valley Middle School is fighting hunger in their community with the first annual Empty Bowls and Fine Arts Showcase. As part of this community service project, students stay after school to craft clay bowls. These bowls are symbolic of the those who are hungry in our own country, state, and community. They are sold the eventing ofthe event and all proceeds are donated to the local food pantries. This project is headed by Danette Kerrigan, Art teacher at Sacopee Valley Middle School.”

You can view the clip by clicking here.

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