Visual Art Teachers from Medomak Middle School, Mt. Ararat Middle School, Bangor High, Sumner Memorial High, Woodside Elementary, and Falmouth High School convened for an intensive weekend course on Assessment last weekend. We had rich discussions about why high quality assessment practices improve teaching and learning. Looking at student art work, sharing resources, and eating together were all important parts of the course. Did I say “eating” together? Yes – we had a communal dinner on Friday night and lunch on Saturday. What do you think this eclectic group of educators did during their time to relax? They talked. Non-stop. About Art, Education, Kids and the best ways to teach them. Oh. And we ate great food, too!
You might think this is an unusual bunch of passionate teachers. And they are definitely passionate! But unusual? Not really. We’ve found that most educators who take our courses are passionate about what they do, and that carries over into their extended lives. Hence, the collaboration that ensues in between course sessions (there are only two weekends that we meet in person) happens on a regular basis. Technology can be wonderful for helping teachers in geographically distant places in Maine connect with each other. Interactive wikis make it easy to communicate and to share resources with each other! Sharing best practices, strategies, ideas and resources is easier than ever, and teachers are very generous in doing so, and in encouraging each other. Now those ingredients make a great recipe for superb teaching and learning. So how do you assess that? You don’t. It’s priceless.