Maine Access to Inclusive Education Resources (MAIER), a collaborative between the Maine Department of Education (DOE) Office of Special Services and Inclusive Education and the University of Maine, has a variety of professional learning opportunities for the field and is pleased to announce a new series of co-teaching supports for inclusive classrooms and schools.
Co-teaching is being implemented in schools across the nation to address the needs of all students in classrooms with the goal of creating more inclusive environments. Co-teaching involves having a general education teacher and special service provider (e.g., special education teacher, Title I teacher, ELL specialist, speech/language pathologist) collaboratively planning, teaching, and assessing to ensure success of all students.
Dr. Wendy Murawski, national expert and author on co-teaching and CEO of 2Teach, has created Co-Teaching Modules for Maine. These modules, titled Co-Teaching 101, provide professional learning for Maine educators addressing co-teaching, planning, and assessing learning options for your classrooms and school. These asynchronous modules may be found at https://umaine.edu/maier/co-planning-101/.
Additionally, MAIER is providing a Co-Teaching Community of Practice facilitated and supported by MAIER’s Research Associate, Dr. Anica Miller Rushing, and 2Teach’s Dr. Melissa Jenkins. The purpose of this CoP is to increase both general and special educators’ ability to use co-teaching to improve inclusion practices. The CoP starts meeting in May and you may register at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc4HBkVmuPIiJ3eaqoT0kj11ZcfaMJop9DfrvWpeG6OdYKzoA/viewform.
Contact hours are available. To learn more about this programming, please contact Anica Miller Rushing at email@example.com.
The Maine Child Nutrition office has created a new webpage dedicated to culturally diverse culinary videos, recipes and resources that are available for Child Nutrition Programs, including the National School Breakfast and Lunch Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, and the Summer Food Service Program. Currently, there are Halal and Wabanaki/indigenous foods recipes and resources available, with plans for more culturally diverse resources being added in the future! The goal of these resources is to educate and provide tools for child nutrition programs in meeting the diverse needs of their student populations.
For more information and to view these resources, visit the Culturally Diverse Culinary Resources page.
The Maine Department of Education (DOE), Office of Student Supports will be hosting author Hedreich Nichols on March 2, 2023, in Brewer. Nichols is an author and educational consultant helping teachers and districts amplify the voices of all students. With her Solution Tree title, Finding Your Blind Spots: 8 Guiding Principles to Overcome Implicit Bias in Teaching, Hedreich combines her experience as a “One Black Friend” and educator with academic research and pedagogical strategies to ensure that educators have the skills and knowledge they need to create more equitable classrooms and campuses.
Hedreich will be hosting a conference on behalf of the Maine DOE titled Bias and Belonging. This will be an interactive workshop. Check-in on March 2nd is from 8:15-8:30, and we will depart at 3:30 pm. There will be time for Q and A with Nichols and collaboration with participants. We invite you to our day with the author, Bias and Belonging.
Participation in the March 2nd event will include light refreshments and lunch provided at no additional cost. Those attending on behalf of school administrative units (SAUs) are eligible for a $125 reimbursement (payable to the SAU) for employee time/travel.8 CEUs will be awarded for participation on March 2nd.
For more information about this event, contact Melanie Junkins at firstname.lastname@example.org
A few years ago Old Town Elementary School (OTES) reflected on their school’s role in expanding the experiences and perspectives of the students and staff in the school. They realized they had an obligation to make the community aware of the diverse cultures and countries entering through their doors each day and to create a welcoming environment for all people at OTES. With the University of Maine as the school’s neighbor, they often receive students from the University because parents are finishing their degrees or are professors.
OTES decided to put a flag up for every country represented at the school to welcome families and teach their students about the various cultures represented at the school with each of these new community members. As a result, OTES families coming to the school building feel immediately welcomed by the gesture of seeing their native country flying in the hallways of the school.
“Students and staff are so excited about another country joining this hall of flags and getting to know about the country,” said OTES Principal Jeanna Tuell. “We have found more opportunities to make connections with other countries and to celebrate our diversity.”