Posts Tagged ‘teacher leader’

h1

Mega Message from Suzanne

February 13, 2017

Teaching as a Craft

Skills, collaboration, support, and innovation –

Quality professional development for educators is characterized by the above areas demonstrating the understanding of introducing, reinforcing and supporting deeper understanding of knowledge and skills. Our profession is a craft.

mali_v1_color_100ppi

Mega-Regional Professional Development opportunities with the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative, in support with your Maine Arts Leadership Associations, are exponential in value for learning about best practices or expanding your skills to bring back to your school, colleagues, and classroom/studio/stage/rehearsal room.

This is educator to educator professional development – what you need, and when you need it.

4747f3_42a4e73771c0482099f1295cab14d835

Suzanne Goulet

Yes, the next one is during a weekday – for some an in-service day. Yes, this sometimes means that you will be away from your students artists/performers for one day. And YES, you will be glad you did.  This is the catcher/pitcher conference on the mound – a time to come together, share, and grow. I always leave with gems that impact my students, my practice, my craft, immediately

Please join us, and consider asking someone to join you – for our profession, for your craft.

Looking forward to meeting you at the next Mega-Regional.

Thank you to Suzanne Goulet, MALI teacher leader and visual art teacher at Waterville Senior High School and Maine Art Education Association Teacher of the Year, for writing this blog post!

h1

Teacher Leader Technology Opp

August 28, 2016

MLTI Teacher Leader program

The Learning Through Technology Team at the Maine Department of Education has recently established the MLTI Apple Refresh Teacher Leader Program. A participating teacher leader will be referred to as an MLTI Apple Refresh Teacher Leader or MARTL.

Each school that is part of the 2016 MLTI Apple Refresh has been asked to identify one teacher or curricular-focused, certified professional to serve as the MARTL. Schools are encouraged to select someone other than a technology integrator or technology coach as their MARTL in order to grow their local capacity.

This is an opportunity for an active professional learner who is interested in spreading teacher-to-teacher innovations to join a facilitated cadre of like-minded peers. Through this Professional Learning Network they will be made aware of resources and opportunities across the state of Maine and beyond.

The MARTL’s formal responsibility will be to serve as a communication portal between the Apple MLTI Team, the Maine DoE Learning Through Technology Team, and their school community. They will be asked to share regular updates highlighting Apple MLTI Professional Learning opportunities and to be an active participant in regional and statewide conversations and meetings.

If you are in a school/district that is part of the MLTI Apple Refresh and interested in this role ask your principal about this opportunity. More details about the role are below. The school needs to identify the MARTL by September 15.
Questions? Contact Jim Moulton at moulton@apple.com.

What is the MLTI Apple Refresh Teacher Leader (MARTL) Program?

The MLTI Apple Refresh Teacher Leader (MARTL) Program is designed to directly support improvements in student learning experiences through more thoughtful and rich leveraging of Apple technology across all schools participating in the 2016 Apple MLTI Refresh. Indirectly, the work of this group will benefit all Apple MLTI schools.

Who is an MLTI Apple Refresh Teacher Leader (MARTL)?

MARTLs will be selected by their schools. Schools will select a teacher (or other curricular-focused, certified professional such as a librarian) who is an effectively innovative educator and who is an effective communicator within the school community. MARTLs are educators who are curious and are open to growing their knowledge and skills around the use of technology to learn, teach, innovate, and communicate in order to improve learning experiences for students. They are also active sharers of information, resources, and opportunities across their school community.

Why does an educator want to become an MLTI Apple Refresh Teacher Leader (MARTL)?

MARTLs are educators who are interested in connecting with other MARTLs from across the state as well as regional and national resources. They will do this in an effort to discover how to best leverage their school’s participation in the Apple MLTI Refresh to make learning experiences more engaging, purposeful, and effective for all students in their school.

What benefits does a MARTL receive from participation?

