Posts Tagged ‘Maine arts education’

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Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Hilary Martin

March 21, 2017

MALI Teacher Leaders Series

This is the fourth blog post of the Phase 6 Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leader stories. This series includes a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about the work each Maine visual or performing arts teacher or artist is doing.  CLICK HERE  for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE  for more information on the 81 Teacher Leaders plus 4 Teaching Artist Leaders.  CLICK HERE  for Arts education resources. CLICK HERE  for the MALI Resource Bank. Search in the “search archives” box on the bottom right side of this post for past teacher leader stories. There have been 74 posted to date. Thank you Hillary for sharing your story!

Hilary Martin is currently working as a grades K-8 ed. tech. at the Vassalboro Community School in AOS 92. Before this year, beginning in 2013, she worked as the K-12 theatre teacher at the Vinalhaven School, where she taught K-5 drama, high school public speaking, and middle and high school electives in acting, directing, playwriting, and technical theatre and design. While at Vinalhaven Hilary also directed after-school productions.

What do you like best about being an arts educator?

Having the opportunity to help students be creators, and giving students who might not be highly successful in other classes a place where they can shine.

What do you believe are three keys to ANY successful visual and performing arts education?

Community support, investment from administrators and colleagues, and a passionate teacher.

How have you found assessment to be helpful to you in your classroom?

Assessment allows me to get a sense of what students have and haven’t mastered, so I know what curriculum areas to spend extra time on, and it allows me to give students useful, constructive feedback on their work.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative?

Being an arts educator can often feel very isolated–a lot of time you’re the only one in the building in your subject area, and being a theatre teacher even more so, as there aren’t that many of us in the state! Being involved with MALI has been a wonderful opportunity to network and share resources with other theatre teachers.

What are you most proud of in your career?

While at Vinalhaven, I began taking students to the Maine Drama Festival. Our first year attending we placed second at the regional competition, and the program has been successful enough to continue under the new Vinalhaven theatre teacher. I’m very proud of how I was able to expand the already very strong theatre program at Vinalhaven!

What gets in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?

Time, or the lack of it! With all of the responsibilities teachers have there is very little time for professional development, collaborating with colleagues, or even individual curriculum planning–all things that are crucial to being an effective educator.

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear at first glance to be due to luck” or circumstances?

While on Vinalhaven, I had the opportunity to become a literacy interventionist, in addition to my work as the theatre teacher. This gave me a great opportunity to improve my skills as a teacher and get to know my students in a new way. While to some extent that opportunity was a result of being in the right place at the right time, it was also a result of my own hard work and commitment to continuing my education and training.

Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers?

Know your limits, and don’t be afraid to say no to additional commitments. Arts educators tend to love what we do a great deal, and as a result it can be easy to overextend ourselves–I know I’ve found myself in positions where I took on more than I could reasonably handle! Remember to leave yourself space for rest and recovery.

If you were given a $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

I would create a program to expand the number of in or after school theatre programs for elementary students. For many students, their first opportunity to participate in theatre comes in middle or high school, but elementary students can benefit just as much from being involved in theatre.

Imagine you are 94 years old. You’re looking back. Do you have any regrets?

It’s hard to say, but I hope that by the time I reach 94 I’ll have the perspective to look back on all the moments of my life as valuable learning experiences!

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Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Pam Chernesky

March 14, 2017

MALI Teacher Leaders Series

This is the third blog post of the Phase 6 Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leader stories. This series includes a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about the work each Maine visual or performing arts teacher or artist is doing.  CLICK HERE  for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE  for more information on the 81 Teacher Leaders plus 4 Teaching Artist Leaders.  CLICK HERE  for Arts education resources. CLICK HERE  for the MALI Resource Bank. Search in the “search archives” box on the bottom right side of this post for past teacher leader stories. There have been 74 posted to date. Thank you Pam for sharing your story!

Pam Chernesky teaches theatre and visual art at Houlton Middle/High School. She has taught art and theatre in Maine for the past 29 both downstate (Gov. Baxter School for the Deaf and Bonny Eagle High School) and, has been teaching art in the County for the past 3 years. Her high school courses include Art 1, Art 2, Advanced Art, Ceramics, Photography, and Theatre. She also teaches art and theatre with 6th, 7th and 8th graders in the Middle School. In total Pam teaches about 400 students with 3/4 of her time in visual arts and 1/4 teaching theatre.

What do you like best about being an arts educator?

 I love seeing students connect with each other and discover their own creative voice. In my district students have not had any elementary art or theatre so I see them transform into artists. Teaching students to take risks, believe in their ideas, and work collaboratively energizes me on a daily basis.

What do you believe are three keys to ANY successful visual and performing arts education?

Opportunity to learn, passionate teachers who love sharing their craft, and resources and support from the administration and the community. If these happen consistently then success is at hand.

