The Department of Education’s Bright Futures report, a report on the current state of middle-level education to make recommendations for improvement, brought 64 leaders from all avenues of education to Belgrade Lakes last month. Students, teachers, administrators and representatives collaborated to answer one question: How do we inspire, develop, support and connect a new generation of middle-level leaders committed to the needs of the young adolescent learner?
Don Siviski, superintendent of instruction for Maine DOE, joined the group to share elements of the Department’s strategic plan, which participants incorporated into the discussion.
The Bright Futures Partnership created the event and addressed components of the report, which was completed three years ago. Some of those ideas were to:
- Be inflexible about the needs of middle level learners and flexible about how to meet those needs.
- Establish more teacher preparation courses, programs and certifications geared toward middle level teachers.
- Use Bright Futures to guide decisions, instruction, etc.
- Create a “Culture of Commitment”: commit to providing a developmentally appropriate education for middle-level learners.
- Develop strong mentoring systems for new teachers and administrators.
Participants left the conversation with ideas to discuss and establish in their school districts.