Posts Tagged ‘Maine arts education census’

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Retired Arts Educators

November 5, 2018

Gone but not forgotten

Retired music educator Paul Greenstone assisting in a summer music program in Lake Region Summer Band Program for students entering Gr. 5 through high school. Shirts designed by Paul’s son, Andrew Greenstone. Photo by music educator Jenni Null who is recently retired and teaching one day a week.

As we know the field of education is changing right before our eyes – sometimes with us at the table and some days we wake up and wonder how we got where we are. Some of this has to do with a generation of educators retiring. The numbers are on the increase and the list of openings at this time of year is larger than normal, according to communications. The statewide census that the Maine Arts Commission conducted provided us with all kinds of information including the number of school districts who have non-certified educators. We also know that in some arts disciplines, the number of undergraduate students in our field is smaller this year. Both of these are concerns.

I keep thinking about the number of retired teachers who still have so much to offer. I’m hearing about several who are teaching one or two days a week in schools that have a need for a part-time arts educator. I’m also aware of educators who are volunteering in their communities and/or schools to help support the education of young people. If you’re one of these educators, THANK YOU you for stepping up and continuing to use your teaching skills!

Doesn’t matter what age you are or how long you’ve been teaching, I suggest that you consider who is available to assist you and consider the many retired arts educators when you hear of opportunities. Both the Maine Music Educators Association and the Maine Art Education Association knows who has retired in the past few years plus I have blogged about the retirees for the last five years. Don’t hesitate to reach out – these are ways to advocate and gain support for yourself and your program. We know that young people are the ones who will benefit!

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Survey Closing

May 3, 2016

Tonight at midnight

On December 15, 2016 I sent the following message to the Maine Arts Education community:

I am soooooo excited to announce that the Maine Arts Commission has launched the Statewide Arts Education survey which you will be hearing a great deal about in the next few months. We are thrilled that we are partnering with PK-12 Arts educators, Maine Art Education Association, Maine Music Educators Association, Maine Principals’ Association, Maine Department of Education, Maine Alliance for Arts Education, and the New England Institute for Teacher Education.

Here we are four and a half months later and about to close the survey (tonight at midnight). The collection of information has been outstanding. As of this morning, 94% – 556 schools have submitted the survey. This success is because many of you have contributed! THANK YOU seems to small to express how appreciative the Maine Arts Commission is to everyone who has contributed. We are grateful to the visual and performing arts teachers, the census steering committee, principals who submitted the survey for the school, superintendents who urged principals to complete the survey, other educators, teaching artists, parents, community arts organizations, and the many other community members who made phone calls, sent emails, and communicated.

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A large part of this happened thanks to 15 Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leaders who served as ambassadors and contacted school personnel. And, Noel Paul Stookey who serves as the census Champion has been amazing. He wrote a letter and created a song/video inviting principals to complete the survey. Many participated due to his message. I am grateful for everyone’s involvement!

Washington superintendents region schools reporting – 100%. Aroostook and York regions – 98%. Hancock and Mid-Coast – 97%. Cumberland and Kennebec Valley – 95%.

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Noel Paul Stookey

This work reflects a strong collaboration and is a clear message to me about how much people in Maine care about the future of visual and performing arts education for all learners! The next steps are being done by the census consultant who will be collecting anecdotal information from educators throughout the state. If you are interested in being interviewed for this part of the census please contact me ASAP. Everyone will not be able to participate but we are looking to collect from our diverse population.

By the middle of the summer we should have a report and a draft plan for how to put the report into action. Over the next year we will be putting the information into the hands of policy makers. Of course, the blog will have the information/details. This could be an opportunity for you to help guide and strengthen arts education at the local level.

We do have about 30 schools who have not completed the survey. If you are wondering if your school is one of them please go to https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Arts-Education-Census-Status (not updated with the latest as of 8:15 AM) and check the list of who has completed the survey. Thank you to each and every blog reader who has helped with the statewide census!

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