Posts Tagged ‘MAC’

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MALI Reflections

August 8, 2017

What’s it really all about

As I take a few minutes to reflect on the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Summer Institute that was held last week at Thomas College for three days I can’t help but think about what MALI is really all about. If I had to select one word it would be COMMUNITY. As many of you know there are about 1200 visual and performing arts educators in the state and I really don’t know how many teaching artists there are throughout Maine. Both were well represented last week. Bottom line, each of the participants were teachers, striving to be better at teaching and the desire to connect with others who care deeply about arts education.

Wow, I am so humbled by their commitment and proud of what they accomplished in three days!

Reasons for MALIs success

  • Teachers teaching teachers is a critical component
  • MALI is a community that provides ongoing support. Teachers learn that they have peers throughout the state experiencing the same or similar situations that they do day to day. They no longer feel like islands.
  • This summer’s institute had three strands; one for Teaching Artist Leaders, one for returning TLs and one for new TLs. The strands are customized for the unique group and individual needs. The strands came together for cross pollination and collaborations are formed.
  • All of the ideas are based on research and what is in the best interest of teacher development.
  • Phase 7 New Teacher Leaders

    A Design Team guides the work of MALI and plan every detail of the summer institute. They are totally committed to contributing above and beyond.

  • The MALI community grows each year with some teacher leaders returning year after year.
  • Through their work TLs find their voice and are invigorated to return to their school districts. Many are recognized in their new leadership role and are invited to the table at the local level. They serve on district leadership committees, lead the school and district professional development work for all subjects and grade level teachers, and are honored for their leadership.
  • The institute schedule is different each year to adapt to the changing needs but the foundation is built on What is good teaching? What is good learning? What is good assessment?
  • Teaching Artist Leaders Phase 6 and 7

    In 2015 Teacher Leaders created a set of Belief Statements on that include the topics that are vital to Maine arts education today: Arts Integration, Advocacy, Assessment Literacy, Creativity and 21st Century Skills, Educator Effectiveness, Effective Teaching and Learning, Proficiency Based Learning and Student Centered Learning, and Teacher Leadership.

  • Teachers are connected and become Critical Friends to help support each other’s teaching.
  • MALI models teaching tools

So, what makes involvement in the MALI community so special?

Looking closely at Tim Christensen’s pottery are Jenni Driscoll, Jean Phillips, Tim, and Charlie Johnson

Participants comments

  • “MALI has helped me grow tremendously as a professional and my students grow tremendously as learners.” ~ Charlie Johnson, Visual Art Phase 1
  • “It’s leadership through the arts and as artist/teachers we have so much to offer.” ~ Cindi Kugell, Visual Art Phase 7 Teacher Leader
  • “MALI has made me feel like I have a voice in my school, my community and in my state. ~ Jen Etter, Music Phase 3 Teacher Leader
  • “It is a lifeline for arts educators and education. ~ Jane Snider, Visual Art Phase 2 Teacher Leader
  • “MALI allows us to share our artistic strengths and perspectives in a forum which will directly impact the educational experiences of children across the state of Maine. ~ Brigid Rankowski, Phase 6 Teaching Artist Leader
  • “I feel so validated in my beliefs in the arts being so important to the “WHOLE CHILD”. This week has allowed my confidence to soar in my building!” Amy Nucci, Visual Art Phase 7 Teacher Leader
  • Brian Evans-Jones, Teaching Artist Leader conducts poetry mini-lesson

    “MALI has helped me grow more confident both personally and professionally, especially as a leader. ~ Mandi Mitchell, Visual Art Phase 5 Teacher Leader

  • “It makes me brave. By stepping out of my comfort zone to try new things and improve my practice. MALI is my safety net. ~ Dorrie Tripp, Music Phase 7 Teacher Leader
  • “MALI allows me to connect with exceptional arts educators from across the state; share resources and knowledge and improve my teaching!” ~ Pam Chernesky, Visual Art Phase 6
  • “I am thrilled to be part of the MALI team and so energized for my year of learning ahead.” ~ Kris Bisson, Music Phase 7
  • “Because of my role as a MALI Teacher Leader I got the opportunity to be chosen as one of three teachers to lead the professional development work in my district. It takes you places.” ~ Holly Leighton, Visual Art Phase 5
  • “Through the MALI Summer Session I discovered that both my art and my teaching are really directed at the same goal (engagement/interaction) and that who I am is as important to teaching & learning as what I know”. ~Tom Luther, Teaching Artist, Music Phase 7 Teaching Artist Leader

Next steps

Some of the MALI Teacher Leaders (TL) and Teaching Artists Leaders (TAL) will be sharing their learning in a workshop format at the local or regional level. Others will be continuously sharing in a social media mode. The Phase 7 summer institute was really about customizing the learning for each educator. I will keep you posted as they wrap up their plans for the school year I will share the information here on the blog and also on the Maine Arts Assessment site and through the communications that are delivered by the Maine Arts Commission.

