Thank you so much to all who have expressed an interest in the soon-to-be-reinstituted Professional Standards Board.  While I am not surprised by our members’ dedication to, and enthusiasm for, our profession, the number of people who reached out was surprising!  We will wait with anticipation to see who is appointed by the Governor’s office and when this group will first meet.  They will have an important role in advising the State Board of Education, especially regarding certification as we all work on the issues of educator recruitment and retention.  Thank you all for raising your voices!

Thank you also to the local associations who made time to interview candidates in local races and identify supporters of public education—their efforts are sure to help our students and educators!

I have been enjoying getting around to some more local associations and speaking with the members who have been attending various MEA meetings and conferences. Please let me know when you would like me to visit your district!  I am still working on my goal to come to every local, but I have a ways to go!

For our Education Support Professionals:  The 2020 NEA Education Support Professionals National Conference will take place March 19-22, 2020, in New Orleans.  If you would like to be considered as an MEA/NEA funded participant, please complete the application and return to MEA President by November 18th. 

Register for the Maine Association for the Education of Young Children Early Education Conference at Bowdoin College on November 16.

For some resources to help us have schools that are welcoming, supportive, and inclusive, check these out:

Visit Children Safety Partnership for information regarding child sexual abuse prevention education.

In case you haven’t yet seen the Teaching Channel website, there are all sorts of resources.

Let’s remember self-care. The Teacher Wellness website has wellness resources for students and for YOU!

Compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue.

If you are dealing with student loan debt—as a new educator, as a parent of a graduate—be sure to check out this tool, the NEA Student Loan Forgiveness Navigator powered by Savi for help (and check out all the other great member benefits, too!).

NEA has ideas and resources on how locals can plan to celebrate American Education Week (November 18-22)

Be sure to celebrate our Education Support Professionals on Wednesday of that week—talk about unsung heroes!  I wouldn’t even want to imagine a day without our ESP, would you?

Listen to NEA President Lily Eskelsen-Garcia’s speech about racial (in)justice in education

One year from now, we will be facing the 2020 elections—we all know how much is riding on their outcome that will impact our students, our professions, and public education.  Please take a few minutes to check out to see all the resources compiled there (updated regularly!) and then click on the ‘take action’ tab to take the pledge to be a public education voter!

While there, consider contributing to the NEA Fund for Children and Public Education—under the ‘donate’ tab!

In a few months, the legislative session will begin again!  As always, MEA will be advocating for proposed changes that will have a positive impact on our students, our members, and public education. Be sure to stay tuned and get the latest updates by signing up to receive “Under the Dome”


Have any changes to your contact information (address, e-mail, phone)?  Be sure to let your local leader—and MEA!—know so you don’t miss important communications!

The due date to apply for MEA grants (Human, Civil Rights and Cultural Affairs, Members are Leaders, and Political Action) is December 13!

Other days to celebrate this month:  World Kindness Day, November 13; International Day of Tolerance, November 16; World Toilet Day, November 19 (yes, it’s a thing!), and Universal Children’s Day, November 20.

And of course, Thanksgiving—may you all enjoy the day with family and friends!

Before closing, I would like to share with you all the sad news that Thomas Moore III, a dear member and dedicated educator who served the MEA and colleagues in many capacities over the years, passed away recently.  Many have described Tom as a ‘gentleman scholar’ who cared deeply about education, about people of all cultures, and about human rights and dignity.  He most recently was serving as the representative for MEA Retired on the MEA Board of Directors.  We will all miss him.

With much gratitude for all you do, for students, for colleagues and for our communities,