The Mission: Possible Conference was hosted by the Maine Education Association at the University of Maine at Augusta. This conference is held yearly and focuses on professional development FOR teachers BY teachers. Over 250 teachers attended this year’s conference, which featured workshops on topics such as teacher leadership, STEM, Expeditionary Learning, the use of Twitter, and iPads in the classroom. Teachers across the state presented, including five from my district. It was a great day.
This is a busy time of year for teachers. Yet, we spent our Saturday sharing information and ideas. Some teachers at the conference had been preparing for some time, working and revising their presentation or providing guidance and support to the organizing committee. No one gets paid to present. It’s what we should be doing as educators-sharing what works in classrooms across the state and learnng what other teachers are doing to reach all students.
Teaching is a 24/7 profession. With this conference winding down, others across the state are preparing sessions for the Maine ASCD conference on April 14th. In my community, teachers will spend their Sunday morning supporting students by attending the Portland Children’s Film Festival screenings. And this coming Thursday, the faculty at my school, King Middle, will put on a Faculty Talent Show to raise money to send our seventh grade students to the Leadership School at Camp Kieve. Our jobs are rewarding, but intense. And the time we dedicate to our profession goes well beyond the student day.
This weekend is almost over. And on Sunday afternoon, all over this state, teachers will head to their “teacher bags” at about 3 or 4 pm to start getting ready for next week. They will plan instruction, email colleagues, call parents, and create materials. The students in Maine are fortunate to learn from these dedicated professionals, and I feel privileged to call them my colleagues.