Specifically, MARTLs will be provided:

– connection to a facilitated PLN
– invitations to 2 one-day regional MARTL meetings annually (mileage and substitute costs covered)
– invitation to 1 two-day statewide MARTL meeting annually (summer – mileage and all other costs covered) – direct connections to the MARTL facilitation team (Apple and DoE Learning Through Technology Team)
– regular updates around resources and opportunities across the state of Maine and beyond

What are the responsibilities of an “MLTI Apple Refresh Teacher Leader (MARTL)”

MARTLs will be asked to:

  • –  participate in a facilitated PLN
  • –  attend 2 one-day regional MARTL meetings annually
  • –  attend 1 two-day statewide MARTL meeting annually
  • –  leverage direct connections to the MARTL facilitation team (Apple and Maine DoE)
  • –  share resources and opportunities from across the state of Maine and beyond with teachers and students intheir school communityWhen? What is the timeline for the “MLTI Apple Refresh Teacher Leader (MARTL) Program”

    Milestones and dates for the MARTL Program through the 2016 – 2017 school year are:

    – Spring 2016 – MARTL concept and opportunity is socialized across participating schools – August 1, 2016 – MARTL selection process distributed to schools
    – By September 15, 2016 – MARTL selections are submitted
    – October 2016 – Round One of one-day regional MARTL meetings

    – October, November, January, February, March, May, 2016 – MARTL Webinars TBD – March & April 2017 – Round Two of one-day regional MARTL meetings
    – Summer 2017 – First two-day statewide MARTL meeting
    – Ongoing throughout 2016-17 School Year – Information and opportunity sharing

Page 2 of 2

h1

Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Allie Rimkunas

May 31, 2016

Teacher Leader series

MALI_V1_Color_100ppi

This is the twelfth and final blog post of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Phase 5  Teacher Leader stories. This series contains a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about the work they are doing as Maine arts educators. CLICK HERE for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE for more information on the 73 of the MALI Teacher Leaders. CLICK HERE for Arts education resources. Search in the “search archives” box on the bottom right side of this post for past stories. There have been 71 posted to date.

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 9.05.08 PMAllie Rimkunas has taught in the Gorham School Department for 18 years, the last 12 as a K-5 Art teacher responsible for 500+ students.

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

I get to play with the coolest supplies with all of the students. I also love getting messy and reminding kids that nothing is perfect.

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

Having fun, teaching how to be courageous, imperfect, and open to change. (Oops, that was four. Hey- I’m an Art teacher, not a math teacher!)

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

It makes me think much more about what I’m teaching, how I’m teaching, why I’m teaching it, and how it can help my students to become more creative inside and outside the Art room.

IMG_0178What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the arts assessment initiative?

It’s great to hang out with Arts teachers from all over Maine and pick their brains not only about assessment, but everything else that we have in common. It’s lonely being the only Art teacher in the school with no one else to commiserate with on topics that are important to me as an Art teacher. Our district VPA teachers are given time together only once or twice a year. We’re social animals and need time to share and learn from each other.

Meeting with folks from all over the state also gives me tons of ideas to think about and new strategies to try out.

What are you most proud of in your career?

Whenever I run into students at the grocery store they run to me and not away from me.

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

The lack of time to do all of the things I want/need/should do.

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

I would change the word “luck” to “talent” and say that my artistic and teaching “talent” is not innate but developed through work and perseverance.

As far as “luck” is concerned, I’m the luckiest Art teacher in Maine, probably the world. I have a beautiful Art room, wonderful co-workers, understanding and supportive administrators, and terrific students.

IMG_0366Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers?

Love your kids, especially the difficult ones. You never know how far love will reach in their lives.

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

I’d pay off my kids’ college debts, then I’d love to create a nature program for the neighborhood kids, and then…wait, can we up it to an even million? I need to do some traveling to soak in the Art and cultures of the world.

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

My only regret is that cloning has not been perfected so that I can have a second brain to remember all of my student’s names (especially in the grocery store when their names become “sweetie”, “big guy”, or “you with the face”).

IMG_0087

h1

Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Mandi Mitchell

May 25, 2016

Teacher Leader series

MALI_V1_Color_100ppi

This is the eleventh blog post of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Phase 5  Teacher Leader stories. This series contains a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about the work they are doing as Maine arts educators. CLICK HERE for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE for more information on the 73 of the MALI Teacher Leaders. CLICK HERE for Arts education resources. Search in the “search archives” box on the bottom right side of this post for past stories. There have been 70 posted to date.

IMG_4336Mandi Mitchell has been teaching Visual Art for the past three years at Hermon High School (HHS), grades 9-12. Mandi teaches 120 students of the 500 students attending the school. This year she restructured her curriculum and course offerings to better suit the needs and wants of students. The first course that a student takes in Visual Art is Art Foundations, which runs for the entire year. After they take that course, they can choose to take any of the following four semester courses: Advanced Painting & Drawing, Ceramics & Sculpture, Graphic Design & Printmaking, and Photography. Mandi created the first Art Club for HHS a year ago and serves as the Advisor for the Class of 2018. Before Hermon, she did a lot of substitute teaching for various subject areas (mainly art) in Hampden at Reeds Brook Middle School and Hampden Academy. As many know, finding a teaching job in the arts can be somewhat challenging, so she took as many substitute jobs as she could! Mandi also substituted at John Bapst Memorial HS (my alma mater), Brewer HS, and schools in Orono.

What do you like best about being a visual art educator?

It is hard to think of just one thing that I like best about being an art educator because there are so many reasons! Usually at the end of the year, my students express how I have encouraged and helped them to be persistent and persevere through creative challenges. I like seeing them grow more confident in themselves and their skills, enjoy creating art, and embracing their individuality.

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

  1. Expose student work. Whether it be a theatrical performance, jazz concert, or art show, it is important for you to share and celebrate these talents with their family, friends, and community.
  2. Vary options to explore creative expression. Arts education is not one-size-fits-all. Perform, dance, or draw your ideas, thoughts and feelings.
  3. Provide a nurturing atmosphere. Students should be provided with an opportunity to be creative, expressive, and unique!

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

Assessment is so important in my classroom. The way in which I create my rubrics is highly successful. Both expectations and criteria for my assignments are clear and it is a great tool for student success. I have found that my rubrics can help students to further develop their work. They are able to set their own bar high and push themselves.

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

  •  Camaraderie
  • Networking
  • Support
  • Professional Development
  • Confidence
  • Leadership Opportunities

What are you most proud of in your career?

I am most proud of myself for expanding the visual arts program at my school, making it appealing to many students. Restructuring my curriculum this year made a huge impact on enrollment.

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

 One word. TIME. Oh, and money.

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

Honestly, getting the teaching job that I have at Hermon. I am very lucky and fortunate to be surrounded by a very supportive staff, administration, and community. So, some would say that it is luck. I am a firm believer in that everything happens for a reason, and I was patient and determined for three years after graduating college to land this “perfect” teaching job!

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

  • Stay organized. It makes life easier.
  • Get involved in your student’s extra-curricular activities. They appreciate (and notice) when you go to their sporting and academic events.
  • Never bring student work home to grade. I have learned that the hard way and wanted to laugh when I was told this, but I have now adapted this mentality.
  • Have an “agenda” displayed for what the class schedule looks like for that day. You’ll repeat yourself less and students will have an expectation of what to do and what’s to come.

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

First, I would want to travel around the world to experience the art and culture of different countries. Additionally, it would be great to bring a group of students with me to share those experiences and see some amazing art and culture!

Second, I’d use a good chunk of that money to build an amazing art room at my school with some top-notch technology and materials!

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

At this point in my life, there isn’t much that I have been regretful of…so I probably wouldn’t have anything to regret at the age of 94.

IMG_0087

h1

Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Lynda Leonas

May 17, 2016

Teacher Leader series

MALI_V1_Color_100ppi

This is the tenth blog post of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Phase 5  Teacher Leader stories. This series contains a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about the work they are doing as Maine arts educators. CLICK HERE for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE for more information on the 73 of the MALI Teacher Leaders. CLICK HERE for Arts education resources. Search in the “search archives” box on the bottom right side of this post for past stories. There have been 69 posted to date.

Lynda Leonas has been a K-6 Visual Arts Educator  working with approximately 700-800111 - Copy students per year for the past 4 years at two of Lewiston’s elementary schools; Governor James B. Longley Elementary and Farwell Elementary.  Prior to her work in Lewiston, she spent 3.75 years in Auburn’s Public Elementary School system across the river and 3 years teaching all forms of fine art to youth and adults at her private art studio in Lewiston.

What do you like best about being a visual art educator?

I love the opportunity to work with every student at the elementary level of education. Seeing all students, even those without confidence in their artistic abilities, allows me to encourage them to overcome any “fears” and to always trust themselves. Working with every student also allows me to champion the arts as an important tool for cross-curricular development in literacy, mathematics, and the sciences; as well as the ever-important motor skill development and hand-eye coordination skills necessary to become a successful athlete.

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

  1. Listen to your students!
  2. Keep it fresh! Promote the student work locally!
  3. Plan ahead as much as you possibly can.

