Students Learn What it is Like to be an Educator at Thomas College Teacher Academy

With a steep teacher shortage facing many communities in Maine, Thomas College and the Maine Department of Education teamed up to offer a daylong experimental teaching environment to further engage Maine students who are interested in teaching as a profession.

Students from all over Maine spent the day at Thomas College to learn more about what it’s like to be a teacher. The aspiring educators were able to participate in college level education courses offered by Thomas College professors Richard Biffle, Katie Rybakova, and by Lawrence High School teacher, Eric Brown.

The courses covered lessons in social emotional learning, inclusion, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics education, and an overview of lesson planning and implementation – what to expect (or not expect), how to think on your feet, and how make the content relevant to students. The event aimed to give students a better understanding of education as a career path, by providing hands-on experiences that can help solidify their career aspirations, and at the same time give them a taste of post-secondary education.

The unique event drew coverage from WABI and Central Maine among others who were eager to report on a collaborative effort that aims to tackle the workforce shortage of teachers in the state of Maine.

 

Seeking U.S. Presidential Scholar Nominations!

The Maine Department of Education invites school districts to nominate graduating high school seniors for the U. S. Presidential Scholars Program. Each district may nominate one senior who is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent U.S. resident and has demonstrated excellence in a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program and one senior who had scored exceptionally well on either the SAT of the College Board or the ACT of the American College Testing Program. Application materials will be sent directly to Superintendents and CTE Directors by Friday, October 4th. Application are due to the Maine DOE by Friday, October 25th.

Students chosen as U.S. Presidential Scholars receive an expense-paid trip to Washington, D. C. in June and are presented the U.S. Presidential Scholars medallion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House, in commemoration of their achievements. During their visit to Washington, scholars have access to important national and international figures, including government officials, educators, authors, musicians, scientists and other accomplished people.

For more information please contact Beth Lambert, Coordinator of Secondary Education or Dwight Littlefield, Coordinator of Career and Life Education.

MEDIA RELEASE: 2019 County Teachers of the Year Honored 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Kelli Deveaux (207) 624-6747 or kelli.deveaux@maine.gov

Teachers from 15 of Maine’s counties were honored today in Maine’s State Capitol at an annual event in the Hall of Flags announcing the 2019 Maine County Teachers of the Year.

The group is the county finalists for Maine Teacher of the Year, an honor awarded each year to one teacher in Maine.

Commissioner of Education Pender Makin notes, “The MTOY program offers all of us the opportunity to celebrate the phenomenal work that is being accomplished every day in Maine’s public schools. Each of the County Teachers of the Year exemplifies a deep commitment to Maine’s students and a belief in the power of education to create positive and lasting change. They bring their compassion, creativity, and innovation to the art and science of teaching, amplifying the dreams and futures of their students.  In highlighting the accomplishments of these 15 educators, we are also honoring all of Maine’s teachers,  and the outstanding talents and dedication they bring to their classrooms and communities.”

The educators were each nominated by a member of their community for their exemplary service in education, and dedication to their students. They were selected by a distinguished panel of teachers, principals and business community members from a pool of hundreds of other nominated teachers in their communities.

2019 County Teachers of the Year: 

    • Androscoggin County: Shawn Rice, Edward Little High School, Auburn 
    • Aroostook County: Kim Barnes, Caribou Middle School 
    • Cumberland County: Heather Whitaker, Gorham Middle School 
    • Franklin County: Robert Taylor, Spruce Mountain Middle/High School, Jay 
    • Hancock County: Nell Herrmann, Blue Hill Consolidated School 
    • Kennebec County: Emily Bowen, Hall-Dale Middle/High School, Farmingdale
    • Knox County: Thomas Gray, Camden Hills Regional High School 
    • Oxford County: Linda Andrews, Buckfield Junior/Senior High School, Hartford -Sumner Elementary 
    • Penobscot County: Tracy Deschaine, Orono Middle School 
    • Piscataquis County: Bobbi Tardif, SeDoMoCha School, Dover-Foxcroft
    • Sagadahoc County: Charles Bingham, Morse High School, Bath
    • Somerset County: Katherine Bertini, Madison Junior High School
    • Waldo County: Ashley Reynolds, Captain Albert Stevens School, Belfast 
    • Washington County: Jeanna Carver, Jonesport Elementary School 
    • York County: Ethel Atkinson, Bonny Eagle Middle School, Buxton 

    *Lincoln County did not have a nominee who both met the criteria and completed the application process.

    As ambassadors for teachers, students, and quality education in Maine, these teachers will continue to participate in the intensive State Teacher of the Year selection process, including the submission of a video showcasing their classroom instructional practices.

    The field will be narrowed to eight semi-finalists who will begin working on their professional portfolio, a component of the National Teacher of the Year process. After the portfolio review and presentations to a select panel, the field is narrowed to three finalists. In October, the 2020 Maine Teacher of the Year will be selected after a school site visit and final interview. 

    The Maine Teacher of the Year is a program of the Maine Department of Education. It is with gratitude from the Maine DOE that the program is   administered by Educate Maine, a business-led organization working to ensure Maine’s students and workers are the best educated and highly skilled in the world. 

    For more information, visit www.maine.gov/doe/toy/ or Director of Communications, Kelli Deveaux at (207) 624-6747 or kelli.deveaux@maine.gov. 

Social Studies Standards Revision- LD 283

On April 19, 2019  Governor Mills signed LD 283, which contained the revised Maine Learning Results for Social Studies. While personal finance has always been included in the standards, this bill and the subsequent revision of the standards were designed to make explicit the importance of this content area.

The signed bill is currently going through the Maine Administrative Procedure Act to officially become law through the Secretary of State’s office. It is anticipated that the law will go into effect near the end of this school year. This timeline allows schools to begin planning for implementation during the summer of 2019. Planning is underway for a series of professional development opportunities around the state in 2019 and 2020, as well as online resources, to help support schools as they transition to use of the revised standards.

In the meantime, a new Social Studies: Standards & Instruction website has been created, along with links to related pages and resources, to help educators and districts begin planning for any curricular changes that are deemed necessary in light of the revised standards.

English Teachers Gather at the Summit!

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