How have you found assessment to be helpful to you in your classroom?

Many of my students have their first ever art or theatre class in middle or high school and truly believe they can’t create, have no ideas, or are afraid that they will get it “wrong”. Quality assessment provides clear expectations for both the students and me.   They see their progress toward meeting standards and realize that they CAN achieve and create.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative?

I definitely cherish meeting and working with so many wonderful arts teachers from across the state who are like-minded and willing to think outside the box. The trainings and leadership opportunities that have been afforded to me since joining MALI are impacting my practice and leadership in so many ways.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I am proud of the accomplishments of my students. This includes the state and nationally recognized performers and artists, as well as the students who just take my classes to earn a graduation credit and instead learned so much more. I know that when you learn to create, you will be less likely to destroy. When you put yourself out there and take a creative risk, you will be less likely to criticize different ideas. When you connect with others and see diverse ways to express ideas, you will not see your world in such a black and white, right and wrong view. The arts impact every human being who participate in profound and long-lasting ways, and I am proud of my part in facilitating those changes in my students.

Visual Art and Theatre teacher Pam Chernesky and Dance and Phys. Ed. teacher MaryEllen Schaper (Bonny Eagle Middle School)

What gets in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?

In schools, time is always a huge factor, coupled with the strange concept that the arts are not a “core” subject and therefore don’t really matter in the same way as other subjects. The resistance to change at a systemic level is most frustrating. I think that if schools let all the arts teachers reinvent the way a school day would operate, I could be a better teacher and my students would see connections and be better learners and future citizens.

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear at first glance to be due to luck” or circumstances?

I have worked hard to expand offerings for students both during school and in extra-curricular areas. Students participate in the MLTI Screensaver Challenge, the Scholastic Art Awards, art shows outside of school and the MPA One-Act Festival. I am on the boards of our community arts center and the local children’s theatre. Most people have no idea of the hours of work and coordination it takes to build relationships, provide opportunities, and share those successes with the community.

Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers?

Never underestimate your power as a teacher to change a student’s life and make a difference. Your students are learning more than vocabulary or skills, they are learning to think, empathize, connect and become better human beings, and we teach all those things through the arts.

If you were given a $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

I would travel with my family and experience arts and cultures around the world. I could probably even get a ticket to Hamilton in New York! I would also save money for my daughter’s college expenses as she pursues her love of music. I would use the rest of the money to provide more opportunities for my students. Field trips to museums and performances are out of reach for many rural schools who live great distances away from those venues. It would be a thrill to be able to afford to take them to see the works of art that they have only seen in books or on the internet, or to see live performances.

Imagine you are 94 years old. You’re looking back. Do you have any regrets?

I hope not. I struggle with balancing my family life with my arts life, and it is wonderful when they intersect. I am lucky to have the loving support of my family but I don’t underestimate the time we have together. Hopefully at 94 I can look back with fond memories of it all! I know I love what I am doing right now.

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Portland Museum of Art Open House

March 10, 2017

Teachers, we appreciate you!

In appreciation of teachers the Portland Museum of Art is having an Open House, just for you!

Image credit: Side x Side Summer Arts Institute, June 2016. Photos by Joel Ellis Brown and Tonee Harbert.

Image credit: Side x Side Summer Arts Institute, June 2016.
Photos by Joel Ellis Brown and Tonee Harbert.

Thursday, March 23
Drop in any time between 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Free; registration is strongly encouraged.
R.S.V.P. by March 10 to Louisa Donelson, Associate Educator for Youth Learning, at ldonelson@portlandmuseum.org.

Teachers, you are our best allies when it comes to sharing the PMA collection with Maine youth and we want to show our appreciation with a free Open House. Teachers in any subject, Pre-K to 12, as well as homeschoolers are invited to visit the newly reinstalled PMA.
Participate however you like, for as long as you like.

  • Join in interactive gallery activities such as haiku writing or
    contour line drawing.
  • Explore our reinstalled galleries, which now host 20% more art.
  • Learn about our new school tour themes from staff and docents
  • Network with educators across grades and disciplines.
  • Tour the new Peggy L. Osher Art Study and Collection Committee Conference Room (3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. only).
  • Enjoy complimentary refreshments.
  • Receive complimentary classroom resources.

Note: educators are always welcome to visit free of charge to assist in field trip planning. Information on parking can be found here.

Student and teacher programming at the PMA is made possible by Unum.

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Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Jaclyn Bousquet

March 9, 2017

MALI Teacher Leaders Series

This is the second blog post of the Phase 6 Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leader stories. This series includes a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about the work each Maine visual or performing arts teacher or artist is doing.  CLICK HERE  for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE  for more information on the 81 Teacher Leaders plus 4 Teaching Artist Leaders.  CLICK HERE  for Arts education resources. CLICK HERE  for the MALI Resource Bank. Search in the “search archives” box on the bottom right side of this post for past teacher leader stories. There have been 73 posted to date. Thank you Jackie for sharing your story!

