Antiracist Education for all of Maine – A Series of Free Workshops and Crucial Conversations for Maine Educators

This series has reached its capacity – registration is no longer open. 

The Maine State Teacher of the Year Association (MSTOYA) is thrilled to offer an important, timely and free professional development series: Antiracist Education for all of Maine This series kicks off with a keynote by Cornelius Minor, an author, teacher, instructional coach, and self-proclaimed “book tiger.”  There are also many other powerful speakers and “collegial conversations,” which are designed to be equity focused discussions with educators across Maine to help Maine educators build capacity as equity leaders in Maine schools and communities.

Speaker: No More Excuses: Why It Has to Be Us And Why It Has To Be Now

Cornelius Minor
February 9th, 7:00-8:00 pm

Collegial Conversations: Navigating The Challenges of Antiracist Work In Maine Schools

February 25th, 7:00-8:00 pm

Speaker: Voices From Our Classrooms

Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine
March 2nd, 7:00-8:00 pm

Collegial Conversations: Rehearsing Important Conversations About Racism Through Scenarios

March 18th, , 7:00-8:00 pm

Speaker: Literature as a Lens: Using Texts As A Tool to Broaden Perspectives

Monica Washington, Nesrene Griffin, Iris Eichenlaub
March 23rd, 7:00-8:00 pm

Speaker: Decolonizing The Curriculum

Fiona Hopper, Starr Kelly, Joe Schmidt
April 6th, 7:00-8:00 pm

Speaker: What Comes Next?

Cornelius Minor
April 14th, 7:00-8:00 pm

Collegial Conversations: Equity Leadership From The Classroom

April 15th, 7:00-8:00 pm

All events are free to Maine teachers. Contact hours will be awarded for each session upon completion of an exit ticket. Space is limited, and will be offered to educators across the state, so sign up early!

Events made possible with major funding from Unum. Additional support from Lee Auto, Educate Maine, and The Maine Teachers of the Year Association.

Register here. All sessions are full!

Do the best that you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. – Maya Angelou

For questions or more information, email Talya Edlund at talya.edlund@gmail.com

Seeking Maine Educators to Create Learning Modules for MOOSE

The Maine Department of Education is seeking educators to create learning modules for MOOSE, Maine’s Online Opportunities for Sustained Education. MOOSE is an initiative that is grounded in innovation and made possible by technology. Learn with MOOSE is committed to creating learning experiences for students that are accessible and inclusive of all learners, and serves to provide anytime, anywhere learning options and resources for educators, students and their families. Integrated across subject areas and project-based, these asynchronous modules ensure that learning is active, engaging, and continuous.

As a content creator of the Learn with MOOSE initiative, you will embark on an innovative instructional design journey that will push the bounds of your professional skillset. Grounded in inclusive design, MOOSE modules are created to meet Universal Design for Learning and to be accessible for all learners, regardless of ability.

Participants must be Maine educators, including but not limited to teachers, curriculum leaders and Maine educational community organizations such as museums, libraries, and educational centers. The module creation work begins January 4th and concludes on April 16th. Each participant will be trained in a-synchronous instructional design by Maine DOE digital learning specialists, as well as supported in their content by Maine DOE content specialists. Stipends of $1000 will be provided for successful completion of the project.

To register click here.

For more information please contact Beth Lambert, beth.lambert@maine.gov or Page Nichols, page.nichols@maine.gov.

Are you a teacher or parent using MOOSE modules with your students? Share your story with us! @mdoenews #LearnwithMOOSE 

Thoughts from a Virtual Session with 2020 National Teacher of the Year Tabatha Rosproy

On Wednesday, December 2, 2020, the Maine Department of Education welcomed 2020 National Teacher of the Year Tabatha Rosproy for a virtual question and answer session with Maine educators. Joining from her home in Kansas, Tabatha introduced herself and greeted a group of early childhood educators from the public, private, and special education sectors in Maine and beyond.

Ms. Rosproy spent the one-hour session discussing early childhood topics of interest in Maine, as well as responding to questions from participants. Tabatha’s honesty and passion for the field was evident through her down-to-earth and personable demeanor with session participants. By the end of the hour, it was apparent that Maine and Kansas aren’t all that different. And, although early childhood education has gained some traction nationally, there is still room for growth.