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

I have created assessments inspired by students and credit the new assessments as having been inspired by the students whenever I can.  The sense of accomplishment the students feel as having been listened to produces a total buy-in from their peers and increases productivity and participation tremendously.  The students have fun while using the assessment tools along their learning path in the art room.

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

The motivation resulting from working with educators across our state has produced an exciting energy to keep learning and discussing arts education lessons, assessments, and common goals!

Charlie Hewitt MAEA Spring conference

Charlie Hewitt MAEA Spring conference

What are you most proud of in your career?

Due to my involvement in MALI, I was encouraged to create a workshop and to present to other arts educators. In doing so, the opportunity to showcase this year’s 5th grade collaborative artwork  to the artist we had studied actually came up! The student work was displayed at the entry of our MAEA Spring Conference and Charlie Hewitt, sculptor of “Lewiston Rattle”, was our keynote speaker. The students were so excited to hear he would be viewing their fabulous pieces! It was so thrilling to present Charlie with student art inspired by him!

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

Increased class sizes and reduced class times within the arts education field has hurried along some aspects of the visual art class room. This aspect is truly a challenge for me; and, I have had to search for outside opportunities to increase the amount of one-on-one time I spend with students. During a regular school week, there can be less than two minutes to connect with each student in a class on an individual level.

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

In working with one principal, I had the opportunity to showcase the importance of the visual arts within the elementary general education system. After 17 individual open houses in one year, I was able to connect with families across cultures and provide opportunities for my students to teach their family members how the visual arts embrace techniques that truly develop the “whole” student. After hosting these events, the students themselves truly became more motivated during art classes!  This was a bonus!

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

Advice? Even after planning ahead as much as you possibly can, be prepared to “fly by the seat of your pants” at times!  The art education world can be a hectic environment where everything works out in the end…be flexible!

If you were given $500,000 dollars to do whatever you please, what would it be?

$500,000.00 would start up a terrific college scholarship for those pursuing the arts as arts-for-arts’ sake and arts-related studies that lead toward medical and engineering degrees!  It also might buy me a new car to shuttle between the couple of schools I see each day…I am thinking of a Jeep Renegade…just not certain it would be easy to load student supplies and work along with my Great Dane…any recommendations?

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

I believe I may still be teaching at the age of 94…depends upon retirement funds!  I hope I won’t have regrets.  As new opportunities arise, I will be certain to do my best in accomplishing them so that I can avoid regrets down the road.

IMG_0087

h1

Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Trevor Marcho

May 10, 2016

Teacher Leader series

MALI_V1_Color_100ppi

This is the ninth blog post of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Phase 5  Teacher Leader stories. This series contains a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about the work they are doing as Maine arts educators. CLICK HERE for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE for more information on the 73 of the MALI Teacher Leaders. CLICK HERE for Arts education resources. Search in the “search archives” box on the bottom right side of this post for past stories. There have been 68 posted to date.

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 8.43.09 PMTrevor Marcho has taught instrumental and choral music at Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln for six years.  He also co-conducts the Bangor Symphony Youth Orchestras and teaches private music lessons at Main Street Music Studios in Bangor. He is a graduate of the University of Maine, where he also teaches MUE 217, Brass Methods to undergraduate music education majors.

What do you like best about being a music educator?

I love working with the kids on something that takes a long time to develop. I appreciate seeing that long, slow improvement on skills that only comes from practice and revision, and I think that mindset helps students foster an appreciation for quality and goal-setting.

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

  1. Love for your art form
  2. Charisma
  3. Drive

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

The work I’ve done around assessment in the last few years has really helped me to be more organized, and given me a way to provide meaningful feedback in a concrete way. I do a lot with self-assessment, and the students find it to be a way to take ownership in their playing.

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

The biggest benefit for me has been to collaborate with other like-minded teachers and artists from around the state to improve what I do, and offer my expertise to others looking for improvement in their assessment practices.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I think I’m most proud of the work my district has done over the last few years. I teach in a small school, where kids are over-extended with activities and sports. They don’t have the time, or will to add to that by practicing their instruments outside of school. Keeping this in mind, I build practice time into our rehearsals and give them skills-based exercises to complete. The freshman, in particular, make huge strides in a semester, and can now play music that would have been impossible for them a year ago.

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

I usually get in my own way! Staying the course can be very difficult in the current school climate. I sometimes have to lock myself away from other teachers and administrators and just focus on teaching music in order to avoid burn-out, and to remember why I’m here.

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

I have had the great opportunity to work with the Bangor Symphony Youth Orchestras for the last three years. I didn’t have any prior experience with string musicians or instruments, so just getting the job was a miracle, but I put the time-in and worked hard to learn the repertoire and the different techniques. I’m learning every day, and look for new things to improve at all times.

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

Don’t approach it as a job. This is what I do with my life. I am a music teacher because I love it. I seek out new techniques and constantly look for things to improve in my program. I strive to be the best that I can be because that’s what our students deserve. Don’t ever just slide by.

If you were given $500,000 dollars to do whatever you please, what would it be?

Upgrade all of my students’ instruments!

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

None! I am still learning to balance family life with teaching, but I’ll get there someday!

IMG_0087

h1

Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Nancy Kinkade

May 4, 2016

Teacher Leader series

MALI_V1_Color_100ppi

This is the eighth blog post of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Phase 5  Teacher Leader stories. This series contains a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about the work they are doing as Maine arts educators. CLICK HERE for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE for more information on the 73 of the MALI Teacher Leaders. CLICK HERE for Arts education resources. Search in the “search archives” box on the bottom right side of this post for past stories. There have been 67 posted to date.

IMG_2438Nancy Kinkade presently teaches in RSU #67: 5-6 general music (150 students), 6-8 choral music (68 students), beginning band, 6th  grade band and ⅞ band (65 students). I was hired 25 years ago in RSU #67 as an elementary music teacher EK-5 (525 students).  My position was eliminated four years ago and she was able to shift to the 5-8 general music & 6-12 choral position (450 students). Last year her school district suffered yet another cut/restructure to the music department which provided the opportunity for Nancy’s present position.

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

I have always loved sharing music with the students. That incredible sensation when beautiful harmony fits just right, doing a great performance, seeing someone just so happy that it is music day, having a student ask to stay after school to practice, having 56 kids play ukulele and sing a song at the same time!! I guess it is the little things that are hard to measure. Perhaps my favorite thing about being a music teacher is making sure that students have music in their lives.

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

  1. Belief in the program
  2. Administrative support
  3. Time in the schedule

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

The assessment movement has created a measurement of success on paper that some people needed to have to give validity to the arts. It has also given us as educators a tool to see where students and teachers need to improve in teaching and learning. It has created clarity to help improve our teaching and to defend what we teach.

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

Being a part of MALI has created a great network of people to share ideas, questions and concerns. I am still at the beginning of really utilizing assessment in my new position, but know that MALI and the people I have met will be there to help me improve my teaching and program.

What are you most proud of in your career?

My proudest moment teaching was a few years ago.  In fourth grade we put on the musical Pirates. The entire fourth grade team and “specials” adopted the theme and ran with it. There was Pirate Math with gold coins, a special reading week and so many other great things. We were able to provide t-shirts and bandanas to all the children. The support staff were there in costume putting beards on the students. My Pirate Principal was there opening stages and helping where needed. It was truly a team effort! The music was great, but it was more the fact that so many people were a part of it and supported it that made it so special!

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

Scheduling and lack of support seem to be the biggest hurdles. You can’t teach children you can’t get in your room! If you don’t have the support of administration to give you those children then your program is doomed. With the cuts to our music/art positions, we have seen a huge impact on the quality of art and music the students are producing. Elementary music and art were reduced 5 years ago, now the effects are showing at the middle and high school levels. There is also a different attitude towards the arts. You can feel it isn’t valued in administration so it is starting to show in the students.  Sadly, we are losing the arts culture.

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

The Music and Art teachers in our district are making our programs successful despite the eliminations. Because these teachers are so dedicated and hardworking, the programs are persevering. In a way, this is too bad because it makes the people who cut the programs think they were right in their decision making. It is kind of a “Catch 22”.

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

If at all possible, work in a place where you are appreciated and valued. Be happy and work hard. Enjoy what you do, work with the other people in your district to make a cohesive arts community and a higher quality of education for the students.

If you were given $500,000 dollars to do whatever you please, what would it be?

Create an “arts” center. I would probably need more money, but a place where students could sing, act, play, move and enjoy guest artists. There would also be technology involved, but I would love to create a “real” theatre with teaching and performing spaces.

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

Right now, my regret is the loss of the program we had. When I am 94, I hope my reflections is that this was a dark period, but something great came after it!

IMG_0087

 

%d bloggers like this: