Posts Tagged ‘leadership team’

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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 Critical Friend Day

August 22, 2015

A great day in Portland!

IMG_0233So impressive were the presentations all day on Thursday during the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Critical Friend Day. Forty-five educators convened at Luther Bonney Hall on the USM, Portland campus. Twenty-four educators made presentations, either a workshop or a logic model idea. When not presenting they joined the critical friends who were a collective of teachers, a principal, an assistant principal, curriculum leader, an assistant superintendent, and an Apple employee. In addition, we had three educators join electronically and two actually gave their presentations from Aroostook county during their prep periods (school is underway). Needless to say it was very cool that they could join us from a distance. The entire day was a TERRIFIC learning opportunity for all involved. The presenters received valuable suggestions so they can tweak and expand on their ideas and the critical friends walked away with new information and ideas to apply to their own work. It is a fabulous opportunity for all involved.

Dance and visual arts teacher leader from Lake Region High School Carmel Collins and music teacher leader from Sebasticook Valley Middle School

Dance and Visual Arts Teacher Leader, Lake Region High School Carmel Collins, and Music Teacher Leader, Sebasticook Valley Middle School

The presentations were in direct connection with the three-day MALI institute that was held earlier this month where over 50 visual and performing arts educators and teaching artists came together for a professional learning opportunity. You can read about the institute in several consecutive blog posts starting with August 10. They had a chance to gain more knowledge in teaching, learning, assessment, proficiency-based education, leadership, advocacy, technology, creativity, integration, and several other relevant topics related to the challenges faced in the visual or performing arts classroom. I had a chance to go from one workshop to the next and it was amazing to see the high quality of work that has been formulated.

Visual Art Teacher Leader Mandi Mitchell from Hermon High School

Visual Art Teacher Leader Mandi MItchell, Hermon High School

You might be wondering what a critical friend is or does. Below is how we guided the work of those who graciously took on the role as “critical friend”.

One definition of “critical” is expressing or involving an analysis of the merits and faults of a work of literature, music, or art. A “friend” is a person who gives assistance. The MALI leadership team asks you to do both in a gentle helpful way. We want the teacher leaders to create the best work possible so please be honest in your feedback.

Rob Westerberg, Nancy Kinkade, Holly Leighton, (hidden) Shari Tarleton, and Virgil Bozeman provide feedback

Rob Westerberg, Nancy Kinkade, Holly Leighton, (hidden) Shari Tarleton, and Virgil Bozeman provide feedback

The workshops will be presented at the local level during the 2015-16 school year. The new teacher leaders (https://meartsed.wordpress.com/2015/05/26/phase-5-maai-teacher-leaders-announced/) will be selecting a location and time and all of the information will be posted so you can see what is offered and plan to attend.

Trevor Marcho Music Teacher Leader Mattanawcook Academy

Trevor Marcho Music Teacher Leader Mattanawcook Academy

The veteran teachers selected a problem and created a plan to solve the problem. The logic model is just that – a way to guide those using it to a clear picture of how to influence and create change. You can read a bit about logic model at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logic_model.

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Allie Rimkunas, Great Falls Elementary Art Teacher Leader

During the afternoon session we participated in a “messaging” workshop that was facilitated by Kate Smith, music teacher leader from South Berwick. Participants selected a topic that they wanted to refine to be able to communicate clearly and concisely at a moments notice when the opportunity arises.

Art Teacher Leader, Lisa Ingraham, Madison and Critical Friend Hollie Hilton

Art Teacher Leader, Lisa Ingraham, Madison and Critical Friend Hollie Hilton

Needless to say yesterday was a great day for Arts education in Maine. Nothing like being in an environment where everyone is talking, thinking, exchanging about visual and performing arts education – directly connected to all the issues and topics of education in general! If you’d like to read about the teacher leaders and leadership team please go to the Maine Arts Assessment site at http://www.maineartsassessment.com/.  You can be part of the next quality learning opportunity at the Biennial Statewide conference being held on Friday, October 9, Point Lookout Conference Center, Northport, Maine. Information and registration for the great day we have planned is located at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Biennial-Statewide. If you’d like to learn more about being involved in MALI and the opportunities that the initiative provides please be sure and email me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

Music Teacher Leader Kate Smith, and Critical Friends, AOS 92 Curriculum Leader Mary Boyle and 2014 Maine Teacher of the Year Karen MacDonald

Music Teacher Leader Kate Smith, and Critical Friends, AOS 92 Curriculum Leader Mary Boyle and 2014 Maine Teacher of the Year Karen MacDonald

Please note: On August 3, 2015, MAAI, the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, announced its new name, MALI, the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative. You can read about it at https://meartsed.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/maai-goes-to-mali/. Please email me know if you have any questions at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

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MALI is Ready!

August 15, 2015

Stuff happening!

