Posts Tagged ‘HundrED’

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HundrED Youth Ambassadors

July 3, 2019

Share with students

Are you a student reading this OR do you know students who are interested in participating in making positive change? If so, watch this video, join Jordy, and contact HundrED and apply to participate in the HundrED Youth Ambassador program.

 

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Argy’s Journey Continues

June 4, 2019

Walking down memory lane

What a joy it has been during the last few weeks to reflect at the 43 years of my educational pathway. I am fortunate to have selected a career that has provided learning experiences that have expanded my thinking and understanding of how individual learners learn and how we are part of a world of learning connections. I have met and worked (and played) with amazing educators from Maine and around the world.

NEXT STEPS

So, where am I headed next? I have many ideas of what I want to do but I’m going to start by building on the natural next steps.

  • I am working towards creating a fund for Maine arts educators and teaching artists to travel and learn. I’ve had amazing opportunities to travel and every one of them has influenced my creative thinking and doing. I want to support educators who have dreams to travel and learn. I know that when a person returns from traveling that it impacts the learning environment which has the potential to plant seeds and open doors for students. I’m working on the idea with big thinkers and funders. Once I work out the details I will ask you to contribute to the fund. If everyone gives a little we can build the fund more quickly.
  • I will be serving as the director of the middle school at Sweetland School, an arts integrated school in Hope. Lindsay Pinchbeck started the Reggio Emilia inspired school five years ago at the Sweet Tree Arts Center. I have served as an advisor to the school and am excited about the possibilities for the students entering middle school. I will support the teaching team and do some arts integrated teaching as well.
  • In 2016 Lindsay and I traveled to Mpamila Village in Malawi to provide teacher workshops on arts integration. Of course, I gained more than I offered and for the last 3 years continued to support the teachers with 8 other educators providing workshops. My work will go on with Go! Malawi, an organization in Maine that was started by a former student. In July 2020 we will guide the Mpamila teachers to create their own workshops to facilitate at a country wide conference.
  • Malawi led to the innovative work of HundrED and I will continue to share innovative work of the organization. I plan to return to Helsinki this fall for the summit and am especially excited about their Youth Ambassador program.

I will continue to blog through the summer on this blog and communicate with the Maine arts education list-serv about the progress of my work. Please communicate with me at meartsed@gmail.com or through the Maine Arts Education blog below.

WHERE I’VE BEEN 

Like anyone in education we know the paychecks aren’t huge but my life has been rich with opportunities. From the ‘ah-ha’ moments of an individual student’s accomplishment to the excitement of a teacher connecting with other educators and everything in between. When I was teaching every day one thing became clear – hanging out in a middle school art classroom was a continuous learning opportunity and I loved it. My students and colleagues taught me and helped grow my skills and passions as a human being. I received so much than I gave. Being part of an interdisciplinary teaching team where visual art was valued by others as much as I valued it was amazing! When I was recognized in 1995 as the Maine Teacher of the Year I realized how fortunate I was to be honored for such humbling work.

When I left my art room after 30 years it wasn’t easy, teaching was what I knew and loved. But the challenge helped me see more clearly that my mission as an educator was taking a turn. My own son said to me: “Mom, your classroom is just going to get a little larger.” And he was ‘spot on’ (as Rob Westerberg says) about that. Once I fully committed to the work at the state I realized that my “teacher lens” was to guide me. I knew what I needed and wanted as a teacher so I honored that and moved forward collaborating with others to make that happen. Visiting hundreds of arts classrooms in schools across the state was an incredible learning opportunity. The visits led to the 1200 member list-serv and daily communication on this blog.

I AM GRATEFUL

Along the way others continued to collaborate and provide support. I am soooo grateful for the many connections, some of which I mention below.

Carol Trimble

Carol Trimble who was the executive director of Maine Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE) was supportive from day one when I arrived at DOE. Together we brought back the state wide arts education conference and I helped with the first state wide arts education census and other MAAE projects. Carol was and continues to be an incredible mentor with a clear mind who can articulate ideas like no one I know.

Many of you remember David Patterson who sadly passed away from cancer in July 2014 at the age of 50. His wisdom and encouragement taught me to believe in the power of communication to form the community. He pushed, questioned, taught and encouraged me every step of the way. This blog wouldn’t be if it wasn’t for him.

