Franklin Countys First News

Hundreds of educators attend regional workshop

Teachers register at the 2019 Rendezvous Friday morning.

FARMINGTON – Western Maine Education Collaborative launched its professional development Rendezvous event Friday, bringing hundreds of educators to the University of Maine at Farmington campus.

The Olsen Student Center was packed with teachers lining up behind registration tables staffed by administrators wearing white WMEC shirts. The nonprofit, which includes 15 school districts representing 50-plus schools and more than 14,000 students, held the first Rendezvous last year at the Mt. Blue Campus. Having outgrown that venue, WMEC President Andrew Carlton said Friday, planners decided to move the event to the UMF campus during the college's March break.

“I am really excited,” Carlton said. “It's just grown so much.”

The event now encompasses specialists like school nurses, counselors, art teachers and, for some districts, ed techs. Educators from WMEC schools developed the roughly 90 sessions that were spread across the UMF campus Friday, providing new strategies and tools to roughly 1,400 of their peers.

Carlton said that the event was highly representative of why WMEC formed in the first place: improving student learning through collaboration. WMEC has a professional development committee that works with its member districts, he said; the Rendezvous takes an entire year to plan.

“We do some pretty exciting stuff with educators educating educators,” Carlton said. Sessions offered Friday ranged from classroom management skills to math curriculum suggestions to how to incorporate 3D printers into lessons.

Carlton noted that UMF had made it possible for the event to grow so much, so quickly, by providing enough space in a central location.

“You can feel the energy,” Carlton said in the center of the crowded student center. “We think it's invaluable.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 Responses »

  1. Great idea!