Posts Tagged ‘MALI’

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Tuneful Talk Tuesdays

March 29, 2020

Opportunity for PK-6 elementary music teachers

Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leaders Danielle Collins, Catherine Newell, Cynthia Keating, Will Stecher, Dorie Trip, and Kaitlin Young are collaborating to offer a round table for PK-6 elementary classroom music educators. These 6 elementary music educators are aware that teachers are in different places in this transition due to the pandemic of the Coronavirus. They are hopeful that by combining their powers that they can work to problem solve some of the challenges everyone is facing and celebrate the successes that are happening each day!
You’re invited to join them for Tuneful Talk Tuesday’s at Two! March 31, 2:00, Zoom – CLICK THIS LINK. If you have questions please contact Kaitlin Young at kyoung@sedomocha.org.
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Capacity of the Arts

March 27, 2020

I can’t sleep

Thanks to teaching artist leader for creating this hopeful video to help us remember the importance of the arts.

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MALI Update

February 4, 2020

Good news from the Maine Arts Commission

The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) members and Martha Piscuskas the new director of arts education at the Maine Arts Commission have been working since last summer on the valuable work of MALI.

For those veteran readers of this blog, you are probably well aware of MALI and its importance to the field of Maine Arts Education. For any newcomers, and those needing a refresher, MALI is a program of the Maine Arts Commission. MALI is a network of Maine Arts Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders dedicated to supporting each others’ leadership, growth as educators, and promotion of authentic arts experiences in all genres for all Maine students. It grew out of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, a grassroots effort by some Maine Arts Teachers to educate themselves and create some guidelines and practices for arts assessment. Almost every year since 2011,  MALI has held a summer institute for visual and performing arts teachers to deepen their mastery of teaching the arts. A yearlong cohort continues to work together, working towards specific individual goals and culminating in public presentations.

TWO IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER

  • Winter Retreat – Saturday, Feb 29
  • Summer Institute NOTE NEW MONTH: — Thursday and Friday, June 25 & 26

With a leadership transition, MALI is taking this year to re-evaluate its purpose, clarify its structure and strengthen its role. Two leadership teams are tackling these tasks, and will be seeking feedback from all MALI members.

VISION TEAM

Vision Team members Dana Legawiec, Jen Driscoll, Lynda Leonas, Jake Sturtevant, and Sue Barre. Skyping in: Shawna Barnes, Jen Acosta

The Vision Team is a think-tank tasked with establishing a system and structure for MALI to grow and thrive into the future. It is comprised of 7 MALI Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders, including Jake Sturtevant (Phase 1), Jen Acosta (Phase 1), Shawna Barnes (Phase 8), Sue Barre (Phase 3), Jennie Driscoll (Phase 1), Dana Legawiec (Phase 7), Lynda Leonas (Phase 5) and Martha Piscuskas (MAC). The team members have had a variety of powerful MALI experiences, and agree that the organization has had a lasting impact on Maine Arts Education.

The Vision Team has reviewed the MALI vision and mission statements, as well as the current structure of MALI. It is their goal to ensure that MALI will continue to foster a community of passionate Arts Educators and Teaching Artists. The community will allow for professional growth that will directly impact students. It is their intent to help maintain, and sustain, the positive aspects of MALI, while strengthening the organizational mission that MALI represents.

In order to focus discussion they have been investigating answers to these questions:

  1. What does it mean to be a MALI Teacher Leader/Teaching Artist Leader?
  2. How can MALI gain fiscal stability?
  3. How can the MALI community bring in more passionate Arts Educators and Teaching Artists?
  4. How can MALI develop an institutional governance structure that allows for flexibility and growth, and maintains a grassroots approach for developing a community of Arts Educators?

They will continue discussions, and would welcome thoughts and ideas from anyone who has been touched by the MALI community. They will develop a future MALI Vision at the Winter Retreat on Saturday, February 29, 2020.

PROGRAM TEAM

Program Team members Kate Smith, Dorie Tripp, and Kaitlin Young deep in thought. Other side of table include Melanie Crowe, Bronwyn Sale, Iva Damon, and Brigid Rankowski

The Program Team was tasked with maintaining MALI’s current offerings such as the Winter Retreat, a call for new members, the Summer Institute and Critical Friends’ Day. The Program Team members are Kate Smith (phase 4), Bronwyn Sale (higher ed rep), Iva Damon (phase 5), Melanie Crowe (Phase 3), Kaitlin Young (phase 7), Dorie Tripp (Phase 7), Emma Campbell (phase 4), Brigid Rankowski (Phase 6)  and Martha Piscuskas (MAC). The team has met several times via zoom conference and in person on January 26th. They have chosen the themes “teacher leadership” and “self-care” for the MALI Winter Retreat on February 29th and look forward to seeing all MALI members past and present.