Anne Kofler was the elementary art teacher who taught ‘downstairs’ while I taught middle school ‘upstairs’. She inspired me to go the extra mile and made me a better person in so many ways. She continued to support me, after I left the classroom, to take on the ‘big challenges’ and ‘lean in’. All the while herself, taking on cancer, which eventually took her away in May 2016. Her love for using her travels to inspire her students continues to impact me.

Catherine, myself, Rob

Catherine Ring and Rob Westerberg took a chance when I invited them to travel to NH in the summer of 2010 for the New England Institute on Assessment. I am so grateful that they did – I continue to learn from both of them! Together we created the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) by listening to the needs of the field, reviewing the research, brainstorming and planning. The first MAAI leadership team represented PreK-higher education and helped launch the idea without funding in place. There were tears in my eyes when I heard Jeff Beaudry say “we can sleep on the floor and eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches if we have to, there’s no turning back now.” And, launch we did with 18 amazing teacher leaders at Maine College of Art for the 4-day summer institute. At the end of the institute the teacher leaders made it clear that we weren’t moving into Phase 2 without a place for them.

Phase I Teacher Leaders

Since that first summer, the initiative has grown into a strong leadership program, influencing and inspiring, and the shift in assessment practices around the state took hold. When we traveled to Washington, D.C. for the Teach to Lead summit in August 2015 MAAI shifted to the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI). Teachers with high expectations for themselves and a passion for learning – teaching other teachers has been the foundation of the success. Educators willing to share their ideas, use research, build on their knowledge, and support the network has worked well for Maine. Title II funds helped to support the summer institutes, critical friend days, mega conferences, winter retreats, stipends for participants, and statewide conferences over the next several years. The partnerships and associations with the Maine visual and performing arts organizations and institutions has been an enormous part – too many to name all of them. Thank you all!

In 2013 i moved to the Maine Arts Commission and the work (and play) of MALI expanded to include teaching artists and community arts organizations. They have provided a broader view of arts education. We’ve all been enriched by their participation in MALI. Linking arms with the greater community of arts and arts education is another way to support learners of all ages in their educational paths. I am especially grateful to the 108 teacher leaders and teaching artist leaders who continue to do amazing work in arts education and as artists!

There are so many more individuals and organizations to thank but this blog post could go on for pages. The people I mentioned are ‘giants’ and every day I stand on their shoulders and fortunately continue to learn from them!

BEYOND MAINE

Throughout the 13 years at the state I’ve had many opportunities to connect with and learn from others outside of Maine. Presentations and workshops at regional and national conferences about MALI, serving in leadership roles with the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education and the State Arts Agency Arts Education Directors, and serving on the educational council of the Americans for the Arts have provided me ongoing chances to learn from others.

Mpamila teachers in Malawi

My work in Malawi has been amazing. I originally emailed a former student about her work with Go! Malawi and asked if she could use my skill set. From there the idea developed into creating arts integration workshops. I am forever grateful to Lindsay Pinchbeck who agreed to travel to Malawi in 2016. The collaboration that we’ve formed has influenced all parts of my life. She has definitely made me a better teacher, artist, and person. Spending 10 days providing arts integration workshops for the teachers in Mpamila Village opened my eyes to so much about the world. For the last 3 years we continue to support the teacher workshops and have had 8 educators use their expertise in Malawi. In addition we’ve sewn hundreds of dresses and pants for the children in Mpamila School. This work has taken place with friends, family, and colleagues from all over Maine and in other states across the country. I am so grateful to the many who continue to contribute by sewing and contributing to purchase the materials needed.

Malawi led to HundrED when our Malawi project was selected and Lindsay and I were named Ambassadors for the program. We traveled to Helsinki, Finland last November for the HundrED summit and met people from all over the world doing AMAZING work. The network is expanding and I encourage all of you to check out their site and consider applying to be an Innovator, deadline June 30.

CONTINUE – STAY IN TOUCH

I hope that our paths will continue to cross since my work in arts education will continue. Please feel free to reach out using my gmail address at meartsed@gmail.com. I will be blogging throughout the summer and perhaps beyond. Your work in arts education is critical to continue to make the world a better place. Thank you!

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MALI Winter Retreat

March 6, 2019

Amazing day

The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) held the annual Winter Retreat on Saturday at Waterville Senior High School. Thank you to music educator and teacher leader Sue Barre who provided and arranged for a space for us to meet, exchange and share ideas, and most importantly to learn from each other. This is the foundation of the MALI community.

