Posts Tagged ‘maranacook’

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MALI Teacher Leader Story: Dorie Tripp

May 29, 2018

Music Educator 

This is one of several blog posts in 2018 that include stories of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Phase 7 Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders. This series includes a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about each leader. CLICK HERE  for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE  for more information on the 93 Teacher Leaders and 8 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. Thank you Dorie for sharing your story!

Dorie Tripp is a National Board Certified Teacher in Early/Middle Childhood Music. For the last nine years she has taught PK-5 general music and beginner band in RSU #38, (Maranacook Schools). She splits her time between Manchester and Readfield Elementary Schools where she teaches approximately 400 young students each week.

What do you like best about being a music educator?

The great thing about being a music teacher, is having the privilege to watch my students develop over time, and create a love for music that will last them a lifetime. I have the pleasure of teaching my students year after year, for as many as seven years. I love that I get to help plant the seeds for love and success in the performing arts. It gives me so much pride when I see my students in Middle or High School concerts, musicals, and festivals. Watching my students shine, find their voice, feel accepted, or even find a passion is what keeps me going.

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

There are so many aspects to a successful performing arts education, which makes it difficult to pinpoint any one thing. As we all know, educational strategies and practices aren’t “one size fits all” and what works for one school community may not be appropriate for another. I know this from experience, as in the last nine years of my career I have worked in two very different communities. One being a large, urban school district with challenges like over-crowded schools, homelessness and poverty, and overcoming language barriers (to name a few). The other a small, rural district, small class sizes, and a high level of community involvement. Both do a tremendous job to address challenges and celebrate successes every day, but often in very different ways. If I had to choose three overarching themes, however, I could easily name community, collaboration, and advocacy.

Dorie presenting at the MALI Mega conference, Oxford Hills, March 2018

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

I have found assessment to be helpful as an informative teaching tool. The moment I shifted my thinking in using assessment solely to “grade” my student’s achievement to tracking student growth, my practice has become much more effective. I use formative assessment every day in my classroom to understand what my students are learning, to solve problems, and provide more practice with the skills embedded in our curriculum. I use assessment data to differentiate my instruction to the needs of my students, guide my unit plans, and adjust my pacing. I have absolutely gained a more focused picture of my students, and how they learn as individuals.

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

I started with the Maine Arts Leadership initiative as a music teacher just looking for quality professional development (PD). I have always had great luck with workshops at Maine All-State Festival, but I wanted PD that I could attend earlier on in the school year. I found myself at a MALI mega conference, and was not disappointed! I was able to network with other local teachers, while taking away information and strategies that I could apply in my classroom right away, before the end of the school year.

After that, I became curious about the Teacher Leadership Initiative, and filled out an application for Phase 7. When submitting my application, I had no idea how much growth I would make as an educator in just one year. The support I received from MALI has been incredible. I was able to create a personalized plan of action, which included sharing my elementary teaching practices with others in a workshop, and saw it come to life. Through this process, I have found a network of supportive colleagues who inspire me to contribute all I can to the profession. For me, personally, the greatest benefit is that I have found my voice, and have been empowered to use it.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I am most proud of my students. Although I have been in this profession for nine years, I am still humbled by my students. They grow, and learn, and change into these amazing human beings with talents and ideas that just blow me away. It’s really nice to realize that you’ve had a role in that, even if just a very small one.

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

The more obvious things that get in the way of doing a better job or being a better teacher is time and money. I feel like all educators, no matter the content area, can relate. The less obvious thing that gets in the way is the lack of collaboration or idea sharing with other educators. It’s easy to stay inside our own little bubble, and never open ourselves to other ideas or partnerships. I believe that reflective practice is best when it’s combined with observations and mentorships with other great teachers. This is often difficult to practice as arts educators, however, because even if we want to branch out and team up with/learn from others, so many of us would have to go outside our school or district. Not all of us have other colleagues in our buildings who do what we do. This is why organizations like MALI are so beneficial. We need the time and resources to get together with other educators to share ideas, network, and work together on projects that can/will help us do our jobs better.