Jaclyn Bousquet presently teaches Visual Art to grades 9-12 at Traip Academy in Kittery, ME where she has spent the majority of her five year teaching career. At Traip Academy, Jackie teaches seven visual arts courses including AP/Advanced Art, Mixed Media, Art Fundamentals, Drawing, Painting, Stained Glass, and Pottery. On average, Jackie teaches about 125 students per year with many repeating students taking multiple art courses each year. In addition to teaching art, Jaclyn is also a Co-Advisor for the class of 2017 and the S2S/Interact club.

What do you like best about being a music/art/theater/dance educator?

I love the positive relationships I have fostered with my wonderful and passionate art students. It is the most amazing feeling in the world to know that I am making an impact on these students by encouraging their creativity and exposing them to the visual arts.

What do you believe are three keys to ANY successful visual and performing arts education?

The essentials for any successful visual and performing arts education include, community and school investment, a passionate and effective art teacher, and a budget!

How have you found assessment to be helpful to you in your classroom?

Assessment is helpful in providing feedback to students so that they may improve upon their future work, as well as make revisions to make stronger work. Quality assessment and rubrics also validates the arts as integral to a well rounded education.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative?

As the only visual arts educator in my building, I often work in isolation. Becoming involved with MALI has enabled me to network and collaborate with other visual arts teachers across the state. Working with MALI has also encouraged me to become more confident in my own leadership abilities, as I have been pushed outside of my comfort zone in creating and presenting workshops for other art educators.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I am extremely proud of the partnerships I have worked so hard to create with the surrounding community over the last four years. I have collaborated with local businesses, art galleries, and community members in order to enhance student learning and advocate for the arts. As a result of my efforts, I now have three annual art shows that occur in the community, as well as other meaningful projects that encourage students to communicate and collaborate with community members outside of the classroom.

What gets in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?

Time! As a teacher with seven art courses, it often feels as though I am racing time even with a block schedule. Having enough time to create meaningful and engaging lessons and art activities, provide students with meaningful feedback through assessment, and engage in professional development is extremely challenging.

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear at first glance to be due to “luck” or circumstances?

I am lucky to be working in a community that places strong value on the arts, so I think the work involved with setting up art shows and collaborating with local businesses can easily be overlooked or underestimated. I’ve worked extremely hard to set up community partners and display student work in public spaces in order to advocate for my program.

Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers?

As a relatively new teacher myself, there are still many things I am figuring out! The advice I would give to a new teacher, and that I often need to remind myself, is to continue making art and pursuing your own passions because it will radiate into your teaching. Additionally, I would stress the importance of changing things up and avoiding routine in the classroom. It is easy to repeat successful lessons year after year, but just like our students, it is important for us to take risks in order to learn and grow and become stronger educators.

If you were given a $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

The first thing I would do is revamp my classroom with new cabinetry and storage, and workstations for kids. Maybe I would create an entirely new classroom and expand our program! I would also invest in some expensive new Pottery equipment. I might create some kind of arts enrichment program or grant for schools that do not have formal arts education programs in place.

Imagine you are 94 years old. You’re looking back. Do you have any regrets?

This is a hard question! I will be so wise by the time I am 94, that any “regrets” will be thought of as learning experiences that helped shape who I am. I believe that everything happens for a reason and that I am always exactly where I need to be and that things unfold for a purpose. In the present, I am doing what I love and would not trade a minute of it!

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Dancers Making a Difference

March 3, 2017

Dance performance March 4 – Noble High School

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Under the direction of Emma Campbell, the Thornton Academy dancers performed at the Southern Maine Regional Finals for Poetry Out Loud which took place on Tuesday, February 28 at Thornton Academy.

The dance education community is amazing. I’ve included information on the blog about the work that has taken place, starting in 2015 that raised funds to establish a dance education grant that the Maine Arts Commission administered. The first round provided money for a dance residency in MSAD #33. You can read all about it on the blog posts from February 9-11. Here is THE LINK to the first of the series.

Now we have an another opportunity to add to the fund and provide more grants, thanks to “Dancers Making a Difference”. The following dance programs will be participating in the performance: Alegria Dance Company, Belletete Ballet Company, Berwick Academy, Brixham Danceworks, Community Dance Project, Corinne’s School of Dance, Fusion Dance Academy, Joy of Dance, New England Dance Project, Portsmouth School of Ballet, Sole City Dance, SonDance Academy, Studio 109, Thornton Academy, and Miss Annabelle’s School of Dance.