Key takeaways from the session included the value in making connections with colleagues and families, promoting classroom inclusion, and growing school leadership. Tabatha also emphasized the importance of early childhood educators “bring(ing) their seats to the table.” She encouraged each educator to, “Be an advocate for your students and get involved in your classroom, school, district and state.” She went on to inspire educators to think of leadership as an “activity, not a position.” Tabatha suggested it takes courage to do the right thing but that educators should feel empowered to be advocates, not reliant on individuals in positions of power. She also reminded participants that early childhood is not just the early grades of public school, but birth through eight years old. This time in a child’s development is critical and special. and they need a whole system of supporters, not just teachers.

When interacting with families, Tabatha shared that engagement and communication are crucial to building positive relationships and learning atmospheres. “Think of it like a bank account, you make deposits and withdrawals. The deposits are those positive daily comments about each child. The withdrawals are the occasional conversations of concern and goals for growth. Let’s make regular deposits!”

By the end of the hour, participants were thankful for Tabatha’s insights. While Tabatha has many doors open for her now, she shared she “has a hard time not seeing herself in the Pre-K classroom.” When asked what final advice she has for early childhood educators, she responded, “Keep speaking up! In some way, keep using your voice.”

For more information about Tabatha Rosproy and CCSSO’s National of Teacher of the Year Program, visit https://ntoy.ccsso.org/. You can also follow Tabatha on social media at: @NTOY20 on Facebook, @NTOY2020 on Instagram, and @TabathaRosproy on Twitter.

Any questions or comments about this opportunity can be directed to Nicole.madore@maine.gov.

Nominations Open for Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

The National Science Foundation is currently accepting nominations and applications for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) program. PAEMST are the highest honors bestowed by the United States government specifically for k-12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teaching. Awardees serve as models to their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of STEM education.

The 2020–2021 nomination and application cycle for 7–12th grade STEM teachers has officially opened. Anyone–principals, teachers, parents, students, or members of the general public–may nominate a teacher by completing the nomination form available on the PAEMST website. To submit a nomination, you will need the teacher’s name, email address, and school contact information. If you know more than one teacher deserving of this award, you may submit more than one nomination. Teachers may also apply directly at www.paemst.org. The deadline to nominate is March 1, 2021.

Presidential awardees receive a signed certificate and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. Awardees may also be invited to Washington, D.C. for a series of recognition events, which may include a tour of the White House, and professional development opportunities. They also become a member in a network of award-winning teachers from across the country. The National Science Foundation administers PAEMST on the behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Should you have any questions about the program or the application process, please contact the Department’s Mathematics Specialist, Michele Mailhot at Michele.R.Mailhot@maine.gov or the Department’s Science Specialist, Shari Templeton at shari.templeton@maine.gov.

Learning Facilitator Program- Great Resource for Schools, Free for Trainees!

In order to be responsive to critical staff shortages in Maine schools as a result of the pandemic, Governor Mills created additional flexibilities and opportunities for educators in Executive Order #7. Based on the Executive Order, the Maine Department of Education, in collaboration with Maine Community College System and Eastern Maine Community College, has developed the Learning Facilitator Program, a fast-track training program for paraprofessional level educators to expand, strengthen and support a high quality educator workforce.

The program, which is offered at no cost to the participants, is completed in two phases in one academic year with the ongoing support of Eastern Maine Community College faculty.

  • A week-long 3-credit course “boot camp” with foundational elements of classroom management and school culture. Additionally, the core boot camp curriculum includes training in COVID readiness, bloodborne pathogens, suicide awareness and prevention, mandated reporter training, and fingerprint clearance in order to address both substitute teacher and long-term support staff preparedness.
  • The second phase of the program consists of a combination of online work, professional learning community meetings, and a structured teaching apprenticeship (315 hours).

Upon completion of the 3-credit course “boot camp,” participants will have the foundational skills necessary to fill short- and long-term substitute educator roles, as well as all paraprofessional positions. They can support instruction and provide guidance to learners in the classroom under the supervision of a mentor teacher or teaching team. Mentor teachers or teaching teams may be working remotely or in-person. Special coding for Learning Facilitators has been created within NEO for schools, so that subsidy will not be impacted.

Educators who complete all elements of the Learning Facilitator Program, as outlined above, will qualify for an Educational Technician III certification.

For more information related to the program, please visit the EMMC website, here.