Posts Tagged ‘Teach to Lead’


ECET2 Conference

August 11, 2017

Teacher leaders from across the state

Yesterday and today educators from across the state are convening on Colby College campus for the summer ECET2 conference. What does ECET stand for? I’m glad you were wondering. Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teachers and Teaching in Maine. This is the third summer that the convening has taken place. The sessions are provided by teachers and by all reports all outstanding. I am reminded of the great work going on in classrooms across Maine and how fortunate learners are. Since most of my contact is with visual and performing arts teachers, it is great to be with teachers of all subjects and grade levels. And, you betcha, I am taking time to talk about arts education and the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI). Leadership is woven throughout the conference. It is great to be here with one of MALI’s new Teacher Leaders and the Piscataquis County Teacher of the Year from SeDoMoCha Elementary School, Kaitlin Young.

Yesterday started with a “Cultivating the Calling” session presented by Matt Drewette-Card from AOS #94. Followed by speed dating where participants had the chance to meet with 4 different people representing educational organizations. It was great fun to share! We headed to colleague circles over lunch where we got to the dreams and concerns in small groups. After lunch we had the opportunity to select from the following breakout sessions.

  • Teach to Lead – watch for an opportunity coming in the near future to attend an event in Maine
  • Time for Change: A 3-Step Process to Becoming a Better Teacher-Leader
  • Safe Environments and Honest Conversations
  • Unlocking Never-Before-Seen Doors for Kids
  • Professional Development BY the teachers and FOR the teachers
  • Creating Opportunities for All Students
  • Today’s Literacy Community: Reaching Beyond Classroom Walls

Today we will hear two more “Cultivating the Calling” provided by Tracie Travers and Brittany Ray. I’m really looking forward to them and the line up of sessions promises to be just as interesting and filled with learning as yesterday’s. If you are interested in learning more please CLICK HERE to see not only the sessions and resources but to read about ECET2 and the organizations that support and are partner.

Congratulations to the planning committee for a great job in planning the learning opportunity!


Teach to Lead

June 30, 2017

Austin Teach to Lead Summit

In July of 2015 a team from the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (at the time, know as the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative) participated in the Teach to Lead Summit in Washington, D.C. We learned a great deal and it changed the course of the initiative as part of the continuous growth to address the needs of teaching and learning in Maine arts education. We met Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education at the time, and had the opportunity to communicate about the important work going on in Maine arts education. Since that time the Teach to Lead organization has grown and MALI has continued to build on the original idea. This post includes an invitation for you to consider submitting an idea, as part of a team, to attend the next summit being held on September 22-24 in Austin, Texas. Being a leader sometimes takes being bold! It all starts with an IDEA (possibly a dream that you have) and you never know where it might lead you!! Deadline for applications is August 9. If you have any questions please contact me at

MALI team with Arne Duncan, Teach to Lead Summit, July 2105, Washington, D.C.

Calling all educators!  Submit an idea for our next Teacher Leadership Summit!

We are pleased to announce that Teach to Lead will host our 14th Teacher Leadership Summit in Austin, TX on September 22-24, 2017. The Austin Teach to Lead Summit is open for applications, deadline August 9, 2017.

Teach to Lead works to support teachers as valued experts in instruction and their students’ needs. This summit provides teachers and their supporters with time to collaborate, as well as skills and professional consultation, to incubate innovative ideas that can make a positive impact for students in their schools, communities, districts and states.

How do participants benefit from the Summit?

  • Develop a local idea into a complete plan for moving forward
  • Obtain the support of a dedicated “critical friend” from a supporting organization to advance your work
  • Build relationships with ASCD, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, United States Department of Education and many other supporting organizations
  • Be provided with:

○        Free registration

○        Hotel accommodations for two nights or parking*

○        Some meals during the Summit

*Hotel will be provided free of charge for teams traveling more than 50 miles; parking will be provided for teams traveling 50 miles or fewer to the summit.

Who may submit an idea application?

  • Any educator with an actionable idea is encouraged to submit an application here.
  • Teams must have 2-5 members and must include at least one active teacher. Other key stakeholders (e.g. parent, student, community members, school and government officials) are encouraged.

