Educator Forum: Building Trauma-Sensitive Schools

Thursday, December 5, 2019, 4:30-6:00 pm
301 Bailey Hall, University of Southern Maine
16 University Way, Gorham, ME

Explore the impact of trauma on the social, emotional, and academic growth of students in this interactive workshop. Topics to be covered include Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), trauma-sensitive schools, restorative practices, and the importance of establishing a culture of self-care. Attendees will be grouped by grade level and engage in dialogue geared towards making their own classrooms and schools more trauma sensitive. The intended audience for this Forum is all school employees who work with students in grades pre-K through 8.

Registration: Register here (https://forms.gle/UkE2Ft1f3qPzpjdW9) OR Download a PDF registration form (PDF)

Cost for attendance is $15 per person, and includes certificate for 1.5 contact hours. Light refreshments will be provided.

NOTE: If you do not end up attending, payment is still due, as your registration holds a spot for you and is figured into the head count for refreshments. If you cancel your registration by November 27, your fee will be waived/refunded.

Facilitators:

  • Jeanna Carver, Pre-K Teacher, 2019 Washington County Teacher of the Year, Jonesport Elementary School
  • Heather Whitaker, Alternative Education Teacher, 2019 Cumberland County Teacher of the Year, 2020 Maine State Teacher of the Year, Gorham Middle School
  • Jen Baker, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Village Elementary School, Gorham
  • Meghan O’Neil, Grade 4 Teacher, Village Elementary School, Gorham

Educator Forums are professional development events for educators of similar positions or responsibilities to explore new or best practices in their field. Forums provide an opportunity for educators to engage with peers, build new understandings from prior knowledge, and reflect on past practices.

Contact the PDC with any questions:

Julie Marsh, Program Coordinator
Professional Development Center
University of Southern Maine
pdc@maine.edu
207-780-5400

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.

 

Symposium: Unpacking the Maine-Wabanaki Studies Law (LD 291) Past, Present and Future

Sponsored by Native American Programs and The Wabanaki Center.

Friday, November 15, 2019
9:00AM – 12:00PM

University of Maine
Mitchell Center, 107 Norman Smith Hall
Native American Programs

With Presentations by:

  • Dr. Rebecca Sockbeson, UMaine Visiting Libra Professor, University of Alberta
  • Donna Loring, Senior Advisor on Tribal Affairs to Governor Mills and Author of LD 291
  • James Francis, Director, Penobscot Nation Cultural and Historic Preservation Department
  • Dr. John Maddaus, Professor of Education (Retired)
  • John Bear Mitchell, Educator and Wabanaki Center Outreach and Student Development Coordinator
  • Dr. Darren Ranco, Chair of Native American Programs
  • Maulian Dana, Penobscot Nation Ambassador

 

Maine Students Join Nearly 70,000 FFA Members in Indianapolis

Maine school representatives and student State Officers participated in the 92nd National FFA (formerly known as “Future Farmers of America”) Convention on October 30-November 2, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Twelve FFA students from Ashland High School, Easton High School, and Presque Isle Regional Career & Technical Center competed in events including Dairy Cattle Evaluation, Employment Skills, Environment & Natural Resources, and Horse Evaluation. 

State FFA Officers Graham Berry (President), Camryn Curtis (Vice President) and Ava Cameron (Secretary-Treasurer) participated alongside their fellow Maine competitors, teachers and chaperones, with Graham and Camryn serving as delegates to committees on Competitions and Member Experiences.  State FFA Advisor Doug Robertson from the Maine Department of Education oversaw student State FFA Officers and participated in educational sessions with fellow staff from other states.

Maine FFA State Secretary-Treasurer Ava Cameron presents the Maine Flag at the Opening Session.
Maine FFA State Secretary-Treasurer Ava Cameron presents the Maine Flag at the Opening Session.

FFA is the largest student leadership organization in the United States, with over 700,000 members grades 7-12 enrolled in courses related to agriculture and natural resources.  Of these members, nearly 70,000 attended the National Convention.  Maine’s delegates helped develop recommendations for changes to the National FFA to benefit members.

The National FFA Convention provided competitions, motivational sessions, leadership workshops, awards and scholarships for student members, as well as the chance to meet peers from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  In addition to competitions and motivational sessions, Maine participants had the opportunity to discover Indianapolis and many local attractions including the Indiana State Museum, the rodeo and the zoo, as well as enjoying a concert featuring Brett Young.

Maine FFA State Secretary-Treasurer Ava Cameron presents the Maine Flag at the Opening Session.
Maine FFA State Secretary-Treasurer Ava Cameron presents the Maine Flag at the Opening Session.

In Maine, secondary schools with technical programs in agriculture and natural resources as well as all schools for students grades 7-12 with relevant agriculture/natural resources courses, including science curriculum infused with agriculture and natural resource topics are eligible to charter FFA chapters.

For more information, please contact:  Doug Robertson, State Advisor, Maine Department of Education, (207) 624-6744, doug.robertson@maine.gov

No Cost Mandated Reporter Training Available to School Personnel

In 2015, Maine revised its mandated reporting law, requiring state-approved training for certain professions every four years. Specifically, it includes school personnel described as the following: teachers, guidance counselors, school officials, school bus drivers and school bus attendants.

Maine’s Network of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Councils is working to ensure that local school districts are aware of the changes and have the necessary resources to maintain compliance with Maine Statute. The local councils are able to provide in-person training at no-cost to the school districts.

As schools know, child abuse and neglect are serious issues, and school personnel often witness the challenges faced by Maine’s children.  In fact, according to the Office of Child and Family Services’ recent child welfare data, school personnel were responsible for over 20% of the total reported cases of suspected child abuse and neglect.  This demonstrates the importance of providing school personnel the most current, state-approved information for recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect.  It is important that school personnel feel comfortable, confident, and fully understand their role as a mandated reporter. For information on how to access this free training, contact your local Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Council or visit the Maine Children’s Trust website. Click here to read the full law. If you have any additional questions please email Denise Trafton at the Maine Children’s Trust, deniset@mechildrenstrust.org.