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IMAGINE Maine, in this together.

Maine Education News

Check out the Recording of the Imagining What Schools Could Be Event!

For those who couldn't join live, watch the recording by clicking on the video below! (Unfortunately the recording was cut short due to technical difficulties, but there's still plenty to enjoy.)

Education Innovators Series Successes

We had wonderful and engaged participation at last week's Imagining What School Could Be event! Some of the comments from the chat:

  • "Everything Ted is speaking to is right there in my edu-soul. My question is why are the gatekeepers in our school districts and government systems so reluctant to embrace these ideas?  What will it take for those parties to trust classroom and school-level educator to do the work that meets the standards, that addresses the targets, yet doesn’t measure it through traditional means?"

  • "I’m ready to start all of this NOW."

  • "There are many of us IN THE FIELD who are ready for this, but it is really challenging to change ANYTHING in our entrenched systems."

  • "Two broad questions: 1. How do we address the need to nurture a "professionalized" teaching force but who sometimes feel like they treated as compliance managers. 2. How are collective bargaining units being engaged in the need to reimagine what schools could be? Too often that is the elephant in the room that few really want to take on."

  • "How do we get our communities to support an approach of education that is radically different from what they experienced when they were students?"

  • "Partnering with students to bring meaning and value to their learning through authentic and relevant projects is so rewarding as the educator because you become more the facilitator-not the expert, and the kids rise to the challenge and lead the way every time!"

Key takeaways from some of our speakers!

  • Ted Dintersmith: "I hung around for years with marathon runners. And so I liken today to being at mile 23 of a marathon no one signed up to run. And I think it’s very tempting, and marathon runners would say the same thing, at mile 23 to say ‘I’m just going to get done and I may never put running shoes on again.' But when you go back to those marathon runners five years or ten years later, they look at that race and say ‘I am so proud of having run that race, it was a life highlight.' I think every single person on this call will look back on this very challenging period and feel immensely proud of staying with it and supporting their kids.”

  • Pender Makin: "There's plenty of brain research to show that when you try to hold somebody artificially externally accountable for something that they showed up already pre-accountable for, you have just completely disenfranchised them. So we have pushed the professionalism away from our educators. We have reduced school leaders to middle management at best. We've handed them stuff to hand down to hand down to be implemented. And I am very eager in our state to remind people that learning doesn't happen in content siloes."

  • Alana Margeson and Boyd Marley highlighted the importance of higher education institutions preparing students to be the teachers of the future.

  • Jeremy Jones shared examples of innovative practices being used in and around Maine right now, including one example from Baxter Academy in Portland.

Next Steps:

We have gathered a working group from among the attendees, from higher education, early childhood, districts, charters, and nonprofits to discuss how we can take action using the momentum generated by the event.

Most Likely to Succeed

Didn't get a chance to watch Ted Dintersmith's "Most Likely to Succeed" video in advance of the event? See below! And check out more of his work here.

One attendee's review of the film: "It was a terrific movie. I was glued to my seat."

Social Media

Follow along as we uplift nuggets of wisdom from the event on our social media platforms:

Facebook  Instagram  YouTube

Education Innovators Series Event with Rob Houben

May 16, 2022 at 5:00pm via zoom

We're thrilled to announce that the next event in the series has already been scheduled! More details to come - but take a look here and save the date (5/16)!

Our Keynote speaker will be Rob Houben from Agora School, a school described in the 2019 Medium article as "The school with no classes, no classrooms, and no curriculum." Check out his website to learn more!

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Save the Date!

When: May 16th at 5:00pm

Where: Zoom

Who: Rob Houben from Agora School, as well as exciting panelists including Patrick Breeding and more!


Exciting progress!

People around the state from libraries, literacy nonprofits, schools, and community organizations are getting excited and joining the effort. We have connected with partners in Washington, Kennebec, Aroostook and Cumberland counties now and are scheduling more than two dozen conversations in the next month.

Want to get involved?

Review our summary document below to get a sense of the project highlights and what your involvement could look like!

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Next month's newsletter will feature learnings and updates on our new partners and collaborating organizations as well. 

Let us know if your school or organization has something to share! Thank you for engaging with us to create the best future for Maine through education.

Jennifer Chace

Executive Director

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