Every time I reflect on the work that the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI)* has underway I can’t help but smile. There are now 73 Maine arts educators who have attended the summer institute and taken on the role of Teacher Leader (TL). Fifty Teacher Leaders are taking an active role during the 2015-16 school year.

IMG_0088Their roles will vary depending on where they are in their educational journey. The 12 new MALI TLs will be presenting workshops throughout the state that they have created on a variety of topics. The returning TLs have used the Logic Model to take on a “problem” facing them and will solve that with a strategic plan they have each created.

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 2.09.37 PMIn addition to the TL workshops, the biennial arts ed conference Arts Education: The Measure of Success, will take place on October 9,  at the Point Lookout Conference Center, Northport. The format is unique this year to meet the needs of the 21st century. Take a look at the 1-minute videos at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Biennial-Statewide-Workshop-Descriptions# that the nine workshop presenters have created so you can see and hear what the sessions are all about. During the morning at the conference the nine will each present for 5 minutes with 5 images to provide further information of what will be an exciting afternoon of 1 hour and 15 minute workshops (you can attend 2). This unique format is designed to provide you with more varied and deeper learning opportunities. Conference early-bird registration is available so I suggest you save yourself a spot. Once the conference is full, we will close down registration so don’t delay! Check out the details and registration at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Biennial-Statewide.

The MALI Leadership Team continually listens to the Teacher Leaders and those who attend workshops to make available what is needed for addressing the needs of quality arts education for all students. The Maine Arts Education Resource website at http://www.maineartsassessment.com/is managed by Rob Westerberg and is continually updated with new professional learning opportunities.

The new Mission: “MALI is committed to the development of Teacher leaders to ensure deep understanding and meaningful implementation of high quality teaching, learning and assessment in the Arts.”

Please note: On August 3, 2015, MAAI, the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, announced its new name, MALI, the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative. You can read about it at https://meartsed.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/maai-goes-to-mali/. Please email me know if you have any questions at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

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Phase 5 TLs

June 16, 2015

Zoom meeting

Tonight the new Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) Teacher Leaders met  for the first time using the Zoom Video Conference tool. It was a great opportunity to meet everyone and hear from veteran Teacher Leaders Jen Nash and Charlie Johnson. The Teacher Leaders were introduced to the Phase 5 wiki where they will be communicating with each other sharing their ideas and knowledge on Assessment, Leadership, Creativity, and Technology.

What a wonderful group of Teacher Leaders. The Leadership Team is so very excited to WELCOME them into the MAAI community!

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Phase 5 MAAI Teacher Leaders Announced!

May 26, 2015

YAHOOOO!

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 1.05.09 AMThe Maine Arts Commission is pleased to announce the Phase 5 Maine Arts Assessment Initiative Teacher Leaders.  Thirteen visual and performing arts educators have applied and were selected to join the 61 Teacher Leaders from the other four MAAI phases. The total is 74 Teacher Leaders. Fifty will be active this year. The MAAI Leadership Team joins me in congratulating the teachers listed below who represent all grade levels, PK-12 and Dance, Music, and Visual Arts.

Almost 40 teachers will meet for three days in Portland this summer for professional development that is likely to be energetic, mind-filling, and a great opportunity to expand ideas on teaching and learning. Not to mention a chance to meet and network with arts educators from across the state. I am excited about the work we are furiously planning. Of course I will keep you posted as the MAAI, Phase 5 progresses. If you have any questions about MAAI please don’t hesitate to contact me at argy.nestor@maine.gov. And, I do hope that you will join us at some point during Phase 5 at one of the professional development offerings that the Teacher Leaders are providing.

MUSIC EDUCATORS

  • JOSH BOSSE – Madawaska Schools, grades PK-12
  • VIRGIL BOZEMAN – Richmond Middle/High School, grades 6-12
  • DIANNE FENALSON – Spruce Mountain Middle School, grades 6-12
  • NANCY KINKADE – Mattanawcook Junior High School, grades 5-12
  • TREVOR MARCHO – Mattanawcook Academy, grades 9-12

VISUAL ART EDUCATORS

  • SAMANTHA ARMSTRONG –Paris and Hebron Elementary Schools, grades K-6
  • ELISE BOTHEL –  Narragansett Elementary School, grades K-5
  • IVA DAMON – Leavitt Area High School, grades 9-12
  • HOLLY LEIGHTON – Mattanawcook Academy, grades 9-12
  • LYNDA LEONAS -Farwell and Longley Elementary Schools, grades K-6
  • MANDI MITCHELL – Hermon High School, grades 9-12
  • ALLIE RIMKUNAS   – Great Falls Elementary School, grades K-5

The Maine Arts Assessment Resources page is located at http://www.maineartsassessment.com/. You will find a ton of information and resources that was either gathered or created by Teacher Leaders and the Leadership Team of MAAI from the past.

