For over a decade, our education team has served the students of Maine. During that time, we’ve learned that one of the best ways to support students is to support their teachers.
Starting last year, we launched a new initiative to establish Regional Teacher Communities. The goal of these communities is to connect rural and under-resourced teachers of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects.
We connect and engage these teacher communities with an array of meetings, trainings, and online resources. Perhaps more importantly, these new relationships help teachers support each other. Every community has a lead teacher, who provides local, sustained guidance to other teachers in that region. These teacher-leaders have been crucial to the success of this initiative.
“Participating in this community supported my classroom work because it created a support system and an accountability system,” said one participating teacher. “With 30 years of teaching experience, I know how easy and tempting it can be to carry on with what is comfortable. Getting out in the field with a new experience definitely challenged my comfort level.”
Just over a year later, the model is proving effective. Our Western Maine and Hancock County hubs are thriving as we prepare to roll out similar services to Washington County and Midcoast communities in the coming year.