Maine Education Commissioner Pender Makin spent the day at Windham High School, helping educators and school staff and elevating the need for additional substitutes and volunteers in Maine schools. Makin served lunch to students, visited an art class, met with educators and administrators, and spent time with teachers and students in the Katahdin Program, which provides alternative education programming for students.
“I’m so in awe of what is happening in our schools. We’re here today to shine a light on the amazing work being done by the educators, school staff, and students in our public schools and to call attention to the need for communities to support schools by volunteering and substituting,” said Maine Education Commissioner Pender Makin.
When asked why people should substitute, Makin replied, “You get to make your own hours, you have the opportunity to be with the most magnificent young people, and you get to learn so much. Education is a symbiotic process—you can’t help but grow your own brain while you’re helping children learn.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated staff shortages and created a greater need for substitutes and volunteers across the state. Last month, Makin helped fill teacher and staff shortages at Readfield Elementary School. While at Readfield, Makin helped students with their math skills, worked with 1st grade students to create glossaries for books they were working on, helped students in the Readiness Skills Program, and served on lunch duty.