Their 5th annual benefit performance takes place tomorrow night, March 4, 7:00 at Noble High School in North Berwick. The money raised will be added to the dance education fund which will provide grants for schools that do not offer dance education during the next year. A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to all of the dance programs who are making a difference in Maine dance education!

If you are interested in learning more about the dance education please email me argy.nestor@maine.gov.

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YAM it Up!

March 3, 2017

Youth Art Month

Invitation artwork created by Lizzie Valdmanis grade 6 collagraph kimono

Invitation artwork created by Lizzie Valdmanis grade 6 collagraph kimono

The Maine Art Education Association

and the

Portland Museum of Art

Cordially Invite You to the Opening Reception

of

Youth Art Month

at the Portland Museum of Art

on

Saturday, March 11, 2017

4:00-7:30 pm

Presentation of Certificates of Participation:

4:30 PM: Grades K-3

5:30 PM: Grades 4-7

6:30 PM: Grades 8-12

The youth Art Month Exhibition remains hanging:

March 1 thru April 2, 3017

For more information about the Maine Art Education Association please CLICK HERE.

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Celebrate: March and the Arts!

March 1, 2017

Happy Arts Education Month!

YAHOO! We have a great opportunity this month to celebrate the amazing work and accomplishments of students in the visual and performing arts. CONGRATULATIONS to all the educators who provide an excellent arts education and access to it for learners of all ages. I know that you are proud of your students and I encourage you to take advantage of this month designated to celebrate arts education. Whether you do it in a small or large way, please let me know about the work you are doing so I can let others know. Your good ideas should be shared so others can learn from you! And, a great big THANK YOU for your commitment to visual and performing arts education!

MY SUGGESTION: Take advantage of Arts Education Month to engage others in the conversation of why a quality arts education is essential for all students.

Below are the professional organizations who provide many suggestions and links to ideas to help you and your students plan for a celebration.

NAEA

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-7-40-12-pmThe National Art Education Association has been celebrating Youth Art Month since the 1960’s. Check out what the National Art Education has to offer on the topic by using the key words “youth art month” in the search bar on the site. The purpose of YAM is to emphasize the value to children from participating in visual art education.

CFAE

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-7-56-21-pmThe Council for Art Education at provides tons of resources to help you plan. They have ideas on their site that teachers and students are engaged in across the country. The ideas range from school based to community, both large and small. You can sign up for their free newsletter and receive information on a regular basis.

NAfME

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-7-54-48-pmThe National Association for Music Education has been recognizing Music in Our Schools Month since 1985. The idea started in 1973.  You can learn what NAfME has to offer on MIOSM by CLICKING HERE. The purpose of MIOSM is to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children – and to remind citizens that schools is where all children should have access to music.

EDTA

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-8-12-23-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-23-at-8-04-06-pmThe Educational Theatre Association and the International Thespian Society have partnered with American Alliance for Theatre & Education (AATE) to sponsor Theatre in Our Schools. For ideas on how to create a celebration CLICK HERE. Their resources are directed towards Thespians, schools, and educators. The purpose is to raise public awareness of the impact of theatre education and draw attention to the need for more access to quality programs for all students.

NDEO

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-8-27-36-pmThe National Dance Education Organization celebrates the artistic and academic achievements of exceptional students through the National Honor Society for Dance Arts (NAHSDA) by teaming up with the US Department of Education during March. Learn more about their advocacy work by CLICKING HERE.

As you’re contemplating your March celebration checking out the blog post I included last year at this time can provide you with more resources. CLICK HERE for that blog post from March 1, 2016.

AFTA

screen-shot-2017-02-16-at-3-03-58-pmAmericans for the Arts envisions a country where everyone has access to—and takes part in—high quality and lifelong learning experiences in the arts, both in school and in the community. Their arts education council represents a cross section of the country so all voices are represented. The Americans for the Arts website has a plethora of resources on arts education. Check them out by CLICKING HERE.

MALI

MALI_V3_Color_100ppiThe Maine Arts Leadership Initiative provides plenty of resources at THIS LINK. Like all academic areas, students of the arts are successful because of teachers who are highly skilled, knowledgeable of developments in their fields, and motivated. MALI Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artists Leaders take on multiple leadership roles. If you’re interested in being part of a supportive collaborative group of visual and performing arts educators consider applying to be a Teacher Leader this Spring. If interested, or if you wish to learn more at this time please contact me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

 

ARTS ADVOCACY DAY

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-9-06-48-pmWe know that arts-rich schools benefit everyone. It is our responsibility to help others who may not understand this statement. Arts Education month provides that opportunity and the Maine Alliance for Arts Education has plans for Arts Advocacy Day in Augusta at the State House on Wednesday, March 8. To learn more visit the MAAE site by CLICKING HERE.

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