2019 MALI Winter Retreat

I was curious about words that are related to community. On a recent google search I found the following: amity, benevolence, cordiality, friendliness, friendship, goodwill, kindliness. civility, comity, concord, harmony, rapport, charity, generosity. affinity, compassion, empathy, sympathy. chumminess, familiarity, inseparability, intimacy, nearness. affection, devotion, fondness, love. In Japanese the word is コミュニティ pronounced Komyuniti. In Greek the word is κοινότητα and pronounced koinótita. The Greek community is directly related to the culture and emerged and rose to great heights in 525 BC to 350 BC. The traditions that exist today are built on the original ideas.

When MALI educators come together the opportunity is about connecting with people, their idea, and all of those words in the previous paragraph that I found online. In addition, new learning is offered and depending on individual experiences educators enter the conversation from their own place. Everyone is a learner no matter how much experience they have with teaching, learning and/or living. MALI teacher leaders and teaching artist leaders range in teaching experience from 2 years to 49 years.

On Saturday we revisited the work that teacher leaders and teaching artist leaders have underway in this phase (8) of MALI. During this session we looked at the MALI “This We Believe” statements that are each defined. The titles include Arts Integration, Advocacy, Assessment Literacy, Creativity, Effective Educators: Teaching and Learning, Student-Centered Learning, Teacher Leadership and Social Responsibility. The revised definitions will be posted soon for each topic. I’m sure you’ll all agree that these are critical topics to the success of teaching and learning in arts education.

We were fortunate to have Brittany Ray, Director of TREE (Transforming Rural Experience in Education) speak with us about ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and how trauma interrupts the brains capacity to learn. Heavy stuff but so worthwhile to learn more. I will write more about this in later blog posts.

We had a chance to paint using Process Painting as a jumping off place. Listening to music and painting provided an opportunity to think about where we were as educators. And, the day finished out with information on HundrED and the resources and opportunities the organization provides. It’s difficult not to get excited about an organization that believes that the purpose of education is to help every child flourish, no matter what happens in life. HundrED is looking for Youth Ambassadors so if you have students who are interested in leading check out their Youth Ambassadors webpage.

The last of the Phase 8 MALI Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders stories will be posted this next Tuesday on the blog. I hope you’ve had a chance to read about their journey’s.

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In Today’s News

January 19, 2019

Art in Education Triangle – Maine, Malawi, Helsinki

Article written by Dagney C. Ernest, for Village Soup, January 16, 2019. “We teach because the future belongs to learners.” CLICK HERE to read Dagney’s article about Lindsay Pinchbeck and Argy Nestor’s trip to Helsinki and the connection between Maine, Malawi, and Helsinki.

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My Helsinki – Part 3

November 21, 2018

The days were full

This is one of a series of blog posts about the trip that Lindsay Pinchbeck and I took at the beginning of November 2018. We were invited as Ambassadors to attend the HundrED Summit in Helsinki. We were inspired by the amazing educators who shared their innovations in education.

Each day was live streamed and fortunately archived and made available for free to the world. Along with the events being available so are the 100 innovations that were selected this year. The innovations are available on the HundrED website and this short video below provides an overview of HundrED that explains their mission.

We Seek and Share Inspiring Innovations in K12 Education – HundrED

HundrED’s manifesto – 

The purpose of education is to help every child flourish, no matter what happens in life.

In a fast changing world focusing on traditional academic skills will remain important, but that is not enough. To thrive as global citizens, children must be equipped with a breadth of skills.

To learn more about the content of the summit please go to the HundrED website and click at the top of the page on each of the dates – 7.11 – 8.11 – 9.11 to see the live streamed presentations. These will provide you with a clear picture of what took place.

More blog posts will follow with details of the learning opportunity that took place in early November.

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Lindsay’s Helsinki – Part 2

November 20, 2018

Lindsay’s notes

This is the second post about our travels to Helsinki for the HundrED Innovation Summit earlier in November. Yesterday’s post gives you a glimpse. Today’s post, below, was written by Lindsay Pinchbeck who is the founder and director of Sweet Tree Arts Center and Sweetland School located in Hope. Thank you for your contribution Lindsay – in her own words…. 

In 2016 I traveled to Malawi with Argy. 

