Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MAMLE has decided to put all of our efforts in planning a fully face-to-face conference for 2022, and will skip the 2021 year for our annual conference.
We have exciting news for 2022– stay tuned for what we are planning for March 2022 as well as our usual October two-day conference in 2022!
Due to low webinar enrollments, we are postponing webinars in November 2020. Stay tuned for December 2020 offerings, which will include:
Cooking with Chris Toy! A Self-Care and Networking Opportunity (Time TBA)
The Future is Now: Preservice Teacher Virtual Poster Session (December 14, 3:00-4:00)
Please also check out our podcast page for our FREE November podcast!
Check out our September webinar offerings as well as our fireside chat and TekTok!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. Sign up for membership today– members get webinar, Tektok, and fireside chat access for FREE!
Don’t want to be a member but want to purchase a seat? Seats are $15. Email Katie at email@example.com to purchase.
Our August Fireside chat is FREE to anyone! Don’t miss this networking opportunity as we all grapple with COVID-19, the MDOE guidelines for reopening schools, and what it means for us.
Sign up by Aug 7 here.
Principal of Ellsworth MS Erica Gabbianelli
Principal of Leonard MS Dr. Gert Nesin
CTOY 2020 Lindsay Mahoney
Maranacook Middle School teacher Amy Tucker
Executive Director Dr. Katie Rybakova
After a lot of deliberation, the MAMLE Board of Directors has decided that, for the safety of our members and attendees, that we will be offering virtual sessions instead of an annual conference this year. In 2021, we plan to host our annual conference face to face at the DoubleTree in Portland, ME!
We also took the time this year to rethink what member GET for their membership. This is something that has been on our minds for a long time, and we think we have gotten to a point where we are PROUD to offer the following for our MAMLE members! Below you will find a simple version of our virtual offerings, starting August 2020 and running until May 2021.
Would you like a more detailed membership benefit description? Here you go: MAMLE_REMIX_2020!
We will have a new page with our podcasts on our MAMLE website as well as a new page with virtual monthly offerings. Check back often! Oh, and don’t forget to sign up for membership via our PayPal or via purchase order to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Maine Association for Middle Level Education believes in empowerment of young minds and bodies. We also believe that to empower adolescents we must provide them the voice to battle injustices in our world. Our middle school students are our hope for a more equitable future, and the current events of George Floyd’s murder and additional racial oppression alongside the COVID19 pandemic remind us of that dire need.
MAMLE stands by the African American community yesterday, today, and tomorrow. We are committed to ensuring that our professional development and instruction incorporates true culturally sustaining pedagogy, not just a highlight of African American activists during Black History Month. Black history is OUR history, and racial oppression is EVERYONE’S fight.
We believe that middle level teachers and administration have a powerful and critically important voice during both the racial and health pandemics. These are voices of mentorship, leadership, and, ultimately, humanity. These conversations are difficult, but they are necessary. No longer can we stand silent. No longer can adolescents be “protected” from these conversations.
We stand with George Floyd, Armaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others. We stand by our Black communities, colleagues, and students, who are grieving during this dark time. We see you. We hear you. We are with you.
Katie Rybakova, Ph.D.
Executive Director, MAMLE
It seems sometimes that the world has ceased to spin. Some of us got to explain why we are shifting to emergency distance learning to our students, and some of us got the news over the weekend after saying see you Monday that Friday to our students– our kids. Some of our districts are mandating full 8-hour workdays. Some are switching to no-grade assessments. Some are asking teachers to meet virtually once a week with students, while others have taken a hiatus from learning and instead requested that teachers create distance-learning packets to be mailed out with food.
What we learned so far in this tumultuous time is that:
- What we knew about inequity has come to the surface. The varying levels of access– including none at all– have made this transition all the more difficult.
- Teachers are rockstars. Few teachers that I know had any experience teaching online, yet within two weeks, teachers adjusted to the paradigm shift and made it work. We always make it work for our kids.
- Some students have blossomed in online environments, while some have floundered. Some simply can’t get online. Some students are dealing with lack of motivation, while some are dealing with the deaths in their families associated with COVID 19 or otherwise. Some are dealing with toxic home environments of mental and physical abuse, while others are dealing with parents who, with the best intent in mind, are putting too much pressure on our young minds to succeed, to learn, to prosper despite *everything.* All of these situations, among others, are valid. All of these situations, among others, are real and hard and make learning during this time gosh darn near impossible. At least as compared to if we had our students face to face.
- All of us have experienced “Zoom burnout” at one point or another.
- All of us have experienced just.being.tired.of.everything at one point or another.
- We have recognized that it is okay to not be okay. It is okay that our teaching at this time is not perfect. It is okay to “let go” of assignments, and to not put on makeup for Zoom meetings, and to sit our kids in front of a screen for a little longer than we’d like to so that we can get our work done. We continue to tell our colleagues and students to give themselves grace, but have a hard time following our own advice as we beat ourselves up for the what ifs and the how-can-I-help and the continued connectedness.
I could go on, but I don’t want this post to end up as just.another.coronavirus post. What I want to communicate with you all, our MAMLE membership and beyond, is that we are all doing our best, and if you can see any kind of support measure as helpful, please contact us.
If you would like access to some neat augmented reality and/or Hyperdoc activities for your students, here is a Google Drive with some of the ones my preservice teachers created to donate to schools: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=1jJZ0BtIly28MAF9ijGz5JU9rBosaABca
I would like to end this post in two ways. First, I want to let you know that we are working as a board to come up with contingency plans for our October 2020 conference. Our main goal is to keep everyone safe. We do not know what the future holds in regards to the virus, but please be assured (and stay patient) that we will adjust our conference format as needed to ensure your safety, and will communicate any changes that we make as soon as we can.
Finally, I want to remind you that WE SEE YOU. We know that you are working hard. Thank you. We know that THIS is hard. Thank you. We know that our middle school students are working hard. Thank you. Not everyone’s fight looks the same, but we are working hard to get through this together. Thank you for being the rockstars you already were.
Have a great idea for a conference session? Know a rockstar teacher who should share what they do every day? Work with preservice or beginning teachers who know the “lowdown” on the most current research?
Fill out our Intent to Present form today! Reduced conference rate and a fantastic professional learning opportunity. Join us in Portland in October 2020.
Interested in having preservice teachers present their research posters as part of our “The Future is Now” session? Check out the call here: The Future is Now 2020 Call for Posters and email email@example.com (Katie) for more info.