What kind of idea submissions will be successful?

All submitted ideas must:

  • Allow teachers to lead from the classroom.
  • Identify an area of need for school improvement or target a specific problem.
  • Develop and implement approaches that address the need or solve the problem.
  • Utilize teachers’ professional experiences and expertise.
  • Seek to create or strengthen systemic supports for teacher leadership.
  • Promote collaborative work among multiple stakeholders.
  • Be viable in the local context and sustainable over time.
  • Be able to show measurable progress over time.

Submitted ideas may:

  • Focus on any level of change – the school, district, or state.
  • Be functioning at any stage of development – an emerging idea requiring input and buy-in from stakeholders; something currently being developed in collaboration with recruited stakeholders; or something that has been implemented which is ripe for improvement or expansion.

Click here (or cut and paste into your browser) to submit your teacher leadership idea by 11:59pm ET on August 9, 2017!

The Teach to Lead team will notify you if your idea is accepted for attendance by August 28, 2017.

Please contact any of our Austin Teach to Lead Summit planning team with additional questions:


Teach to Lead

October 13, 2016

Consider applying with a team

screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-9-10-31-amDuring the summer of 2016 the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative took a team of five to the Teach to Lead Summit in Washington, D.C. for a marvelous learning opportunity. The team focused on where we had been, where we were, and devised a slightly different direction that clarified our mission. It was the time that we transformed from being the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative to the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative.

Since then Teach to Lead has provided gatherings across the country in several locations and continues to meet the needs of teams from schools and districts from every state. Teach to Lead uses the Logic Model and provides the teams with a ‘critical friend’ who is skilled in guiding the team work.

If you are in a school that is transforming or has ideas that you wish to work on and are looking for an avenue to assist please consider applying for consideration to attend. The call for the next round of applications is available with a focus on Inclusion, Equity, and Opportunity. The summit will take place in Chicago on December 2-4 and the application deadline is October 26.

Summit Description

screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-9-06-38-amThe Inclusion, Equity, and Opportunity Summit will bring teacher leaders and other stakeholders together to incubate their ideas for combating inequity and fighting for social justice on behalf of students. Students and educators across the country face unique challenges based on their race/ethnicity, national origin, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual identity, gender, or religion. Ideas will leverage teacher leadership to address equity for our highest-needs students and schools. Teams will be provided support to create an action plan for their ideas, and build relationships with organizations that can further their work.

The information and application is located at

If you have any questions please let me know by emailing me at


Teach to Lead Opportunity

May 6, 2016

Consider your team

This is an open letter to those who may be interested in attending a Teach to Lead summit with your colleagues. In July 2015 the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative sent a team to the DC Teach to Lead summit and it impacted the work work that MALI does in Maine arts education enormously. Please consider applying with a team to attend the next Teach to Lead summit being held in July in Minneapolis, MN. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 2.46.16 PM

