Nearly 200 English teachers from across the state attended the Maine Council of English Language Art’s annual conference at the summit of Point Lookout in Northport last week. The conference began on Thursday with a celebration of poetry headlined by Maine Poet Laureate Stuart Kestenbaum. Kestenbaum read several of his poems, explaining how several started as a list of words handed to him by students, then transformed into moving and vibrant stories in verse.
On Friday, teachers supported teachers by providing 24 different opportunities to learn with and from each other. Topics included Teaching Trauma and Resilience Through Literature, The Dream-Centered Classroom, and Exploring Power, Social Justice, and Other Contemporary Issues Through Book Clubs in Middle and High School Classrooms.
The event ended with Gillian French, author of Grit and several other novels, reading from her works and encouraging place-based writing. A native of Bucksport, French embraces to beauty of Maine, the grittiness of its residents, and the sometimes challenging, sometimes uplifting experiences that come from rural living.
MCELA presented the 2019 Brassil Award, honoring distinguished Maine educators John and Claudette Brassil, to Stephanie Hendrix of Bangor High School. Hendrix teaches English and Humanities, is a doctoral student, integrates technology flawlessly into her instruction, and is quite active in theater. This award recognizes exceptional English language arts and literacy teachers who have demonstrated excellence in teaching, contributed to the profession, and shown a commitment to the community. MCELA is currently accepting nominations for the 2020 Brassil Award. Go to the MCELA Brassil Award page for further details.
Catch up on all the details on twitter with #MCELA2019