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.

 

RSU 34 Taps Retired Teacher to Train and Mentor New Educators

Submitted by Jeanna Tuell, Principal of Old Town Elementary School.

Retired teachers are a wealth of professional knowledge and wisdom. Although the days of retirement are exciting for our teachers, we have found a way to tap into our retired teachers and have them support the next generation of teachers.

In RSU 34, we are committed to our new teachers and their development by matching them with an experienced, outstanding retired teacher named Mary Bagley. Mary was a teacher in the district for 40 years and throughout her career was always on the cutting edge of instruction, curriculum, and assessment. When Mary thought it was time for her to step away from the classroom, we were not convinced and talked her into the position of professional support and coaching for our new teachers in our K-12 district.

It has been a match of support, professionalism, and chance for our new teachers to learn from a master teacher without the intensity of evaluation. We believe this model is an incredible connection between mentor and classroom teachers not experienced in many districts. The results have been phenomenal. Teachers feel supported in every aspect of their first years in the profession and have noted the tremendous support they have received with Mary coaching them through various instructional tangles.

National Board Certified Teacher Salary Supplement Request Due October 15, 2019

Do you have National Board Certified teachers on your staff? Awesome! We are sending along a reminder to those fortunate superintendents, or directors of a publicly-supported secondary school or CTE region, with eligible staff who have attained National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification prior to July 1, 2019. We need you to let us know, so we can provide you with their legislatively allocated salary supplement!

In order to qualify for the salary supplement, eligible staff must be currently employed by a Maine public school, or by a publicly-supported secondary school or CTE region in Maine.  Eligible position titles include classroom teacher, special education teacher, literacy specialist, long-term substitute teacher, library media specialist, guidance counselor, and teacher leaders with certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, or its successor organization.

The amount of the salary supplement for fiscal year 2019-20 is $3,000.00, unless proration is necessary.  The submission form and further information is available at National Board Certification Salary Supplement.

If you have questions, please contact Denise Towers at Denise.towers@maine.gov by phone at 624-6863.

National Board Certified Teacher Scholarship Funds Available!

Are you a secondary school teacher who is interested in becoming National Board Certified? Are you a district who is eager to offer this rigorous professional learning opportunity to your teachers?  State law, 20-A MRSA Section 13013-A subsection 5 & 6; as amended by PL 2012 c. 702, established the National Board Certification Scholarship Fund to encourage teachers to apply to, and enroll in, the certification program offered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, or its successor organization.

A school administrative unit, or a publicly supported secondary school or CTE region, may request scholarship funds on behalf of its teachers who meet the requirements.

In fiscal year 2019-20, Maine DOE will allocate $75,000 to the scholarship fund, and shall award an amount equal to the cost of the certification program, less any other funds received by the applicant, on a first-come, first-served basis to teachers accepted into the certification program.

For more information and eligibility requirements please go to National Board Certification Scholarship.

 If you have questions, please contact Denise Towers at Denise.towers@maine.gov  or by phone at 624-6863.

Multi-tiered Systems of Support Professional Learning Opportunity for Maine Schools

The Maine Department of Education is pleased to share a year-long professional learning opportunity for Maine schools, designed to help school leadership teams develop and implement Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) frameworks in their schools.

What is MTSS? 

Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) are comprehensive frameworks designed to address the academic, behavioral, and social-emotional needs of each student in the most inclusive and equitable learning environment.   The MTSS framework is driven by strong leadership, policies and practices, family and community engagement, staff collaboration, and data-informed decision-making. Through the implementation of a MTSS framework, districts and schools increase attendance, elevate student engagement, lessen concern about behavior, improve school climate, and boost academic performance.

OBJECTIVE OF MTSS SERIES:

The professional development sessions in this series will provide educators a common understanding of an integrated MTSS Framework to support both academics and behavior.  This series builds on the success of several Maine schools, and offers ongoing statewide technical assistance. With the support of the presenters, participating school teams will:

  • Become familiar with the essential components of the MTSS framework;
  • Be guided through developing their own MTSS framework;
  • Be provided tools to use within their own school for professional development; and
  • Have a plan to implement their MTSS framework in the 2020-2021 school year.

The school leadership teams attending this series will work between sessions with their school faculty.  This will ensure that school faculty is informed and has a voice in the creation of this framework.  The facilitators will also be checking in with the team between sessions to lend support and to be a resource for the continued development of their MTSS framework.

OVERVIEW OF SESSIONS

Session 1:  October 22nd and October 23rd at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer Maine.
Day One:  LEADERSHIP
– Overview of MTSS
– Roles of Shared Leadership and Shared Responsibility
– Exploring the Why
– Equity and Cultural Shifts
– Role of Data
– Layered Continued Support
– Presentation by Garret Schenck Leadership Team

Day Two:  FOUNDATIONAL SUPPORTS for Academic and Behavior
– Tier 1:  Core Curriculum
– Universal Screener
– Progress Monitoring
– Assessment Reasoning
– Equity for all

Session 2:  Regional Groups- November 2019
DATA, LITERACY AND SUPPORTS
– Data Literacy by Shelly Simpson
– Tier 2 and Tier 3
– Interventions
– Introduction to Individual Learning Plans
– Equity and Data

Session 3:  Regional Groups February 2020
EVIDENCE BASED PRACTICES
– What and When
– Individual Learning Plan update
– Supports in creating a master schedule
– Examination of Professional Development
– Equity and Progress Monitoring
– Assessment Reasoning
– Equity and Time

SESSION 4:  March 2020
FAMILY/COMMUNITY/SCHOOL ENGAGEMENT
– Engagement Strategies
– Implementation
– Creating the process
– Equity within the Framework

SESSION 5:    May 2020
SHARING FRAMEWORK
– Schools share their MTSS Framework

The Maine DOE is committed to working with all Maine schools who wish to improve teaching and learning.  As such, DOE will cover costs for the actual MTSS sessions, texts, and materials that will be used throughout the year. Schools or districts are responsible for travel costs and a fee of $125 per person to help defray expenses for refreshments and lunches for all sessions. For recertification purposes, contact hours will be awarded to MTSS participants.

If interested in joining other schools in creating a Multi-Tiered System of Supports for your school or district, please submit your application  by October 15, 2019.