The school year may still feel “new” in some respects, but I know you—and our students!–are already hard at work.  Local association leaders are working hard, too!   They are seeing that our many legislative successes are implemented properly, advocating for members, working to build strong locals, and planning for successful negotiations.  Let’s all do our part to help and support one another by assisting in these tasks as we keep our associations and our professions growing ever stronger. 

And of course, let’s be sure we stay strong for our students!  I have heard from some about students’ reactions to school safety drills.  Safety is our top priority, but practicing these drills may be traumatizing for some.  If you missed it, please take a few minutes to read:  “Helping Students Cope with Active Shooter Drills” in NEA Today.

Evening for Educators at the Portland Museum of Art on Oct. 10, 3:30-6–join fellow educators and PMA Learning & Interpretation staff for an evening of fresh ideas and art at the museum. Enjoy complimentary food and beverages, as well as a unique chance to explore the landmark exhibition N. C. Wyeth: New Perspectives with friends and colleagues.  There is no charge, but you need to register by sending your name, school name, and the grade/level and subject that you teach to Meghan Quigley.

Regional ECE Conferences & Workshops this Fall:  Nurturing Through Nature-Saturday, October 19th at York County Community College; Building Bridges Through Story and Song-Saturday, October 19th   at Washington County Community College; Early Education Conference-Saturday, November 16th at Bowdoin College.  For event descriptions click here and for more information, go to

For information and resources on Adverse Childhood Experiences, check out the Maine Resilience Building Network.

Of interest to our Early Childhood Educators:  Maine Roads to Quality Professional Development Network.

Remember that Maine Public has a variety of resources for educatorscheck out PBS Learning Media.

Check out the programs at Maine Audubonavailable for students and classrooms.

Although it is only October, you may want to plan now for your students to attend the 2020 Maine Science Festival  March 18-22 in Bangor for which MEA is a sponsor.

Register now for MEA’s Learning and Leading Conferences, October 26th and November 2nd. Check out the conference agenda.

Check out the grants available from MEA at
Deadline to apply is December 13, 2019.

If you are interested in being one of the funded participants to attend the NEA 2020 Minority Leadership/Women’s Leadership Training Seminar in Orlando (Friday, Jan. 24th to Sunday, Jan. 26th), send in an application to MEA President Grace Leavitt no later than October 31st in order to be considered.  For more information click here.

NEA Webinars for Early Career Educators—but these may be of interest to others, too!

Sign up to receive EdPractice, a monthly roundup of NEA’s best resources.

October is National Higher Education month!  The delegates at the 2018 NEA Representative Assembly voted to make this designation to help strengthen connections between our PK-12 colleagues and those who work and teach at post-secondary institutions.  And at last year’s MEA Representative Assembly the delegates voted to establish a new MEA Award, the Public Higher Education Impact Award, to recognize   an individual or group whose leadership, acts, and support have contributed to the improvement of public higher education in Maine.

NEA is continuing its work on social and racial justice. This summer MEA Vice President Jesse Hargrove, Board Director Suzen Polk-Hoffses, and MEA Executive Director attended the NEA Convening and among the materials shared is the series, America to Me, available for free through the end of 2019.  And try to take a few moments to read this article, The Future of Healing: Shifting from Trauma Informed Care to Healing Centered Engagement”.

Also from NEA: their annual report on Racial Justice in Education. Additional resources are available at

Make plans now to celebrate American Education Week November 11th—15th and let’s be especially sure to give due recognition to our many Education Support Professionals (ESP Day is Wednesday, November 13th).

If your local has not recently reviewed its Constitution and Bylaws, it may be time to do so and propose any necessary revisions to your members.  When you do, be sure to send the updated document to your UniServ Director to be forwarded to our Structure and Bylaws Committee.

For some interesting information about the views of educators on learning conditions in their schools both in the United States and in other countries check out the 2018 Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) conducted by Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in which 48 countries participated.

It’s not too late!  Want to network with colleagues, contribute your ideas, and get more involved?  A great way to do that is to join an MEA Committee—just a few seats left!  Check out the descriptions of the committees and e-mail the MEA President today if you are interested!  

Do you know a high school senior who plans to apply to either a four-year college or university or to a community college?  If so, encourage them to apply for a Clyde Russell Scholarship; information and applications are available through the link on the MEA website.

It may be an “off” election year, but there are still many important races and issues that will be on the ballot.  Please be sure you are registered to vote and remember to vote–and encourage friends and family to do so as well!  

In closing, I am finishing this message just after returning from “Superweek” in D.C., when our NEA Director, Amanda Cooper, and I attend meetings at NEA Headquarters and meet with our Congressional delegation and their staff.  I know you are all aware that these are extremely “interesting” times for our country, and they only get more “interesting” every day!  There will be a lot at stake come November 2020, and I urge you all to go to the website  to read about the various presidential candidates and their views on many issues—and of course, on education!  The site is being updated frequently as information on issues and events is added.  Consider hosting a house party and getting some friends together to discuss and share your views on candidates and issues.  And if you believe every student deserves a great public school, then please take the Strong Public Schools 2020 election pledge.

I am looking forward to visiting some locals in the County this month—and I’d love to come visit yours soon, too!  Contact me to arrange a time!

Meanwhile, stay strong, stay healthy, and let’s keep moving forward—for our colleagues and for our students!