We shared professional development with 12 teachers from the village of Mpamila and neighboring primary schools. We introduced arts integration ideas and used the arts to learn and build community. The experience was life changing, and pushed me to reconsider my own teaching practice and my daily actions. I continue to believe travel gives us the ability to step back and see with fresh eyes what we knew all along, it allows us to trust our intuition, see new perspectives and build new friendships and new ideas. 

On the flight home Argy and I began dreaming about other places we might travel to keep growing and learning. Finland, the antithesis of Malawi, was on the list. 

Two years after our trip to Malawi (last week), Argy and I had the great privilege to travel to Helsinki for the HundrED education summit. HundrED’s manifesto – 

The purpose of education is to help every child flourish, no matter what happens in life.

In a fast changing world focusing on traditional academic skills will remain important, but that is not enough. To thrive as global citizens, children must be equipped with a breadth of skills.

We were invited to be a part of their Ambassadors program to share our arts integration work in Malawi. 

Discussions around ideas of implementing change and many inspiring projects and innovations were shared. It was a highly positive environment, with passionate educators focused on implementing new practices to engage mind, body and soul in relevant work. A focus on sustainable practices was clear and a strong message of student centered work and listening and responding to our children was heard loud and clear. Many educators shared passionately their ideas to better the world through their efforts as educators. The invented word of the conference was ‘Humblitious” created by HundrED founder and creative director Saku Tuominen. Innovations and Educators were indeed both humble and ambitious.

In my journal I noted down these key questions and ideas swirling around the summit. Notes were gathered from discussions, presentations and panels. Many of the ideas and conversations felt so supportive of my own work in a school and community arts center that honors questions over answers, new thinking, listening deeply, and valuing each experience.

What kind of attitude is needed to make change happen? – Listen, be open, We know so little, don’t assume we know anything.

How can we support every child to flourish? – Always ask this question

What is the purpose of school?- Self discovery and Life long Learning

Honor the past, change with the children, make room for new ideas

Change with the children and listen to the children. 

Every drop of water leads to an ocean of change. 

Humbilitious – Humble and Ambitious ideas. 

I do not assume to believe any of these ideas are easy to put into practice and I do not assume to have the answers but in my own work and practice in the arts and education I know I have grown and continue to grow each day by not knowing the way, reflecting back and trusting the process. More than anything the practice of learning, then relearning and learning again how to listen to the children and valuing them as capable, active contributors to our world is the work that is the most challenging and most rewarding.

Lindsay Pinchbeck can be reached at sweettreearts@gmail.com

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My Helsinki – Part 1

November 19, 2018

What an experience

Pinch me – is this real? Over and over that question entered my mind as I set out for Helsinki, Finland for the HundrED Innovation Summit during the week of November 4th. It was an honor to be invited to participate in the summit. Lindsay Pinchbeck, Sweet Tree Arts founder and director of Sweetland School and member of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Design Team and I were selected as Ambassadors for the HundrED organization. I arrived early so I could take in as much as possible.

I’ve been asked dozens of questions about the trip so I’m writing a series of blog posts to share this amazing educational experience. In this post I share some of the “exploring” parts of the trip as well as the school visit.

BOSTON – REYKAVIK – COPENHAGEN – HELSINKI

Nicholas and I with my Danish family members

My son, Nicholas and I left Boston on Friday evening. We had a quick plane change in Iceland and flew on to Copenhagen, arriving mid-morning. I studied in Copenhagen during my junior year in college (MANY moons ago) and lived with a Danish family. My Danish mother, now 87 years old, met us for lunch with some of the family. It was such a treat to see them and have Nicholas meet them! Afterwards we started walking through Copenhagen along the Strøget – the pedestrian, car free shopping area, down to the 17th-century waterfront –  Nyhavn, and to visit the bronze statute, the Little Mermaid sitting at the waters edge, created by Edvard Eriksen. We found a lovely spot outside to eat – most of the restaurants have outdoor heaters – pretty much ignoring the cold and damp air.