MALI Teams thank all Maine arts educators for all you do and continue to do, and look forward to hearing from you. To share feedback or for more information, or to MALI folks for sign-up information, please connect with a Team member, or Martha Piscuskas, Director of Arts Education at the Maine Arts Commission: martha.piscuskas@maine.gov 207-287-2750.

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Lifelong Learning

November 13, 2019

Professional Development

Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leaders at the music education conference in September 2019 with Denise Gagne. Front, LtoR Catherine Newell, Dorie Tripp, Back LtoR Kate Smith, Linda McVety, Pamela Kinsey, Denise, Will Stecher

Often educators get so caught up in the day to day challenges of teaching that they forget to take time to reflect on what is actually happening. Taking time for professional development, getting off your island, and seeking colleagues for collaborations is critical to feed your soul and positively impact the art of teaching!

TEACHERS NEED TEACHERS! Reaching out and connecting with someone can make all the difference for you personally and professionally. I believe if you don’t take care of yourself (personally AND professionally) it becomes more difficult to take care of your students.

Now that we’re about 6 weeks into the school year, take a minute and ponder these questions:

  1. How often have you searched for professional development opportunities that really challenged your thinking about teaching? There are opportunities if you search – some in state, some regional and national and there are opportunities on the international level.
  2. When was the last time you asked a colleague to give you feedback on a lesson or unit? It doesn’t matter if you’re new to teaching or if you’re a veteran, asking someone you trust to step into your classroom and give you feedback can provide a totally different perspective to your teaching. I know this is may be difficult for a variety of reasons but if you want to be successful and look back on many years of teaching with a smile please don’t hesitate to reach out to someone that you trust and respect. If you have no other teachers of the same discipline in your school or district, reach out to someone in a nearby district, the professional organization leadership or perhaps a college/university. (By the way, I’d be glad to help out).
  3. Have you ever seen yourself teach? Set up a video camera in your classroom so you can view it later on? Perhaps having someone visit is to much of a stretch at the moment. No problem, borrow a video camera, if you don’t have one, set it up on a tripod and take some footage of yourself that you can view later on in the comfort of your own home.
  4. What research or book on education have you read lately? Who are you following on social media? There are so many outstanding books and writers on education topics. If you need a recommendation on where to get started check out the blog post from June 2019 called Summer Reading. for suggestions. Or go to a professional organizations website and read what they’re suggesting. There are also amazing resources on the web including blogs, podcasts, and audio recordings of information that you can visit over and over. Follow someone on Twitter, Instagram or one of the other social media tools available.
  5. Do you have a curriculum that you’re actively using? Many educators are required to write a curriculum and it gets put on a shelf and not revisited until it’s time to write a new one. Is that you? I’m not suggesting for a moment that you use your curriculum for every lesson/unit but what I do suggest is asking yourself this – can you map your daily lessons to a curriculum? Is it aligned with standards? Do you have assessments in place that support what you’re teaching or your students learning? Can you answer these two questions – What am I teaching? and Why am I teaching it? If you can’t answer, I suggest that you take time and ask yourself: what do I want my students to know at the end of the school year or perhaps in 5 years or when they are adults? Good teaching and learning should drive your work!
  6. What are you doing to take care of yourself? Are you mindful of your mind, body, and spirit? This is probably the most important one and it is the one that has taken me years to integrate into my daily living practices. We are fortunate to teach the arts because many of us went into teaching for two reasons – one is we want to teach and the other is we want to be an artist. So, what is your discipline and what are you doing to focus on that personally? I have made a practice of painting every day I can for a few minutes. If there is time that few minutes turns into an hour. I get lost in my art making. When I have more time I am making mosaics. Talk about getting lost in art making. I have no idea how the day disappears. If you’re a parent I realize taking time to make art on top of being a teacher and a parent there is no time left for art making or you. Please know it took me many years of parenting and teaching to get to this point. My suggestion? Start small – 5 minutes of meditation, yoga, writing and/or reading poetry, playing an instrument, moving in a mindful way or whatever way works for you. PLEASE take care of yourself!

it’s all about being a life-long learning! What are you doing to expand and build on your thinking? And, what you doing to take care of yourself? Please share your ideas at the bottom of this blog post.