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MAAI at the State House

October 13, 2014

What a day!

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Mega-regional workshops 2014-15 school year

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

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

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Wrap up on Critical Friend Day at the State House.

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

 

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Big Week for Maine Arts Ed

July 28, 2014

This is a BIG WEEK for Arts Education in Maine!!

SUMMIT ON ARTS EDUCATION

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We have more than 90 educators attending the Summit on Arts Education at USM, Portland campus on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and almost half of those will also be attending on Friday for the Teacher Leader day. Included on the attendee list are dance, music, theatre, and visual arts PK-12 teachers, teaching artists, other educators, and representatives from arts organizations and the university. There are 13 teams participating. The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) Leadership team and Teacher Leaders have been crazy busy with the agenda planning that will be full of rich learning opportunities.

Included on the agenda:

  • Sessions on Assessment, Leadership, Student-centered, Standards-based, Proficiency, Advocacy, Arts Integration, Creativity, Literacy, Technology and much more provided by MAAI teacher leaders, leadership team, members, Lesley University staff, technology integrators from NC, MLTI, and MICDL, and teaching artists
  • The unveiling of the Teacher Leader Resource Bank by Julie Richard, Executive Director of the Maine Arts Commission
  • An electronic discussion with the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE) who are at a conference in Washington, DC this week
  • Arts Education Program Director, Jeff Poulin from Americans for the Arts will be presenting a session on Leadership and Advocacy
  • Stories and examples from MAAI Teacher Leaders
  • Time for networking with other Maine educators
  • Arts Education organizations, higher ed representatives, and community groups will be exhibiting and sharing information
  • The opportunity to create an Individual Action Plan and/or a Team Action Plan to implement back home in teachers school districts

Teachers who are attending the Summit will receive contact hours, CEUs or graduate credit.

If you have not registered for the Summit you may still do so no later than TODAY by clicking here https://webapp.usm.maine.edu/DCPEOnline/addRegCONFPage1.do?offeringId=100075146. For more information please click here https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/NESummit

 

COMMUNITY CONVERSATION ON ARTS EDUCATION

Maine Focus Groups and Community Conversations – don’t miss this opportunity!

Are you interested in joining others interested in arts education to talk about the future of arts education in Maine? If so, please plan on attending the event on

Tuesday, July 29, 7:00-8:00pm at the Maine College of Art, 522 Congress St, Portland, ME.

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 2.27.24 PMWe have a wonderful opportunity to help influence the future of our community and the future of our state. Please join me  to participate in a discussion about the kinds of creative opportunities and activities you would like to see available for our residents, our children, and our families. Often times, plans are created for us, instead of with us they miss the mark and we miss the opportunity to see what we value included in the mix.

If you have questions about either of these opportunities taking place this week please don’t hesitate to email me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

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MAAI Update

January 4, 2013

Leadership team meets

Today the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) leadership team met to take a look back and a look ahead. Our day was filled with a rich discussion, thoughtful questions, brilliant ideas, and food for thought! Catherine Ring, Jeff Beaudry, Bronwyn Sale, and Matt Doiron met with me in Augusta at the Maine Department of Education and Pam Kinsey joined us by Skype from Easton (where it was 20 degrees below this morning). At lunchtime Meagan Mattingly, Arts in Education Associate, stopped in to discuss possibilities for connecting Maine Arts Commission work.

Pam Kinsey on Skype from Aroostook county

Pam Kinsey on Skype from Aroostook county

As you know we are in the middle of phase 2 of the MAAI. Today’s goal was to reflect on what has been accomplished through the MAAI and to discuss what the next steps might be. The information will be summarized and in early February the teacher leaders will join the leadership team to discuss the ideas to confirm the direction.

In August 20 teacher leaders attended a 4-day institute where they participated in professional development in assessment, leadership, technology, and creativity. They created workshops and are presenting them throughout the state during the 2012-13 school year in 20 locations. These workshops are FREE and contact hours are available for participating.

Along with the regional workshops Mega-regional workshops are taking place in 4 locations. These opportunities are offered by the teacher leaders from phase 2 as well as some teacher leaders from phase 1. At each of the 4 locations Maine Learning Technology Initiative Technology Integrators are partnering with a teacher leader to present an integrated session.

The Mega-regional workshops are being offered, 8:00 to 3:00:

  • January 14: UMF
  • March 1: USM, Portland
  • March 22: Presque Isle High School
  • March 29: Ellsworth High School
Matt Doiron and Jeff Beaudry listen intently

Matt Doiron and Jeff Beaudry listen intently

You MUST register for the Mega-regional workshops. They are FREE to all arts educators, PK through grade 12 and contact hours are available. Participants need a laptop with the most recent MLTI image. If you do not have one we will lend you one for the day. Please check the appropriate box while registering to communicate that.