Nyhavn

We stayed one night and boarded the plane the next afternoon for Helsinki. We stayed in an Airbnb that was located in a short walking distance to almost everywhere we needed to be. I was happy to have Nicholas along since he has traveled extensively with his back pack. He had done some research and we were out and about the next day learning about the history and cultural opportunities. We stopped at two beautiful churches, very different from each other. The Uspenski Cathedral which originally was Russian Orthodox and is now Finnish Orthodox. It sits high on a hill overlooking the city and makes the brick facade look monumental. The second, a Lutheran church – delightfully elegant with hundreds of steps leading up to the entrance. Inside we found simple, clean curved lines and strong columns. On our way out we  met the Boys Choir Director and learned that the 500 member choir representing ages 15-25 has performed throughout the world. I had to imagine their sound in the church that seats 1,200. I was told that the Finnish were serious people but if you asked them a question they were warm and wonderfully helpful. I found that advise to be very accurate so I didn’t hesitate talking to people to learn as much as possible.

Paavo Johannes Nurmi was a Finnish middle-distance and long-distance runner. He was nicknamed the “Flying Finn” as he dominated distance running in the early 20th century. This statue is outside the Olympic stadium.

As we continued walking we passed the presidential palace, historical monuments, the outdoor markets, and stopped at the amazing Helsinki Music Centre (just 7 years old). On to the site of the 1952 summer Olympics where they are refurbishing the well used stadium, tracks and other venues. We were wowed at the sculpture that honors the

Finnish composer and violinist Jean Sibelius (8 December 1865 – 20 September 1957). Even though Sibelius created little music for organs the piece is made to look like stylized organ pipes. It consists of 600 hollow steel pipes welding together. Visiting the piece as the day light disappeared made it all the more dramatic.

The late afternoon was chilly and damp, and the sky was grey so we headed for a delightful small cabin called Cafe Regatta. Located just next to the water it was originally built to hold the Paulig family’s fishnets. In 2002 it became a cafe and it may have been chilly outside but the wood stove warmed up the inside and the hot chocolate was a wonderful helper. We actually sat outside by the fire pit as the sun set. We imagined what it must be like sitting outside during the summer watching the boats on a lazy afternoon.

Interestingly enough Helsinki is a city of about 631,695 (2016) and Copenhagen (2017) has about 602,481. Helsinki has a Design District, several amazing museums, lots of shopping, and great little restaurants. Later in the week, Lindsay and I visited the Ateneum Art Museum with new artists and many well preserved older works as well. The place was packed – the Finnish out and about enjoying their Saturday. We stumbled upon the open studio where everyone was invited to create styrofoam prints. Young and old mixed in and all seriously focused. We had a delightful meal at the museum which included the best salmon chowder I’ve ever had! We visited a great little stationery store and were directed to a wonderful fabric store called Eurokangas where we bought some Marimekko fabric. It is beautiful!

JUMPED RIGHT IN 

I was invited to the HundrED Master Class where we had the chance to hear from amazing educators from India, New Zealand, California, and Arizona. Fascinating conversations over a delicious lunch of reindeer with educators from Australia, Hawaii, Brazil, New Zealand and Helsinki! I was so humbled. Their stories were amazing – everyone was abuzz sharing ideas and their passion for making a difference with their innovations. The class was held at Supercell which is one of the sponsors of HundrED. We entered an amazing space where we took off our shoes and stashed our coats. It oozed with imagination and prompted everyone to connect!

SCHOOL VISIT

I had a choice of visiting several different schools and chose one that had a focus on visual arts, digital arts, and Chinese. Meilahti Comprehensive School: ages 13-15, grades 7-9, 468 students, 45 teachers, 9 other staff. The 7th graders are grouped by interest and in grades 8 and 9 students select from a variety of options to focus. For example, an 8th grader can focus 7 of their periods per week in visual arts or music. The principal was a gracious host, sharing and answering our questions and was very well connected to the students.

Meilahti Comprehensive School music class

In addition to Finnish, 6 other languages are offered. Everywhere we went in Helsinki everyone spoke English very well. There are 24 different nationalities and languages represented in the school and homes. The school focus was on the success of each student with this years emphasis on Positive Interaction. Grade 7: Cultural, interaction and self-expression, grade 8: Managing daily life and taking care of oneself, and grade 9: working life and active citizenship. They follow a national curriculum but there is a ton of freedom so the teachers can determine how to deliver the curriculum and how much they focus on what. Teachers are trusted and supported to offer the best learning for students. In turn their empowerment encourages student empowerment. In Finland teaching is well respected and it is competitive to get a job teaching.

The school visit was definitely a highlight of the trip. Tomorrow’s blog post will be written by Lindsay where she’ll provide her reflections on the trip. And, the the post after that will dive into the actual summit.

Art work on display at Meilahti Comprehensive School

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