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What Does Standards Based Education Look Like?

November 11, 2019

Frequently asked question

Jen Etter

I am often asked: What does standards based education or proficiency based education look like in the visual or performing arts classroom? A handful of years ago the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) took on that question and answered it by creating a series of videos of arts teachers in their classrooms teaching. Over a two year period Debi Lynn Baker and I visited these schools to gather footage that Debi than created into short videos to provide resources

Brian McPherson

Brian McPherson

for the field.

I am grateful to the following MALI leaders who let us in to their classrooms and school world and shared the work they were doing everyday. Lisa Ingraham, Brian McPherson, Andrea Wollstadt, Jane Snider, Jen Etter, Charlie Johnson, and Rob Westerberg. I hope you’ll find them inspirational and thought provoking. All videos are located on the Maine Arts Assessment website.

Andrea Wollstadt

Even though practices change these life-long learners will provide you something to use for food for thought and perhaps inspire you to consider the teaching and learning practices in your classrooms.

Elementary School Visual Art – Lisa Ingraham, Madison Elementary School

Elementary School Visual Art – Brian McPherson, Woodside Elementary School, Topsham

Jane Snider

Jane Snider

Elementary School Music – Andrea Wollstadt, John F. Kennedy Memorial School, Biddeford

Middle School Visual Art – Jane Snider, Hancock Grammar School

Middle School Music – Jen Etter, York Middle School

Andrea Wollstadt

High School Visual Art – Charlie Johnson, Mount Desert Island High School

High School Music – Rob Westerberg, York High School

 

 

Charlie Johnson

Rob Westerberg

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Kids in Charge

November 5, 2019

What does it mean and look like?

One of the questions that comes up over and over is what does student centered learning look like and how do I manage it? Last week flying into my email was a video created by Edutopia. For those of you blog readers who may not know about Edutopia it is the George Lucas Foundation whose mission is dedicated to transforming K-12 education so that all students can acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to thrive in their studies, careers, and adult lives. George Lucas the 1991 founder of Edutopia is an innovative and award-winning filmmaker. Edutopia is all about taking a strategic approach to improving K-12 education through two distinct areas of focus: Edutopia and Lucas Education Research.

The video included in the email is called How to Create Student-Centered Lessons and Put Students in Charge of Their Learning. Some of you may be thinking that the task is easier in the non-arts classrooms but I think this video provides enough information that you can gain insight and develop ideas.

In addition to the Edutopia video a handful of years ago the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI – then MAAI – Maine Arts Assessment Initiative) started creating videos to answer: What does this student-centered thing look like in a visual or performing arts education classroom? All of these videos are available on the Maine ARTSEducation youtube channel and I’ve embedded them below to make it easier for you to access them.

Co-founder MAAI, Music educator at York High School, Rob Westerberg, with a very different haircut.

Jane Snider, Hancock School visual art educator, MALI Teacher Leader.

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MAMLE

October 22, 2019

Arts teachers shine

Kris Bisson,Kaitlin Young, Argy Nestor,Catherine Ring

Last Thursday and Friday I attended the Maine Association for Middle Level (MAMLE) Conference at Point Lookout. I have fond memories of returning to the site in Northport – so many amazing learning opportunities for arts educators have taken place there for many years. The MAMLE conference has always been a place where middle level arts educators are welcomed and the conference goers are appreciative of what is offered. This years theme was Filling Our Cups: Teaching in Challenging Times.

Kris Bisson

Kris Bisson, Music Educator at Marshwood Middle School in Berwick and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leader presented a session called Integrating your community in the classroom: service learning project models. Kris is the perfect person to present on the topic since she’s had her students engaged in multiple projects in her students community. Her well known Bridging Adolescence: A River Flows Through Us project that she collaborated with teaching artist Brian Evans-Jones on, made a huge impact on her students and community members. I was thrilled when her students shared this project at the State House December 2018 at an arts education celebration.

Kaitlin Young

Kaitlin Young, 2017 Maine Teacher of the Year, Music Educator at Sedomocha Elementary and Middle Schools, and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leader provided a key note that had participants engaged. The title was What We Can Do When We Are Brave Together. Kaitlin’s presentation was inspirational and very realistic. It provided thought provoking ideas which participants could take with them and put immediately in place. Thank you Kaitlin for filling up all of our cups!

If you’re a middle level educator consider participating in the conference next year which will be held in Portland. Check the MAMLE site for information.

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