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Observation & Assessments for Performing Arts Teachers

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    • Lydia Porter

      I’ve been wondering for a long time about performing arts observations. I worked as a dance teacher for a performing arts school for five and a half years and was always observed and evaluated by someone who doesn’t know anything about the arts, whether it’s a Principal or even the department head. I always found it quite unfair that performing arts teachers are not evaluated efficiently, especially those who teach in a performing arts school or in schools with a major performing arts program. I would like to talk to someone about starting a position where I could evaluate dance teachers to give them proper, professional, performing arts feedback.

    • Thank you for your message. As a dance educator, and a team lead for Dance in all of the MAEIA work, I share your concerns and motivations! I can say this has always been a topic in the MAEIA conversations among discipline teams. By posting this here, I realize you are opening this conversation to a larger audience than simply MAEIA administrators. That said, it may be helpful for readers to know where MAEIA falls into this conversation so here is where we are now.

      MAIEA is preparing training for administrators at district and building levels so they may better evaluate their arts educators in all disciplines. Administrators are not able to parcel out those responsibilities to specialists in those disciplines so our best strategy is to educate them on what they need to know. We are also training arts teachers how to present their data and work samples in ways that align with the 5 types of evaluation systems most districts are adopting (Marzano, Danielson,etc.).

      In terms of elevating the work of dance educators, this falls into their professional development responsibilities. It seems your mission aligns with the work the Michigan Dance Council is undergoing as well as the National Dance Education Organization. Personally, I have secured several consulting and advisory commisions or arrangements by presenting at the NDEO conference and becoming active in the MDC. Educators have asked me to provide feedback on classroom practices, writing curriculum, and more. You may already be doing these things. If not, food for thought.

      Thanks for joining in the conversation about advancing arts education.


    • jason malony

      I think that is what it should be, after all, you will be performing in masses, may it be public or private, they will be the watcher of your show, so it is their right to judge you on your performance. Despite holding professional aspects in the performing arts fields, your main goal it to impress viewers not your colleagues or someone in this field. In many situation though, you still be graded by your team and or your fellow performer.


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