Please let me know (argy.nestor@maine.gov) if you have any questions and are interested in applying to be involved as a Teacher Leader or Teaching Artist Leader for Phase 8.

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Teaching Artist Opportunity

May 26, 2017

Calling Teaching Artists – You’re Invited!

Summer Professional Development

Tuesday, August 1, 8:00 to 4:00

Thomas College, Waterville

The Maine Arts Commission invites teaching artists to attend an all day professional development opportunity on Tuesday, August 1. This will take place on the first day of the MAC Maine Arts Leadership Initiative summer institute on the beautiful campus of Thomas College in Waterville.

Teaching Artist Tim Christensen working with a Camden Rockport Middle School student during a residency

This year’s Teaching Artist professional development day is designed to focus on the role of the teaching artist and the relationship between the teaching artist and the K-12 arts educator.

The day includes workshops designed specifically for Teaching Artists focusing on a variety of topics: practices for Teaching Artists including standards, assessment, advocacy, marketing yourself, and more.

What will you get when you attend the Maine Arts Commission professional development day?

  • Information on applying your expertise as an artist to the structuring of your lessons and residencies.
  • Hands-on experience in relating the learning standards and assessments to your work.
  • Opportunities to network with PK-12 visual and performing arts teachers from Maine schools.
  • Participation in sessions that are planned to fit your needs as a teaching artist.
  • A light breakfast, a yummy lunch, and afternoon snacks

Teaching Artists interested in attending must register by CLICKING HERE.

Teaching Artist John Morris working with students in MSAD#33

To apply for the Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist roster artists are required to attend the summer professional development opportunity. The Commission will be accepting applications in the fall of 2017. CLICK HERE for the MAC Teaching Artist roster.

Presented by Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) of the Maine Arts Commission. To learn more about the MALI please CLICK HERE. Facilitated by Teaching Artist John Morris and Music Educator Kate Smith.

If you have any questions please contact Argy Nestor, Director of Arts Education, Maine Arts Commission, argy.nestor@maine.gov or John Morris at JohnMorris08@gmail.com.

 

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Dance Education Grant Deadline Today

May 16, 2017

Funding available

Just in case you missed the information earlier….. The Thornton Academy dance education program collaborated with seven schools and studios with a culminating performance on November 18, 2016 and raised $3575. On March 4, 2017 Dancers Making a Difference, a non-profit organization held their fifth annual benefit performance with fourteen schools and studios performing to raise $6730. The total, $10,305.00, has been generously provided for the funding of this dance education grant program. This opportunity provides funding to support high-quality dance education for PreK-12 students and/or educators of this population in schools where dance education is not currently in place. This funding is meant to inspire and to exhibit the value of dance education.

Deadline: Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Total funding available to be divided: $10,305.00 (maximum award of $3,500)

The funding cycle for this program: September 1, 2017 through March 30, 2018

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Dancing in Kindergarten

May 14, 2017

Salsa, merengue, and more

Edwin Sorto is a kindergarten teacher at Kipp Academy in Washington, DC. He performs with a dance team that dance across the US. And, he’s teaching his students to dance as well. Along with the usual kindergarten curriculum Mr. Sorto is also teaching his young students how to dance – including salsa, merengue, and more. He posts the students moving to the music on Facebook and youtube. Mr. Sorto says: “They’re proud of what they do and love to see people’s reactions, comments, and likes on their videos. Their parents are also incredibly supportive. My kids are great, and this is just one more thing that keeps them engaged in school.”

See for yourself by CLICKING HERE.

Speaking of dance, remember that the Maine Arts Commission presently has a dance education grant available with the deadline of Tuesday, May 16. Information and the application is located by CLICKING HERE.

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Teacher Appreciation Week

May 8, 2017

Why I Teach?