On October 6th, 2014, Secretary Duncan and Ron Thorpe from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards announced that 31 organizations had pledged support to Teach to Lead. Since that time, we have added ASCD as a third partner and we have grown to over 88 supporting organizations. We are pleased that Teach to Lead will now be hosting our seventh Teacher Leadership Summit in Minneapolis, MN July 23-24, 2016.
At the Summits, educators from around the nation will work to collaborate, problem solve, and develop action plans to put their own teacher leadership ideas into action. Our hope is to attract the best teacher leadership ideas from exceptional educator across the country.
All educators are welcome to apply as individuals but we ask that you bring a team of up to 5 stakeholders (teachers, principals, administrators, school board members etc.) to make the best progress at the Summit. At least one member of your team MUST be a practicing classroom educator.
Idea submissions will be reviewed by a team of teachers. For those who receive an invitation to participate, registration, lodging for those traveling over 50 miles, and some meals are provided free of charge. You must cover your travel costs. You can submit an idea for the Summit regardless of where you live, but travel costs are not covered, so please keep that in mind when you apply.
The deadline for idea submissions for the Minneapolis Summit is 11:59 pm ET May 23, 2015 All idea submissions must be completed and submitted by this date and time..
As space is limited for each Summit, idea submissions will be reviewed, and invitations for participation, with registration details, will be emailed to those accepted. Please read the criteria below carefully before submitting your idea.
Idea Submission Requirements
Summit participants must:
• Have an actionable teacher leadership idea.
• Pay for or obtain sponsorship of your travel.
• Have at least one practicing classroom educator for your team.
• Commit to taking implementation steps following Summit participation.
• Be available to attend the entire Summit (8am Saturday July 23 through 12:30pm on Sunday July 24).
• There will be a reception Friday, July 22 that we strongly suggest you attend. We will have a strategic networking session and you will have an opportunity to meet your Critical Friend.
Submitted ideas must:
• Allow teachers to lead from the classroom.
• Identify an area of need or target a specific problem.
• Develop and implement approaches that address the need or solve the problem.
• Utilize teachers’ professional experiences and expertise.
• Promote collaborative work among multiple stakeholders.
• Seek to create systemic supports for teacher leadership.
• Be viable in the local context and sustainable over time.
• Be able to show measurable progress over time.
Submitted ideas may:
• Focus on any level of change – the school, district, or state.
• Be functioning at any stage of development – an emerging idea requiring input and buy-in from stakeholders; something currently being developed in collaboration with recruited stakeholders; or something that has been implemented which is ripe for improvement or expansion.
You can find examples of action plans that were developed at previous summits using these links:
Click here (or cut and paste into your browser submit your best teacher leadership idea by 11:59pm ET on May 23, 2015.
The Teach to Lead team will notify you if your idea is accepted for attendance by June 4.
Please contact the Teach to Lead educator engagement team with additional questions:




This We Believe!

October 20, 2015

MALI makes it clear

This summer while attending the Teach to Lead Summit in Washington D.C. the team representing the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative decided to take action on the MALI Teacher Leaders idea of creating Belief Statements. The topics were selected based on the past 4 years of MALI and ones that MALI Teacher Leaders are engaged with, individually and/or collectively: 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.

IMG_1901At the Summer Institute that MALI had August 3-5 participants worked in groups to draft the statements of which everyone provided feedback on during the institute culmination activity. As a follow-up to the institute they were updated with the suggestions and went back to the teams who collaborated on the writing of them. One last look by the Leadership Team and what you can read below is the result of the several months process. The collaborative effort is another example of the grass-roots work of MALI.

These statements were created to help guide MALI as we continue to move forward with our work. Will these This We Believe statements change? Perhaps, as is most things with MALI, changes are made to move the initiative forward to meet the needs of Arts education in Maine which should positively impact every Maine student.

These statements now live on the Maine Arts Assessment website at!this-we-believe-statements/cmni and were unveiled recently at the Biennial Statewide Arts Education conference on Friday, October 9.

  • ARTS INTEGRATION… allows for cross-curricular collaboration within the creative process. Interconnected learning provides students an opportunity to demonstrate understanding and knowledge using multiple avenues.

  • ADVOCACY… educates communities that arts education is essential. Arts advocacy should involve the presentation of solid, factual information that challenges misconceptions about the role of the arts in our society. Arts advocacy should also highlight the various benefits of the arts through the creation and viewing process; involving the larger community in purposeful and meaningful ways.

  • ASSESSMENT LITERACY… is an ongoing dialogue between stakeholders that informs instruction, supports learning, clarifies understanding and validates what we do as educators.

  • CREATIVITY AND 21ST CENTURY SKILLS… quality arts education is critical to fostering Creativity and developing 21st Century Skills. The arts provide authentic, real life opportunities that nurture:

    * Collaboration

    * Communication

    * Critical Thinking

    * Creative Problem Solving

    Creativity is the ability to connect ideas, information and issues, through exploration, and in novel ways in order to develop personal and relevant solutions.

  • EDUCATOR EFFECTIVENESS… effective teachers are passionate, and love what they do. They are problem solvers, able to reach all learners. They are informed about current pedagogy. They are flexible and can adapt their perspective. They are positive, with a focus on developing student growth.

  • EFFECTIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING… effective teaching leads to effective learning when students are actively engaged, the learning is individualized and relevant, and feedback leads to informed teaching practice and improved student progress.

  • PROFICIENCY BASED LEARNING AND STUDENT CENTERED LEARNING… students are encouraged and empowered to become independent learners, ultimately taking charge of their own education. Experiences within the learning environment are active, collaborative, and engaging; supporting students to explore their artistic processes in meaningful and purposeful ways.

  • TEACHER LEADERSHIP… is collaboration, the ability to foster change, challenging and supportive of others, advocating for the needs of all, and inspiring others to become leaders. Teacher Leadership is an intentional, collaborative strategy which supports and inspires: a) students and their learning through effective teaching practices and  b) the teaching profession through shared expertise, resources, and high quality and ongoing professional development.

Please note: On August 3, 2015, MAAI, the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, announced its new name, MALI, the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative. MALI is a program of the Maine Arts Commission. You can read about it at Please email Argy Nestor if you have any questions at


Ideas Into Action

October 4, 2015

Teach to Lead does it again

Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 8.02.02 PMIn August I wrote about a trip to Washington, D.C. that a team of 5 from the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) took. In fact, it was the trip when the name of the initiative switched from the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative to MALI. We spent time at the Teach to Lead Summit and it was an amazing opportunity for Maine.

The next Teach to Lead Summit was held last week in Tacoma, Washington. It was the fifth summit held in the country where teachers exchanged ideas to improve their schools and discussed plans to put those ideas into action. Over the past year-and-a-half, more than 560 ideas for expanding teacher leadership have been submitted from all over the country, and it’s only just the beginning of the effort to empower teachers to lead the improvement of their schools, says Secretary Duncan. Stay tuned to to participate in the next summit.

Those who attended the Summit in Tacoma are boldly going back to schools, districts, and states to put their ideas into action.

Watch the Teach to Lead website for the next opportunity to apply for the Summit.


Welcome Back!

August 25, 2015

2015-16 School year

Summer 2015 2nd group

MALI Summer Institute, August 3-5, 2015, USM, Portland

It’s back to school time and the air is changing. Whether you are in full swing with teaching or in your classroom preparing for students or perhaps waiting at home for the first day with “kids”, I know that the school year is upon you in some form.

I can sense that it is going to be a great year for visual and performing arts education in Maine! The Maine Arts Commission has been busy all summer supporting the work of Maine Visual and Performing Arts Education. Read below just a few of the ways in which MAC is doing just that:

  • It’s official, on August 3, the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative became the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative during the opening at the summer institute. Read about the shift at
  • In addition to the name change MALI sent a representative team to the Teach to Lead Summit in Washington, D.C., July 22-24 sponsored by the US DOE and the National Board. The experience launched us into phase 5 in an amazing way. We found ourselves at the same table with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Read about it at
  • On August 3-5 the MALI summer institute took place at USM, Portland campus. It was a fabulous learning opportunity where 12 new Teacher Leaders created an action plan that is turning into a workshop to be presented during the 2015-16 school year across Maine. This brings the total of Teacher Leaders to 73! You can read about the Teacher Leader work at
  • The veteran Teacher Leaders used a Logic Model to guide their work. Starting with a “problem” they created a plan that they will take action on during the next several months. Pretty amazing work!
  • The biennial fall arts ed conference is happening on Friday, October 9, Point Lookout Conference Center, Arts Education: The Measure of Success. Early bird registration and detailed information is at
  • Fourteen Teaching Artists participated in one day of the MALI summer institute – what a treat to have so many in one location. Read about their participation at
  • The Teaching Artist roster expanded this summer to a total of 40. You can read about the program and check out the roster at Please consider contracting with one (or more) of these artists for your students during this school year. Another call for the roster will go out in the near future. Watch this blog and arts ed list-serv for the invitation.
  • The statewide visual and performing arts education census will be launched this fall and plans are underway to collect data from all 100% of Maine schools. Watch for more information because we will need everyone’s help to make this happen!
  • MALI had an incredible Critical Friend day with 45 educators attending including PK-higher ed teachers and administrators. Read about it at

As you begin a new school year know that the MAC and MALI are here to assist you on your educational journey. More information on all of the MAC education programs can be found at

%d bloggers like this: