Posts Tagged ‘teacher leaders’

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MALI Teaching Artist Leader Story: Kerry Constantino

February 19, 2019

Teaching Artist – Dancer

This is one of six blog posts in 2019 that include stories of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Phase 8 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 96 Teacher Leaders and 11 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 Kerry for sharing your story!

Kerry Constantino

Kerry Constantino began teaching dance to kids right out of college when she graduated college in 2003. Even though she really enjoyed teaching, Kerry felt like she needed more time and experience just creating art. She stepped away from teaching and turned her focus towards developing her technique, studying movement and choreographic theory, and participating in the practice and creation of dance for herself and others. Nearly a decade later, Kerry found herself wanting to teach again, so she applied and was accepted in the San Diego Young Audiences Teaching Artist Training, where she re-learned a lot of things that would prepare her for her role as  a teaching artist. And, she loved it! Kerry really feel at home working with all members of the community. Whether through a school residency or at a private studio, she finds that working with dancers of all ages is so satisfying.

What do you like best about being a teaching artist?

I love being a teaching artist because people, especially young people, are natural dancers.           Giving people permission to move, when so often in a school and work setting, we are told to stay sedentary, is one of my greatest joys.

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

I have no idea what would be the key to having a successful arts education, however, I think the thing that stops people from having a successful arts education is a pressure from society that the arts are not valid, or that they are superfluous. The arts give us tools to be creative problem solvers, to think three-dimensionally, and to have the confidence to improvise if we need to. I think all kinds of industries and workplace environments benefit when there are artists at the table.

Have you found assessment to be helpful in your classes, workshops and residencies, and if so, how?

Assessment is part and parcel to being a teaching artist. Whether I’m teaching 3 year olds or 70 year olds, having tools to assess how my students are understanding me is important. When teaching dance, so much is dependent on being a clear communicator, I want my students to dance articulately, safely, and joyfully. Knowing how much of my information is getting across is accomplished through using assessment throughout class.

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

I have loved my experiences learning with the other educators in the MALI. It has been inspirational to hear their stories and learn from what they are currently practicing in their classrooms. Learning from other teachers and seeing how they organize and strategize their teaching techniques is invaluable.

What are you most proud of as an artist and/or a teaching artist?

I think what I am most proud of in my art is that I haven’t gotten stuck with just one medium. I began as a dancer, but over the years I have continued to be a voracious learner in many different mediums. I don’t think I will ever be satisfied just practicing and teaching one thing, there is so much more to learn. As I have learned new mediums I’ve incorporated it into my own art and into my teaching as well. Sometimes it feels like I’m a bit of a “Jack of all trades” it’s during those times that I remind myself that if I stop learning new things, then I have stopped growing.

Kerry Constantino

What gets in the way of doing a better job as a teaching artist?

I think that the biggest challenge for me as a teaching artist is navigating the process of finding residencies. I still feel really new to teaching, so I’m hoping this gets easier the more that I do it. I tend to retreat a bit when it comes to pursuing residencies because I feel like there are other people who are doing what I do, but with more experience and better. I talk myself out of things a lot and I think this is all born out of fear.

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

Everything. I have spent years pushing and finding a way to continue as a dancer and movement artist. Sometimes it feels too hard, like if being a dancer and choreographer is this hard, then I just shouldn’t do it, but for some crazy reason I keep going. Every piece of choreography I have shown, every informal performance, every single time I have made dance and shown it there has been a period during my creative process that has felt impossible.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about becoming a teaching artist or is just starting out?

Go for it! Practice saying what you want to say to your students before you are actually in front of a class. Write down everything. Get a calendar and use it. Don’t worry if you get flustered on the first day and forget your whole lesson plan, you will be ok!

MALI Summer Institute, August 2018, USM

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

There is so much I could do with $500,000. I have always hoped to own a home that would have a dance/art/movement studio in it. Dance requires a lot of open space, so I think that would be a big thing for me, to have a proper studio where I could hold classes and have informal performances in my own home. One of my first dance teachers lived in a huge old victorian house and the “ballroom” was her dance studio. It is definitely a dream of mine to do that. Oh, and more travel, I have terrible wanderlust.

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

If I make it to be 94, I hope that I can see that all of my choices were what made my long beautiful life. I can’t say there would be any regrets at this point.

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2019 MALI Mega Conference

January 30, 2019

Friday, March 15

The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) will provide a Mega-regional conference at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in South Paris, Maine on Friday, March 15, 8:30 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. All educators, PK-higher education are invited to participate in this professional development opportunity in arts education. Workshop facilitators are Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) teacher leaders and teaching artist leaders from all eight phases of MALI. These educators are providing dynamic work that they’ve been engaged with themselves, some for many years.

Below are the descriptions for the workshops being offered. You will have the opportunity to register for three of these workshops.