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

As you can probably tell, I am a big fan of educator collaboration and support. I try to team up and work with others, in and outside the arts, whenever I get a chance. During my concerts each year, the majority of my school staff come back and volunteer their time to help me with set up, the shuffle of students, and tear down. I always hear “You’re so lucky to have such supportive parents, colleagues, and administrators”. Yes, it’s true that I am lucky, but I also work really hard for this fortune. I strive to maintain positive work relationships with my colleagues. I volunteer to help out with other events that are not music related. I try to stay flexible and understanding when other school activities disrupt my schedule, just like my events sometimes disrupt others. I share activities and materials with other classrooms, collaborate on cross-curricular activities, and volunteer to cover a duty now and again. I even give private saxophone lessons to our evening custodian once a week, as a small token of thanks for all the extra work he puts in setting up and tearing down equipment for our six performances each year.  All of this is extra work, but I understand that without this collaborative environment, I am just one person, and would not be able to complete all of my tasks alone. All of this is in the best interest of my students, and ultimately my program.

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

I would say, don’t get too caught up on standards and assessments. They are important factors of what we do, but they aren’t everything. They are just tools we use to see and reach the big picture goals. Listen to your students, and don’t be afraid to make learning fun. Make it feel good for students, and they will develop a life-long love for music.

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

After paying off some school debt (I know I’m not alone here…), I would definitely use it to help students access music. I would purchase instruments and pay enrollment fees for students to participate in music festivals, camps and programs. My family went through great hardships when I was growing up, and I was fortunate to have a music teacher who made sure that those financial troubles would not interfere with my musical potential. I am so grateful for her, and others who made it happen. Without them, I would not be the music educator that I am today.

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

I try not to have regrets. All things that have happened in my life were for learning purposes. However, I hope that I won’t look back and worry that I spent too much time working about professional evaluations and certification requirements, and that I can say I always worked hard to give my students what they deserve.

 

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MALI Teacher Leader Story: Hope Lord

May 8, 2018

Visual Art Educator

This is one of several blog posts in 2018 that include stories of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Phase 7 Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders. This series includes a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about each leader. CLICK HERE  for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE  for more information on the 93 Teacher Leaders and 8 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. Thank you Hope for sharing your story!

Hope Lord has been the Art & Design teacher for 300 grades 6 through 8 students at Maranacook Community School for the last 7 years. She also teaches and inspires 16 gifted and talented art students and is the co-advisor for the school’s yearbook. Prior to that Hope taught in RSU #38 for 19 years, 12 as a special education teacher.

What do you like best about being an art educator?

It’s wonderful when I see my students make connections between art & other content areas. I love watching my students take risks in their art and grow as artists. I enjoy being surrounded by young artists and presenting them with opportunities to explore, develop, challenge, and create art. The best part of being an art educator is witnessing a student’s success, as they become and see themselves as artists.

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

Three keys to a successful visual arts education program are creativity, perseverance, and collaboration.

  1. First of all, creativity is important because an arts educator is always looking for creative inspiration for new lessons and challenging their students to innovate and take creative risks in their artwork. Art educators also have to be creative in obtaining the resources they need for their art classrooms and for adapting materials and lessons to challenge and meet the needs of all their students.
  2. Perseverance is also key to successful arts education. The process of creating art requires the artist to experiment, revise, and rework their art numerous times. Students need to learn perseverance because students often experience failed attempts in communicating their message or executing their design. By encouraging students and supporting them through the revision process, students learn to persevere and develop a life-long skill. Perseverance not only helps students become artists, it also helps them work through any difficult task they face in school and future careers.
  3. The final key to a successful arts program is collaboration. Seeking and receiving feedback and collaboration is crucial in planning, developing, and creating artwork. When students collaborate they gain insight and new perspectives that they wouldn’t if working in isolation. Collaboration also challenges and inspires an art educator. Collaborating with other educators and community members enriches an art program, providing greater resources and connections that working alone cannot. Collaboration teaches vital 21st century skills that prepare students for life.

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

Quality assessment helps me understand how a student is learning and the degree to which they comprehend a concept. It also helps me plan my instruction based on concepts students need more instruction or may have misunderstandings and need clarification. Assessment also provides students feedback on their learning and how they can improve their work. 

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

MALI has provided me the support, encouragement, and skills I needed to become an arts leader in my school, district, and state. I have the confidence to take creative risks in my teaching. My teaching has improved because of those risks and the collaboration with teachers throughout my district. My professional growth has enabled me to become an arts education leader and mentor to new teachers in my district. Additionally, I have the confidence to share my teaching experiences with other art teachers and receiving constructive feedback. MALI has been a great inspiration. 

What are you most proud of in your career?

I am most proud of the work I’ve done with some of my most challenging students. I love seeing these students grow creatively and find success in art, when they have not been successful in other content areas. As I watch their art confidence grow, I also see their self-esteem improve, and it warms my heart. I know the extra investment and encouragement these students need, is well worth the effort. Every student needs to feel they are good at something. I am proud that I have been able to assist students in finding success in art and also building their self-esteem.

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

The day to day politics of education interfere with being a great teacher. The increasing demands of our time and ever changing policies, hinders educators. The lack of support & funding for the arts from administrators, school boards, community, and legislators, all interfere with being a great teacher.

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 spent the last seven years developing an arts curriculum that is engaging and fosters creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication, while connecting the arts to other content areas. It is hard work and requires continuous revisions and alterations, as I teach each group of students. When a well planned and integrated art unit is executed, it seems effortless. However, it requires numerous hours of planning, research, collaboration, and support.

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

I would tell them to trust their instincts and take risks. Share your ideas with colleagues and get feedback and support to act on those ideas. Reach out to your community and colleagues throughout the state for resources and support to bring your ideas to fruition.

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

Making drums at the MALI Summer Institute, August 2018

I would take some of the money to build a new art and design studio and gallery at my school. I would also establish a grant that would be available to art teachers to help fund art materials and equipment, field trips, and artists in residence programs throughout Maine.

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

My only regret would be that I didn’t start my teaching career as an Art Educator. Even though I enjoyed the challenges and successes of a Special Education teacher, I wish I would have taught Visual Arts from the beginning. I would still have had the opportunities of teaching students with special needs, but through the arts lens. Teaching art and mentoring young artists has been very rewarding and my only regret is I didn’t start sooner.

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Dorie and Hope Connect

March 28, 2018

Arts integration at its finest

Art Teacher Hope Lord and Music Teacher Dorie Tripp collaborated to create an amazing learning opportunity for their students in the RSU 38, Maranacook area schools.

Hope working on the drum at the MALI summer institute

Hope and Dorie became Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leaders last spring as part of phase 7. Both are inspirational leaders who shared their integrated work at the MALI winter retreat in March.

At the MALI summer institute in August 2017 they participated in the drum building session with MALI Design Team member Lindsay Pinchbeck. Out of the learning opportunity they decided to involve the students in cross-curricular and cross grade level learning.

Hope worked with her general art & design students to build drums and create tribal printing stamps. They brought their ideas and stamps to the 5th graders who used the stamps to make designs on 16 drums.

The students experimented with the sounds that the drums make by using different materials for the drum head and by how tight they attached them. They already started to use the drums and are looking forward to the spring concert to perform with them for the community. Both Hope and Dorie are glad to share their ideas in more depth, if you’re interested!

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Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Drew Albert

June 4, 2013

This is the 34th in a series of blog posts telling arts teacher’s stories. The first 19 were told last year by the phase I Maine Arts Assessment Initiative teacher leaders. The series continues with the stories from the phase II teacher leaders. These posts contain a set of questions to provide the opportunity for you to read educators stories and to learn from others.

IMG_0126Drew Albert has been teaching at Maranacook Community High School in Readfield, Maine for two years. The high school serves about 400 students and Drew teaches both instrumental and vocal music.

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

Certainly the most rewarding part of being a music educator is the students. It has proven to be an incredible experience to be their teacher. I feel such a sense of pride when they do something they thought they weren’t capable of, or when they realize a passion for music they might not have known they had.

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

  1. Collaboration and support. Everyone needs to work well together: teacher and student, parents and teacher, administration and teacher, student and student.
  2. Vision. Setting goals for any program is the best path for growth, musically and otherwise. Reaching attainable benchmarks leaves myself and my students feeling accomplished, while also developing as both individuals and as a group.
  3. Passion. I want my students to find their passion even if it isn’t for music. Students should feel they are in an environment where they are free to express themselves and create; to take risks and make mistakes; to learn, laugh and grow.

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

Assessment has been the biggest tool in guiding my teaching. Having to work with many students, all performing at various levels, I felt responsible for knowing each students’ strengths and weaknesses. Preparing meaningful individual assessments has prevented me from letting any of my students fall through the ‘proverbial’ cracks. More often than not, I found areas in which I needed improvement. Assessing my students on a regular basis provides me with an observation of my own teaching, which is especially important considering the busy schedules of administrators and colleagues. These assessments have been an invaluable tool in evaluating student progress from lesson to lesson.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the arts assessment initiative?

To be surrounded by so many incredibly supportive and passionate individuals has been the greatest benefit of the initiative. I have learned so much from everyone that I am able to use in my own teaching, and we have really had a lot of fun together!

What are you most proud of in your career?

Without a doubt, being fortunate enough to be hired by Maranacook High School my first year out of college. They trusted that I was the right person for the job, so I try my best everyday when I get to school.

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

Time, for sure. That’s a universal issue. More time for students and teachers. Our students have so many opportunities to take advantage of. Naturally, the majority want to be involved in as many activities as possible. It’s no wonder we run into scheduling problems! Sometimes the math team is missing from dress rehearsal, others times a track meet is scheduled for the same day as the big Memorial Day parade. We just have to do the best we can and usually things will fall into place.

I also find myself getting in my own way. It is very easy to over plan for a particular lesson. Creating a behemoth of a plan with an unnecessary and confusing set of directions, assessment, rubrics, scales, standards, bells, whistles and the kitchen sink. I have learned these past two years to keep things simple, succinct and meaningful.

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

I felt very lucky to sign my first contract at my current school. The truth is, I’ve been very fortunate to work with many supportive, passionate people. From my high school music teachers to my professors at the University of Maine, they are the ones who got me to where I am today, as well as my colleagues, friends and family. I owe them thanks for inspiring me to work even harder.

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

Every once in a while, congratulate yourself! You work hard. You inspire your students. You get to school early. You stay at school late. You put on concerts and fundraisers. You create and motivate. You play music and paint and act and dance. You are pretty great!

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

Pay off my sister’s student loans and mine. Then I would take my entire family on vacation: aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins…the whole crew. The last time we did that we went to Disney World. I’m thinking maybe Vegas this time? With whatever was left I would buy lots of new toys like guitars, ukuleles, steel drums…you name it. And of course I would share them with my students!

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

I would be pretty excited to see 94! There will always be regrets in my life and career. In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “Never look back unless you are planning to go that way”.

Thank you Drew for sharing your story!

 

 

 

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Scholastic Art Awards

April 3, 2011

Heartwood College

Chase Gaewski photograph

Heartwood College hosted a great celebration recently with the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards ceremony at the Coastal House in Wells. “For 88 years the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have provided the nation’s most creative teens with opportunities for recognition, exhibition, publication and scholarships,” said Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the Alliance. “Over the years these teens have consistently gone on to form the core of their generation’s creative leadership, not only by producing films and exemplifying the values of creative self-expression that the Awards encourage.”

This year’s national award recipients from Maine are:

  • Chase Gaewski, Photography, gr. 12 of Maranacook Community High School, art teacher Linda Phillips
  • Darren Decelles, Painting, gr. 11 of Rangeley Lakes High School, art teacher Sonja Johnson
  • Noelle Webster, Photography, gr. 11 of Cape Elizabeth High School, art teacher Richard Rothlisberger
  • Kylie Pratt, Short Story, gr. 10 of Noble High School, teacher, Adina Hunter

Students and their art teachers will be attending a ceremony in New York City at Carnegie Hall at the end of May!

The annual awards competition is open to students in grades 7-12 who submit works of art and writing for regional adjudication by a panel of local jurors comprised of artists, authors, educators and other arts professionals. Works are judged on originality, technical skill and the emergence of a personal vision or voice and those receiving top honors are then submitted for national adjudication.

Maranacook students Chase Gaewski: 2 gold, 1 silver keys, Honorable mention, Becky White: 1 gold, 2 silver keys, 2 Honoroable mention, Breanna Gorneau: Gold key, and art teacher Linda Phillips

Since 1923 the program has recognized more than 13 million students and made available over $25 million in scholarships. They continue to be the longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens and the largest source of scholarships for artists and writers. the program is generously supported by Scholastic Inc., Maurice R. Robinson Foundation, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, Command Web Offset, AMD Foundation, The New York Times, Dick Blick Co., Ovation, and New York Life Foundation.

For more information please go to http://www.artandwriting.org/Awards/NationalWinners

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