Seventy-three educators from across the state convened at the University of Maine Farmington on Friday, August 16th for the Powered by Teach to Lead Summit. The summit, in its’ second year, brought together teams of teachers and school administrators to work on a specific identified problem of practice.
Last Friday, teams from Caribou, Gorham Schools, Maine Arts Commission, Academy Hill, Skowhegan Area Middle School, SeDoMoCha, Mill Stream and Kennebunk convened to collaborate and problem-solve. They were guided through a logic model which helped to frame the problem of practice, identify root causes, identify key stakeholders, and challenged teams to develop action steps moving forward. Each team was paired with a Critical Friend who facilitated the conversation.
Problems of practice included scheduling; school culture; creating a culture of success: leadership teams; family engagement; Maine Arts Leadership Initiative; diversity, equity, and inclusion; trauma informed and restorative practices; and chronic absenteeism.
Event attendees stressed the value of structured time for the development of tangible action steps, the importance of time to collaborate with colleagues, and the value in having a ‘critical friend’ to guide their process.
Teach to Lead Maine believes that every Maine student will benefit from the purposeful involvement of teacher leaders who collaborate in guiding the continuous improvement of schools and the teaching profession. The organization, led by educators (Kaitlin Young, Chris Coleman, and Jennifer Wright), is a collaboration between teachers, the Maine Principal’s Association, the Maine Education Association, University of Maine Farmington, Maine State Teachers of the Year Association, and the Maine Department of Education. Stakeholders work collaboratively throughout the year to plan the summit, present on the benefits of teacher leadership, and share resources to support districts in bolstering teacher leadership initiatives.
This event was offered to teams at no cost and was made possible Maine Department of Education, the University of Maine Farmington, The Maine State Teachers of the Year Association, Unum, University Credit Union, and Lee Auto Malls. For more information about Teach to Lead, how to get involved, or to become a sponsor please visit the website.