  Register for the 2018 Mega-Regional Workshop

Date and Location

Friday, March 15, 2019, Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, South Paris

Schedule

  • 8:30 a.m. Registration begins
  • 9:00 a.m. Opening
  • 9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Breakout Session I
  • 10:30 a.m. – 10:40 a.m. Break
  • 10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Breakout Session II
  • 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. Lunch, participants on their own
  • 12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Artist Showcase
  • 1:50 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Breakout Session III
  • 3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Closing

Contact hours

5.5 contact hours will be provided to those participating in the full day of the MALI Mega-regional conference at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School.

REGISTRATION

What does “arts accessibility” mean? Presented by Shawna Barnes

PreK-12 All content

Description

Shawna will share the five key definitions of arts accessibility and what they may look like in the classroom/studio. Participants will learn how to break through these barriers to access, with a few creative solutions.

Sandbox Composing Presented by Joe Cough

Grade 6-Adult Music

Joe will demonstrate how easy it can be to compose music. With participation from the group, we will create a new piece of music with numbers (and talk about other ways to write music too). Risk taking and mistakes will be the driving force of this workshop.

Arts and Community Outreach: “The Stories We’ve Been Told – Preserving the Histories of our Elders” Presented by Kris Bisson

Middle School Chorus, applicable to multi-disciplines and all levels

Reaching beyond the walls of the classroom to explore learning provides many valuable opportunities for both the students and those they collaborate with. Kris will share her students’ current project, monthly visits to a retirement home where the students interview residents to capture their stories, games, pastimes, and events that shaped their lives. Students take these stories and create a multi-movement choral composition to be performed in our Spring 2019 concert.

Students will experience cross-curricular collaboration that moves the arts to the heart of curriculum. Interconnected learning provides students of all learning styles an opportunity to demonstrate and share understanding and knowledge learning using the creative process.

We will compose in the workshop and share ideas that can be used directly in your area of study.

The Possibilities of Full Choice Presented by Shalimar Poulin Chassé

Grade 6-12 Visual Art

A story of a developing full choice approach to art making, hard copy and link-based resources (including student project proposal form, course expectation student guide, self direction management aid, rubrics, do’s and don’t’s, examples of student works, and access to slide presentation) to assist the wild-spirited, brave, and trusting (or crazy) to dive in feet first or the perhaps wiser ginny-pig with an appetite for a savory taste. All wild-spirits and ginny-pigs welcome!

Music & Math Presented by Lindsay Pinchbeck & Tom Luther

Grades 1-12 Music

Lindsay and Tom will share their experiences teaching music and math as a single domain. Using simple, open ended tasks, they will show how to help students make connections between these two normally specialized subjects, and how other “rabbit holes” can be discovered along the way.

Adding Choice to Art History Presented by Cindi Kugell

Middle/High School Visual Art (ele welcome)

Choice-Based Art classrooms are working studios where students learn through authentic art making. Control shifts from teacher to learner as students explore ideas and interests in art media of their choice. This concept supports multiple modes of learning to meet the diverse needs of our students. We’ll chat about how to add choice to a studio art history course (without offering centers) and through the hands-on creation of artist trading cards.

Zines Presented by Samantha Armstrong

Elementary Visual Art

Informational Zines or mini magazines are a great way to bring writing into the art room. In this workshop we will look at combining informational writing with drawing techniques and tools to create unique zines. We will look at student examples, strategies and tools for teaching an arts/literacy integrated unit and have time to create a zine. Once complete zines are easy to photocopy and are always fun to share with classmates and the school community.

Theater as a Life Skill Presented by Nicole Cardano

PreK-12 All content

Play lets us shake off anything unwanted and connect with those that we are with.  Foundational practices of improvisational theater: Listening, Eye Contact, Respect, Support, YesAnd as well as Embracing Mistakes will be discussed and exercised.  Sharing observations and experiences as a student, teacher and general human.

Students Reflective Response & the Digital Process-Folio Presented by Melanie Crowe

Grade 6-High School Visual Art – applicable to all beyond art room

The use of reflective practice allows students the opportunities to gauge their understanding along the process of creating. As students regularly document their experiences throughout process of art making it provides opportunities for discussion and conversation between student & self, student & peers, and student & teacher. These conversations provide checkpoints for reflective practice and growth.

Pre-Assessment: Misconceptions & Building Stronger Student Achievement Presented by Iva Damon

PreK-12 All content

Let’s dive into the misconceptions surrounding pre-assessment and look at easy ways to implement strategies into the classroom that work for both teacher and student.

Practical Self-Care for Teachers – Beyond Bubble Baths and Barre Class Presented by Elise Row

PreK-12 All content

This workshop was born out of necessity. Elise will share her personal experience of confronting the topic of self-care as an elementary visual arts teacher. This ever evolving workshop will provide teachers, artists, and busy people in general tools, resources, insight, and reminders to support their growth and practice of self-care.

Photos from the 2018 MALI Mega at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School.

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MALI Summer Institute

August 7, 2018

Work is just beginning

Even though another Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Summer Institute (MAL) is history (number 8), the work for the MALI Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders is just beginning.

I am so impressed with the topics that participants have taken on – each year the work is more comprehensive! I will include information about the research the leaders have underway in a future blog post.

The work is challenging and participants make a commitment to stretch themselves as they build on their knowledge and expertise as educators in the arts. MALI’s educators are committed to providing quality arts education for every Maine learner.

Often I am asked so what’s MALI all about and how can it impact me as a teacher? Below you will find some of the initial feedback received at the conclusion of the institute. The comments reflect the thoughtfulness of the participants and will provide a glimpse of the power of participating in MALI as a “leader”.

  • This institute may have changed my entire outlook. I feel like I have value and can help others through my work.
  • The energy was great.
  • Thank you for bringing us all together! The constant stimulating conversations are exhilarating! (joyfully exhausting). I LOVED the storytelling element.
  • Powerful presentations great stories
  • Gained a tremendous amount of insight into other teacher’s schools, jobs and lives. Always amazing experiences with MALI.
  • Thank you for the community connection of the Museum of Art and Ashley. Very inspiring.
  • Lots of great info. Introduced to new concepts. Networking and connections.
  • Amazing sharing! Inspired beyond belief by my peers.
  • Once again, I’m leaving excited about this year.
  • Leadership and creativity hit the spot for me personally. As always you can’t beat the connections made and renewed at MALI. I think I have benefitted a lot from a few key conversations.
  • OMG! I needed a 4thday now! Can you believe it? Great re-boot to my goals as an educator. Focused organization to start the year!
  • It was great! I have much to ponder over the coming months.
  • Lots of great information and inspiration. I liked the small workshops best.
  • I feel motivated and empowered by being around so many like-minded people. The positive energy that is found in this room is amazing.
  • This might be my favorite yet! I feel so fulfilled but not overwhelmed! So re-energized! Thank you and so much love for this organization!
  • I find it fascinating that as we add years on to our MALI gatherings our topics and ideas for our projects and presentations get bigger, better, deeper, more thoughtful, more global. I am so lucky to be part of this organization. Your hard pre-game work was truly appreciated!
  • Love the peeps – Love the sharing – especially the personal journeys. Leadership and artistic.
  • My overall reflection brings me to WOW! I have thoroughly been challenged, inquisitive, curious, exhausted, reignited, and REWARDED. Being surrounded by greatness has, again, been humbling.
  • This was an awesome opportunity to converse with people with similar professions and a wealth of experience to reflect on.
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MALI Phase 8 Educators

July 17, 2018

Congratulations

The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI), now in year 8, announces three new teacher leaders and three new teaching artist leaders. These incredible educators bring the total number of MALI leaders to 107.  CONGRATULATIONS to the following educators.

Teaching Artist Leaders

  • Kerry Constantino – Dance
  • Joe Cough – Music
  • Shawna Barnes – Visual Art

 PK-12 Teacher Leaders

  • Shalimar Chasse – Visual Art, grades 7-12, Wiscasset Middle High Schools
  • Anthony Lufkin – Visual Art, grades K-8, Friendship Village, Prescott Memorial, Union Elementary, and Rivers Alternative Middle Schools (RSU#40)
  • Catherine Newell – Music

Each of these leaders brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to MALI. We’re excited about their involvement. During the next year you’ll have a chance to learn more about the phase 8 MALI work and about each of the new leaders on this blog.

Learn more about MALI at THIS LINK and access resources at THIS LINK.

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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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MALI Winter Retreat

March 14, 2018

Amazing opportunity to learn and exchange

Winter Retreat participants. photo credit: Chris Pinchbeck

Thirty Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders met last Saturday for the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) winter retreat. It was a great opportunity to gather with friends and colleagues from across Maine.

PURPOSE

    • To provide an opportunity for the MALI community to come together to listen to and learn from each other
    • To review the work that has taken place during the phase underway
    • To address ideas and the latest topics in education/research and respond to timely issues relevant to Maine teachers
    • To provide information and/or context for participants 
    • To consider topics for the next phase of MALI

We accomplished the above and a whole lot more. There is nothing that compares to coming together with visual and performing arts teachers who have so much in common. So many topics to discuss and listen to what each person has to offer. “Getting off our islands” and coming together with “our community” on a winter day in March is refreshing!

The agenda was filled with art making from the Growth Mindset opening session to the finishing session that concluded with a meditative heart exercise.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Growth Mindset review and revisit with Lindsay Pinchbeck
  • MALI This We Believe statements review
  • MALI collaboration with art teacher Hope Lord and music teacher Dorie Tripp
  • Ukulele’s with music teacher Kate Smith
  • Update on Proficiency Based from Department of Education Diana Doiron
  • Looking ahead and considering ideas for Phase 8

If you are considering applying to be a Teacher Leader or a Teaching Artist Leader for MALI in Phase 8, please send an email to me – argy.nestor@maine.gov stating your interest. Applications will be available in May 2018.

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Save the Date

December 6, 2017

MALI conference 

MAINE ARTS COMMISSION

Mega Conference

Friday, 23 March 2018, 8:30a.m.-3:00p.m.

Oxford Hills High School, South Paris, Maine

Join us for an outstanding professional development opportunity.

Details and registration will be available in January! Watch for the information right here on the Maine Arts Education blog.

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