Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

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Great Leaders

June 23, 2014

TED talk Simon Sinek

This is an interesting TED talk that I am certain that some of you will find interesting. Simon Sinek talks about leadership and how leaders inspire cooperation, trust and change. Hopefully you will think about who you work with that perhaps does one or more of these and what your place is in your school, district, and/or state level in arts education.

 

 

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March Webinar Overview

March 28, 2014

Facilitated by Catherine and Rob

This was written by York High School music educator and Maine Arts Assessment Initiative leadership team member Rob Westerberg as a follow-up to the webinar held on March 5.

RobCatherineStatewide confOct11On Wednesday March 5th, Catherine Ring and I facilitated the first of four MAAI sponsored Webinars for 2014. This one was on “Outreach and Arts Education Leadership”. We were joined by guests Shannon Campell, visual arts educator from Ellsworth High School, Pam Kinsey, music educator for the Easton schools, and by Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education from the Maine Arts Commission. After tying up a few technology blips, we ended up having a great fifty minute dialogue around the primary topics of the day:

  • What is “outreach” as it pertains to the arts?
  • What does “leadership” in the arts look like?
  • How has the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative worked to develop both outreach and leadership?
  • Why are outreach and leadership essential?
  • Implications and next steps for Maine’s Arts educators

Takeaways were many, but the essence of the broad message is that we have to be proactive, not reactive as we move forward in Arts Education in Maine, and many ideas, strategies and approaches are at our fingertips for doing so. Along those lines, we have put together a pair of meeting plans that you can implement with your colleagues during professional development days in your own schools and districts. Be sure to utilize these if you are looking for professional development ideas or an alternate agenda item for your own district’s Inservice Day; bring your colleagues together and use the webinar archive and the meeting plan to help lead the discussion.

To access the webinar archive: http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/MAAI-Webinars
To access the meeting plan for this session:

The next Webinar will take place on Tuesday, April 8th from 3:30 to 4:30 as Catherine and I dig deeper into “Visual and Performing Arts and the Common Core”. More details and instructions on how to log in will be made available shortly. Please be sure to join us if you can for a topic that certainly impacts us all.

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Maine Arts Assessment Initiative Webinars

February 25, 2014

Webinar series starts Wednesday, March 5

Arts educators Rob Westerberg and Catherine Ring will be hosting the first webinar in a series of four during the next four months. This is the second series offered through the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI).  The webinar:

Outreach and Arts Education Leadership

 Wednesday, March 5, 2014

3:30 – 4:30

Primary discussions will be based around:

  • Why are outreach and leadership essential to the success of visual and performing arts in the 21st century?
  • How has the Maine Arts Assessment initiative worked to developed both?
  • What does “leadership” look like in the Arts?
  • What is outreach as it pertains to Arts Assessment and Leadership?

As the Maine Arts Assessment continues in its third year, both of these topics have been focal points. Engaging participants in dialogue around these, and discovering how they can better engage both elements themselves will be takeaways from this webinar.

rob-and-catherine

Please be sure to join them for what promises to be an engaging, insightful hour on the topic that will continue to impact every one of us as arts educators in the state of Maine!

Watch the blog and the Maine Arts Education list-serv during the next week for the details to learn how to join the webinar.

Future webinars are scheduled for April 8, May 7, and June 4. One contact hour is available to participants. All webinars will be archived if you can not be present for the live webinar.

MAAI is an initiative of the Maine Department of Education with contributing partners: Maine Arts Commission, Maine Art Education Association, Maine Music Educators Association, New England Institute for Teacher Education, University of Southern Maine, Maine Learning Technology Initiative, and the Maine Alliance for Arts and Education.

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Happy New Year!

January 1, 2013

Reflecting

I have taken some time today to reflect on 2012 and realize how fortunate I am to work with incredible arts educators in Maine and throughout the United States. Educators who are dedicated, passionate, and fully committed to providing an outstanding arts education for every student!

The year has been filled with many successes, some challenges, and sad losses! I wish I had time to go back through all the blog posts that I wrote in 2012 to help me remember all of the successes, challenges, and losses but instead I will provide the highlights.

Successes

The biggest success is the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI). The second phase of MAAI officially kicked off in the spring with the identification of 20 teacher leaders. These arts educators joined the 18 teacher leaders from phase one. They participated in a 4-day institute in August at the Maine College of Art (MECA) in Portland where they expanded their knowledge in the areas of assessment, leadership, technology, and creativity. They have created workshops that are being delivered throughout this school year at the regional and mega-regional level. (Registration for the mega-regional workshops is now open – FREE and contact hours are available.) The topics of the sessions are as varied as the individual teacher leaders. I am so grateful for their commitment to the work that is making a difference for arts teachers and in arts classrooms across Maine each day. The impact on students learning is amazing!

And, uniquely the Mega-regional workshops are being co-sponsored with the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI). At these workshops their will be at least one session that is integrated with an MLTI integrator to provide a first time opportunity for educators!

The MAAI would not be possible without the commitment of the leadership team who have consistently shepherded the work. A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to Catherine Ring, Rob Westerberg, Jeff Beaudry, Bronwyn Sale, Pam Kinsey, and Matt Doiron. Their willingness to lead has made a difference! Close to 1000 arts educators have taken advantage of the professional development opportunities during the last year and a half.

The MAAI is aligned with the Maine Department of Education’s Strategic Plan: Education Evolving: Maine’s Plan for Putting Learners First.

In July Catherine and I flew to Denver for a national conference on arts assessment held at the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. I was proud to let others know of the grassroots efforts that Maine arts educators are involved with.

Art educator Chris Milliken, on sabbatical from Wells schools, has been following and doing research on the MAAI during this past year. He will join art teacher Lisa Marin and present a session on their findings at the Mega-regional workshop at Ellsworth High School on March 29, 2013.

Literacy is a statewide focus with the Literacy for ME being launched this fall and arts education has stepped up to become an integral part of the cross content literacy connections. Arts educators Jen Nash, Suzanne Goulet, and Lisa Gilman have been facilitating literacy webinars. Suzanne is also co-facilitating face to face sessions.

We have had 4 wonderful art exhibits at the Maine Department of Education during this past year from Maranacook Community Schools, Bangor Elementary and Middle Schools, Lake Region High School, and Messalonskee High School. Along with the exhibits we had receptions at the Blaine House with music and dance performances from each school/district. Participating and collaborating are First Lady Ann LePage, the Maine State Board of Education, and the Commissioner of Education, Steve Bowen.

First Lady Ann LePage partnered with the Barbara Bush Foundation to create a new baby journal to present to parents at hospitals across Maine when their babies are born. We did a call for K-8 artwork and 867 young artists submitted work. Thirty two pieces were selected to be published in the book which will be completed in June 2014.

The Maine arts education list-serv has grown to 1200 and the meartsed blog is growing as a source of information, not only for arts educators but for all educators. If you are not on the list-serv but would like to be, please email me at argy.nestor@maine.gov. On December 5, 2013 the blog set a record high day of 976 visitors. And a record high week happened during that same time of 2508 visitors. Thank you for taking the time to visit and informing others about what is available on the Maine arts education blog.

Challenges

  • Common Core standards for ELA and Math were released this year and teachers are being asked to incorporate them into their curricula.
  • We are waiting patiently for the next iteration of the national arts standards to be released in March March 2013.
  • Arts education in Maine is underserved. As the economy continues to be a challenge so is providing adequate arts education programs and teachers.
  • Determining how to provide quality arts education to be ready for the “proficiency based graduation requirement” slated for the graduating class of 2018.
  • What will determine “teacher effectiveness” for arts educators (the non-tested content)?

Sadness

In March music teacher Beth Polletto died in a car accident driving to school. Beth taught at Gray New Gloucester and Georgetown Central School. In May art teacher Jackie McTigue died in a car accident on her way to school. Jackie taught at Glenburn Elementary School. Both teachers were amazing arts educators and have left a huge hole. My friend and colleague 2nd grade teacher and Maine’s 2010 Teacher of the Year Kevin Grover died on Thanksgiving day after returning from a run. He is greatly missed by family, friends, and colleagues.

Looking forward

photoBeing forever optimistic, I know that 2013 will be filled with many more successes and that the challenges will be small mountains for us to climb. I invite you to collaborate with your colleagues to face the challenges and enjoy the successes. I hope you will continue to use the meartsed blog for resources and to access information. Many of you have heard me say “none of us is as smart as all of us”. Please continue to share information that I can pass on to others through the blog. I appreciate it!

I am confident that 2013 will be filled with opportunities for arts education to move forward. For example part of phase 2 of the MAAI is videotaping arts classrooms to respond to your request “what does a standards based arts education classroom look like?” So, Debi Lynne Baker (newly retired art teacher) will be visiting arts classrooms in the next few months and creating 4 short videos with examples. This is just one example of resources being developed for arts teachers.

I enjoy the challenges that my work at the Maine Department of Education provides for me. I especially love the opportunity to interact with you, the readers of the meartsed blog. So please take a moment when possible and drop me an email at argy.nestor@maine.gov or make a comment at the bottom of a blog post. You can subscribe to the blog by clicking on “Sign me up!” located on the right side of the front page of the blog.

I hope your year is filled with love and laughter and that you continue to provide outstanding opportunities for your students in arts education! Best Wishes for a wonderful 2013 and THANKS so much for all the good that you do in education!

Only one photo and one quote included in today’s post. Hopefully the photo will put a smile on your face and the quote will provide you with some “food for thought” as we dive into 2013!

The purpose of arts education is not to produce more artists, though that is a byproduct. The real purpose of arts education is to create complete human beings capable of leading successful and productive lives in a free society. – Dana Gioia, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts

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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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MAAI Resources!

September 5, 2012

Maine Arts Assessment Resources

Recently revamping the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative wiki moved to the top of the list of “things to do”. It was prompted by a question from the field, a high school art teacher who emailed asking if the information (“notes and/or minutes”) from the summer teacher leader assessment institute sessions was available. He has been following the work of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) including the blog posts, webinars, and other resources we have made available on the wiki http://maineartsassessment.pbworks.com and Department assessment webpage http://www.maine.gov/education/lres/vpa/assessment.html. It was as if the teacher had whacked me upside the head. I thought “why don’t we post the handouts, links, and information that we provided in each of the sessions?”

That is when I moved the task up to the top of the “to do” list and Catherine Ring and I skyped to determine who had time to do what, and where we wanted to make changes on http://maineartsassessment.pbworks.com to provide as many resources to all of you as possible from the summer institute.

This is another example of the MAAI transparency. If you want to get to the summer resources page quickly here is how to do that. Go to http://maineartsassessment.pbworks.com read through the front page, and towards the bottom you will see in capital letters INFORMATION AND RESOURCES. Click there for the  Table of Contents. Click on 2012 Summer MAAI Institute Resources which will take you to a TON, I mean MEGA amounts of resources on the four main topics of the summer institute; ASSESSMENT, LEADERSHIP, TECHNOLOGY, and CREATIVITY. The workshop facilitator is listed with the information so you know the sources. Along with the four topics there are many other resources including books, .pdfs, articles, research, and so much more it will take you several rainy days to get through all of it. Is everything included from the summer institute? No, this would be impossible since the Teacher Leaders and other participants shared continuously throughout the 4-day institute held at MECA in July/August. But you know what it is like when you get together with arts educators; the willingness to share is unbelievable! Is it only from the summer institute? No, but most of it is. There are arts education resources that have been shared during other workshops and on the Department site.

My suggestion is to share this page with your colleagues, administrators, and determine what you can use for your local curriculum and assessment development work that you are doing this school year. Please let me know how you use the resources that we’ve provided for all of you!!

A great big THANK YOU goes to the MAAI Leadership Team who facilitated the MAAI summer sessions and our New England colleagues who stepped in and did sessions on the Common Core State Standards and National Arts Standards. I won’t mention any names here with fear of omitting some but please know that it is several amazing arts educators!

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Day 4: Maine Arts Assessment Initiative Institute

August 9, 2012

Presentations, questions, next steps

The last day of the 4-day summer institute gave the teacher leaders from the second phase of the MAAI the opportunity to share their ideas for regional workshops. The opportunity was equally valuable for the leadership team and the first phase teacher leaders to learn from the presentations. The topics varied as much as the 20 teacher leaders do in their learning and teaching.

Part of the afternoon was spent on formative assessment “in action” through MLTIs (Maine Learning Technology Initiative) version of Jeopardy. The game was created by Tim Hart who works for Apple with MLTI and the questions were created by the teacher leaders from the first phase. It was a great fun and an example of how formative assessment doesn’t have to be stressful and serious. The categories matched our work for the week: Assessment, Technology, Leadership, and Creativity.

The day concluded with participants providing feedback including their “takeaways”. I’ve included some of the points so you can get an idea of the opportunity that these teacher leaders had and some of what they will take into their classrooms, schools, and regions.

TAKEAWAYS:

  • The creative process is teachable and assessable.
  • Lots of awesome arts teachers in Maine.
  • The MAAI is growing strong.
  • None of us are as smart as all of us.
  • Some ideas about sparking creativity.
  • There is a broad spectrum of understanding w/regard to standards.
  • Ways of creating digital portfolios.
  • Different methods that can be used to track progress.
  • There are many ways to approach delivery of content.
  • New people and what they’re doing.
  • Bento (data)
  • News: Nationally & State.
  • Creative thinking/problem solving.
  • SCAMPER
  • Where we are with Core and National Standards.
  • How to make the computer talk.
  • How to engage 30+ people in activities that are fun and they can learn.
  • We are all resources and can learn from each other.
  • I’ve learned a better understanding of formative vs. summative assessment.
  • More techniques for meaningful assessments.
  • Numerous resources and where to go for more information on any topic we discussed.
  • New Skills – technology, vocabulary.
  • New colleagues, friends & collaborators.
  • Renewed energy, we can do this.
  • Technology info. i.e. – MTLI minutes – note-share, script, sketch-up, etc.
  • A ton of resources books, online sites.
  • Ideas from discussions w/peers.
  • Activities & Assessments I can use w/my students i.e. consensogram, stickies, games.
  • Become a strong leader.
  • Assessing is important for everyone involved.
  • MLTI!!
  • There are many colleagues out there, willing to help!
  • The arts are Central, not peripheral.
  • Assessments can be straight forward & clear, not as scary as first thought!
  • Maine Learning.Net
  • Connections/Friendships
  • More confidence in myself & the Initiative.
  • Creativity Research
  • A better understanding of Standards-based assessment.
  • Data collection tools.
  • Quantifying, creative thinking/learning.
  • New energy and thinking process.
  • Inspirations.
  • Respect.
  • Using mind maps is very helpful.
  • HOW POWERFUL IS PASSION!
  • Apply what I’ve learned regarding assessment (Just do it).
  • Continue communication and observation of great educational leaders.
  • I can do this!
  • Other educators have problems similar to mine.
  • Arts teachers are really enthusiastic.
  • I know more than I thought I did.
  • I can use new technology and enjoy it!

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Day 3: Maine Arts Assessment Initiative Institute

August 8, 2012

Leadership and Creativity

On day 3 of the MAAI institute teacher leaders participated in two Leadership sessions and a session on Creativity. Brunswick High School Art teacher Jennie Driscoll facilitated the first leadership session through hands-on experiences that led to identifying the characteristics of leaders. Some of those identified were risk taker, communicator, confident, humility, trust, and compassion.

MAAI leadership team member and Executive Director of the New England Institute for Teacher Education Catherine Ring facilitated the second leadership session where participants took a close look at their role as leaders; in their schools, districts, communities and beyond. They looked at the research and explored questions including How do we work with adults to encourage change?

Leadership team member and Bates College instructor Bronwyn Sale facilitated the Creativity session.  Included in the Maine Learning Results: Parameters for Essential Instruction the Visual and Performing Arts include Standard C. Creative-Problem Solving. As arts educators this standard represents creativity, the creative process, creative thinking, and creative problem solving. All of these were examined in this session and should be taught intentionally in the arts classroom.

Teacher leaders continued working on their individual action plans putting together what they were learning during the institute. The plans include their ideas for their regional workshops that they will facilitate throughout the school year. The day ended with a celebration of the good work the teacher leaders are doing at a reception with MECA’s President Don Tuski in the college’s gallery ICA.

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TED Talk: Power of Introverts

May 2, 2012

Susan Cain speaks on what introverts have to offer

A third to one half of the population are introverts and often they have creativity and leadership skills that are misunderstood. Many environments are built for the extroverts and introverts are not honored. Please listen to Susan’s TED talk and think about your students who are introverts.

Thank you to a former student, Lis Janes, who has an MFA in Art and is now teaching and living in the Portland area.

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Arts Assessment Webinar: February 1st

January 27, 2012

LEADERSHIP AND THE ARTS – Wednesday, February 1st, 3:30 – 4:30 PM

Please join Rob Westerberg and Catherine Ring in their Webinar on Wednesday, February 1st on LEADERSHIP AND THE ARTS: The role of Teachers, Administrators and the Greater Community.

We all know that in a culture that values the arts, that it takes a village to ensure that they are given a central role in the lives of its citizens.  It is not enough to simply have “arts classes” in schools; we need a culture that understands, values and supports a solid, quality arts education for our children.  And that requires leadership — not only from the teacher in the classroom, but from administrators in the school and leaders in the community.

In hard economic times, and particularly in times when perceptions about school achievement result in an almost exclusive focus on standardized math and reading test scores, (sound familiar?), support for the arts can decrease. Using arts assessment in the classroom can help teachers show the skills and knowledge their students have gained in the arts, as well as the 21st century skills, such as creativity, innovation, collaboration and communication.  High quality assessment practices in the arts classroom and supportive leadership can give us the evidence to help ensure that our children will continue to be exposed to and benefit from an excellent arts education.

This webinar will examine the various roles of teachers, administrators and community members in keeping the arts alive and well in our schools and communities. Webinar guests include teacher leaders, Matt Doiron (Music Educator from Sanford High School) and Jen Driscoll (Visual Art Educator from Brunswick High School), Carol Trimble (Executive Director of Maine Alliance for Arts Education), Argy Nestor (Visual & Performing Arts Specialist at Maine Department of Education). Join Rob and Catherine as they facilitate a discussion with leaders in arts education and the community.  Call-in participants take an active role in the discussion too, so this is guaranteed to be a lively and interesting forum.

To join the webinar, To join the meeting, go online to http://stateofmaine.adobeconnect.com/pk201013/ (sign in as “guest”). Conference Number: 1-866-910-4857, Passcode: 140893

I suggest you invite your principals to attend with you after school on February 1st for this informative discussion!

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