Power To The Profession: Utilizing This Unifying Framework For Maine's Early Childhood Education Profession

Lead/Moderator: Lori Moses, Coordinator of Apprenticeship and Credential Programs - Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network

Abigail Carter - Statewide Higher Education Coordinator, Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network

In this session, participants will learn about the National Association for the Education of Young Children's (NAEYC's) "Power to the Profession" framework for early childhood career pathways.  This framework is designed to carry out the bold vision that "each and every child, beginning at birth, has the opportunity to benefit from high-quality early childhood education, delivered by an effective, diverse, well-prepared, and well-compensated workforce across all states and settings."  We will explore this vision, identify barriers that have plagued the field of early care and education, identify Maine's educational assets and share how the timing is right for Maine to move the system forward utilizing this framework.  This includes understanding the alignment of NAEYC's "Professional Standards and Competencies" across early childhood education preparation programs and professional development systems so that there is a clear, articulated pathway.  The way to improve the outcomes for children is to support the professionals who care for them.  We can get there from here!

The Value Of Our Networks: Connecting The Creatives, The Thinkers & The Doers

Lead/Moderator: Cory King, Executive Director - Bath-Brunswick Regional Chamber

Doug Ware, Mt. Ararat High School
Kathryn Ference, Maine Tourism Association
Mari O'Neil, Retail Association of Maine

Some early-adapting businesses have already made strides in connecting with educators and workforce development liaisons, but many are still unaware of how critical these connections are for the vitality of Maine. Building partnerships will be the cornerstone of our workforce success over the next decade. In this session you will learn about the Bath-Brunswick-Topsham Workforce Collaborative, a collection of a dozen leaders from area high schools, youth-based organizations, and business associations who have collectively channeled their efforts into energizing and engaging the stakeholders in their region. The collaborative has been meeting bi-weekly for over a year now to work through the obstacles, and celebrate the triumphs, they have had as a team. There are some fundamental structural barriers they thought would be problems, and other unforeseen issues they couldn’t see coming. We will cover various topics, including showcasing career pathways to underserved youth, engaging your business community & chambers of commerce/associations, the Do’s and Don’ts of ELO Business Tours, identifying the right collaborators, and more! Most importantly, there will be a healthy chunk of Q & A time to answer your specific questions on how you can engage the partners in your region.  


How Poverty Changes The Brain, Which Changes Everything

Lead Presenter: Linda Riddell, M.S., Founder of Health Economy LLC

Lacey Sawyer, LCSW - University of New England

Come and play Gettin’ By the game that puts your brain into poverty and see how your thinking and decision-making responds to scarcity. After playing, you will learn the basics of brain science. You will understand what some take for granted (“give no thought to”) and how that differs for people and children coping with poverty. With so many things crowding the brain, people in poverty respond to certain kinds of communication and not others. This workshop teaches you how to listen and respond effectively thus improving your work with low-income students and families.


Sense Of Belonging: Offering CTE In Middle School

Lead/Moderator: Miranda Engstrom, Teacher - Lamoine Consolidated School

Meghan Stubbs, CTE Instructor - Hancock County Technical Center
Amanda Frost, Teacher - Lamoine Consolidated School

We all know that offering CTE opportunities in high school often paves the way for successful careers for students upon entering adulthood, but why wait until then when you can start to offer those ideas to middle school students? At Lamoine Consolidated School, we are offering these opportunities to our middle school students and they're finding a unique sense of belonging earlier than their high school years. We'll hear from successful CTE instructors about the sense of belonging created in their programs and the transfer of that sense of belonging to the middle school level through an exploration of various CTE opportunities. See how to integrate some of the same offerings into your middle school to offer leadership and belonging while participating in some student-selected favorite activities and hearing from students themselves about how Career and Technical Education offerings have helped them cultivate leadership and confidence in themselves prior to entering high school. By connecting students with CTE opportunities earlier, we are providing a solid foundation for them to enter the high school CTE world should they choose to pursue those opportunities in their secondary and post-secondary educations. As Oprah Winfrey states, "You have to find what sparks a light in you so that you in your own way can illuminate the world." Career and Technical Education is another way that we can help all students identify their spark and illuminate each other and the world.


Leveraging Partnerships To Support Underserved Populations Of Students And Diversify The Educator Workforce

Lead/Moderator: Timothy Surrette, Ed.D., Associate Professor of Education - University of Maine at Augusta

Dana Carver-Bialer, MPP/MA, PhD Candidate, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Coordinator - Bangor School Department
Marwa Hassanien, MS/M.Ed., Ph.D. candidate, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; DEI Consultant - Northern Light Health; Affinity DEI, LLC
Shelly Anarado Okere, Esq., Owner and Manager - IOS LLC Real Estate Investments
Dellana Kessler, Former DEIB Committee Member, 2023 Bangor High School Graduate, Olympia Snowe Women's Leadership Institute (OSWLI) alumna, current Developmental Psychology/Women and Gender Studies undergraduate student

This session will highlight the process of developing, implementing, and continuously improving a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) committee that advised the Bangor school committee during the 2021 - 2022 and 2022 - 2023 school years. Important goals of the DEIB committee are to support underserved populations of students and their families and work toward diversifying the educator workforce in Bangor. To advance these goals the DEIB committee has relied on the collective voices and expertise of a variety of school community stakeholders such as students, educators, administrators, school committee members, parents/caregivers, and leaders in community-based youth serving institutions, businesses, and non-profit organizations with a focus on social/racial justice. Participants in this session will learn about the DEIB committee’s mission, the significant diversity among its membership, its successes and challenges, and finally its vision for the future. During the presentation, participants will be encouraged to ask questions or seek clarification about the work of the DEIB committee and engage in a discussion with others about what they believe are barriers and/or opportunities related to the formation of a DEIB committee in their own school communities.


I can do that? Utilizing nonprofit partnerships to inspire elementary students through authentic STEM engagement

Lead/Moderator: Kim Stewart, Director of Community Engagement - Maine Discovery Museum

Anna Martin - Maine Discovery Museum

Workforce development can begin well before high school by exposing Maine’s young learners to STEM careers right here in our state. Nonprofit education organizations in Maine have a long history of engaging young learners in authentic, place-based STEM activities that spark their interest in science. In this workshop, we will overview the formal-informal education partnership model used in the Maine Discovery Museum’s Science Teacher Academy with a panel of teachers and nonprofit educators. We will also discuss strategies for developing new partnerships, both statewide and in specific communities. Participants will have the opportunity to self-reflect and brainstorm as a group what assets and/or strategies they could bring, or already bring, to an informal education/formal education/business partnership and discuss the benefits and opportunities they can get out of these partnerships. 


The Maine Teacher Residency Project: Building Capacity for Paid Teaching Internships

Samantha Warren, Director of Government & Community Relations - University of Maine System
Dr. Flynn Ross, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Teacher Education - University of Southern Maine
Dr. Tammy Mills, Senior Lecturer and Faculty Liaison for Field Experiences -  University of Maine School of Learning and Teaching

The Maine Teacher Residency (MTR) is a statewide project of the University of Maine System coordinated at the University of Southern Maine and funded by a one-time U.S. Department of Education award secured by Sens. Collins and King to support well-mentored, year-long paid internships. Paid internships help to grow our own qualified teaching workforce by providing another pathway than either unpaid student teaching or emergency teacher certification. In addition to supporting teacher candidates, the MTR supports the development of mentor teachers through a year-long cohort-based microcredential. In this workshop we will share several paid internship models developed collaboratively with local districts to help meet their workforce shortages, including funding strategies. 


*Schedule and sessions subject to change