Ever sit down and ask yourself “Why do I teach?” During my long career as a teacher in the classroom I asked myself that question sometimes at the end of an especially rough day. It helped me put the work into perspective. The only time I asked the question during the sweet moments was usually when someone else made the observation about how fortunate I was to touch the lives of young adolescents.

I often reflect on my days in my middle school classroom when I feel the pull of wanting to be back there. So, last summer when there was a movement around #why I teach it was fun to begin asking the question of arts educators who crossed my pathway. If you haven’t thought about it recently, please take a moment during Teacher Appreciation Week, ask yourself the question and email me your answer or click on “comment” below and let the Maine Arts Education blog readers know your thoughts.

Below are some that came from arts educators who attended the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Mega conference at Hebron Station School on March 17, 2017.

I TEACH BECAUSE…

  • I love seeing the ‘ah ha’ moments.
  • To give back the support and knowledge that I received when I was a young, aspiring artist!
  • Teaching the arts is my passion! My students teacher me something new every day!

Perhaps you’ve written down in a bubble your reason for teaching in the past at a MALI event but thoughts and ideas and reasons for teaching may have changed. If you’ve never done it or if you have in the past, please take a moment during Teacher Appreciation Week and know that what you’re doing is essential and the most important job in the world. That’s my belief and hope that you share it! Thanks for the work you do each and every day.

 

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In Today’s News

May 3, 2017

Maine POL champ in the news

As you may know Gabrielle Cooper, a senior at Gardiner Area High School, represented Maine last week in Washington, D.C. at the national finals. The Kennebec Journal interviewed Gabrielle for an article.

In her own words: “The best part of the entire journey was the people, from the English teachers to the Maine Arts Commission and to all the other competitors,” she said. “It was the people that made it a great experience and what I’ll remember the most.”

The article provides many details about Gabrielle’s experiences during Poetry Out Loud. Read the article by CLICKING HERE.

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Calling Teaching Artist Leaders

May 1, 2017

Application available – Deadline Friday, May 26

Maine Arts Leadership Initiative, Phase VII

Visual and Performing Arts Teaching Artist Leader Application

OVERALL INFORMATION

Teaching Artist Leader Brigid Rankowski

Join us for a GREAT opportunity! The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) invites YOU to be part of Phase VII. For the past six years, MALI has worked with visual and performing arts educators from Maine schools to become leaders in developing arts education in their districts. As the initiative enters Phase VII, MALI has grown to include 73 teacher leaders. For the last three years, teaching artists have been included in our summer institute.

Last year, we initiated a new component of MALI for teaching artists interested in stepping up to explore leadership in arts education. The initiative was a success! So this year, we are again looking for teaching artists who are interested in being leaders and helping to develop teaching and learning in the arts. This is an opportunity for you to participate in professional development and networking, as well as to have a voice in the direction of arts education in the state of Maine.

The application is available at THIS LINK.  Deadline: Friday, May 26, 2017.

Teaching Artist Leader Tim Christensen

If you are selected, you will be required to attend our summer institute, August 1, 2, and 3, 2017. We will provide professional development workshops and support for you to develop your own workshop, project or other plan, related to your area of arts expertise. We will then ask that you take what you’ve learned and share it with other teaching artists, educators and community members in your region and beyond.

If interested, please complete an  application located at THIS LINK by the Friday, May 26, 2017 deadline to Argy Nestor at argy.nestor@maine.gov ASAP. Details are below.

Selected Teacher Artist Leader responsibilities for the 2017-18 school year include:

  • Attend the three-day Professional Development Summer Institute, August 1-3, 2017, at Thomas College in Waterville. To prepare: Pre-reading assignments and responses are expected in our Google site. Each Teaching Artist Leader determines an individual plan for what form the outcome of their learning will take, and how to share with others. This enables teaching artist leaders to really take on the leadership role! (List of options available by contacting Argy Nestor atnestor@maine.gov)
  • Teaching Artists John Morris and Karen Brooks

    Communicate using our Google website.

  • Possible Critical Friends Day as a follow-up to the Institute, to present your draft workshop, project, or plan and receive feedback.
  • Share the outcome of your learning in your area of Maine and beyond!
  • Be featured in Another Teacher’s Stories on the Maine Arts Ed blog
  • Attend a retreat to reflect on the work of Phase VII with teacher leaders, teaching artist leaders, and the leadership team to be held on Saturday, March 10, 2018, location TBD.

Application requirements

  • current resume
  • letter of support
  • paragraph of interest
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