PLEASE don’t hesitate register today at http://www.maine.gov/education/lres/vpa/assessment.html#regional or at http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?topic=MLTINews&id=469365&v=details.

Soooooooo… what do you think phase 3 of the initiative could/should include??? Please post your feedback below or email Argy at argy.nestor@maine.gov with your ideas and suggestions!

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What a Week!

October 9, 2012

Some weeks are crazy

Last week was filled with adventures! I started the week in Washington D.C. at the Arts Education Advisory Group (AEAG) meeting. They are part of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASSA) which is made up of the state arts commissions including the Maine Arts Commission. Every year the AEAG plans a professional development institute (PDI) for the arts in education associates at the state arts commissions which includes Meagan Mattingly. I am the representative to AEAG for my national professional organization called State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE) which is comprised of the arts education specialists from the Departments of Education. I had a chance to be with AEAG at the opening of their PDI. It was wonderful to meet people who are committed to arts education in each state. Not to mention they are interesting, knowledgeable, creative, and FUN! The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) are affiliated with the AEAG and NASSA since funding is provided by the NEA. Consequently, there were a handful of staff from the NEA who are responsible for arts education who attended as well. In attendance was Ayanna N. Hudson, the NEA Director of Arts Education. She agreed to write a blog post for meartsed that will explain the programs/funding that is available for teachers, schools and communities. This will provide an overview to help you learn what is available. One of the evening highlights was the opportunity to see the performance of the DC Youth Slam Team. They were INCREDIBLE!

Next my travels took me to Reston, VA where SEADAE met with the chairs of the National Arts Standards writing teams and the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards leadership team. The writing teams are moving along with their work in spite of the little funding that has been provided. The most recent draft of the framework was shared by Co-Chairs, Marcia McCaffrey and NH DOE arts specialist and Lynn Tuttle, AZ arts specialist and president of SEADAE. The writing teams have taken the first draft with the components including Disciplines, Essential Questions, Enduring Understandings, Artistic Processes, Cornerstone Assessments, and re-arranged the direction of the document to make it  more user friendly. The work was shown to us on the website where the document will be housed so we could also see the work that has been done on the site. It will include a “quick view” button for finding stuff in a hurry, the use of tagging and keywords, and links to other works. All of this will be important aspects since it will be a web based document. You can view some of the ideas that are being considered at this link.

We had a discussion on what to call the final document so if you have any suggestions please email them and I can pass them along. The document will be arranged by grade level, PreK-8 but the high school format is still under discussion. You can read more about the format by clicking here.

At this point the expected date for the release of the “framework” will be in December. The first draft of the standards document which includes Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts will be within a few months after that, perhaps in March. Most likely the cornerstone assessments will be included when the standards draft comes out at grades 2, 5, and 8. The format will require feedback on the standards and the “userness” of the website.

Nancy Rubino from the College Board reported on recent research that looks at the Common Core State Standards for ELA and Math (CCSS) and the National Standards for the Arts. The research looks at the overlapping components of the CCSS and the arts frameworks and where the arts references are present in the CCSS. For example the research includes tells us that there are 26 ELA standards that have references to reading a work of drama. Looking closely at “college level learning” in the arts has been included in the research. The research will be released as soon as the final framework is determined and I am sure you will find it helpful. The College Board has done other research which I have mentioned in past blog posts and you can find links to this valuable information on the right side of the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards wiki.

The end of the day included the live stream from the meeting to provide an overview of the event. If you weren’t available or couldn’t get on since the system was full I understand that it will be archived on the site in the near future.

I flew back to Maine early on Thursday morning and headed to Point Lookout in Northport where the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) teacher leaders and leadership team met that night and all day Friday. We worked on the Depository for arts education resources in Maine located at MaineLearning.net and continued plans for the Mega-regional workshops to be held throughout the 2012-13 school year. On Friday the teacher leaders from phase 2 presented their workshops so they could gather feedback on their sessions to determine if they’d like to tweak anything before taking their session on the road for the regional workshops. The regional workshop sessions will be posted on the Department arts assessment page in the next two weeks so you can see what is available. The energy and expertise of their topics was inspirational and truly amazing. I was reminded of how fortunate we are in Maine to have such outstanding arts educators who are willing to share information and expand their horizons to become teacher leaders in the arts. I am sure when the Cornerstone Assessments are released from the national standards work that Maine will be ready to take on the task of reviewing them to provide feedback that will inform the nation.

Needless to say when the week ended on Friday evening I was exhausted! However, I am extremely proud of the work that arts educators are doing throughout the state and urge you to continue to read and stay abreast of the opportunities that are offered. If you have questions or comments on any of this please feel free to email me at argy.nestor@maine.gov or post a comment at the bottom of this post.

MAAI arts educators fall workshop

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