An Important Announcement: Remembering Dr. Stephen York

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Dr. Stephen York, Academic Dean and Co-Founder of The New England Institute for Teacher Education. Dr. York’s profound impact on our institution and the broader community will forever be remembered and cherished.

Dr. York’s unwavering dedication to fostering a nurturing and innovative learning environment helped to shape The New England Institute for Teacher Education. Dr. York’s leadership and vision helped to guide us over the years.

Dr. York’s legacy extends beyond the classroom and reaches deep into the hearts of those who had the privilege of knowing him. His warmth, wisdom, and genuine concern for each individual have touched the lives of students, instructors, and community members alike.

Your understanding and support are deeply appreciated during this difficult time. A memorial service to celebrate Dr. York’s life will be held on Friday August 25th at 11AM with a reception following at the Elm Street Congregational Church in Bucksport, Maine. A tribute service by Dr. York’s congregation will be held at the Church on Sunday August 27th at 10 am.

Dr. Stephen York’s legacy will continue to inspire us as we carry forward his vision and commitment to education. His passion for teaching, dedication to excellence, and compassionate spirit will forever remain a guiding light in our hearts.

Integrating the Arts: A Great Way to Engage Kids in Learning

Have you wondered how to more deeply engage your students in learning? Are you ready to explore new ways, ideas, and strategies from your professor and colleagues from Maine and internationally?

In the online course, EDAR 529: Encountering the Arts: Choice, Voice and Creativity, Drama, Movement, Music, Poetry, Storytelling, and Visual Arts will be explored across content areas: Math, Science, Reading and Writing.

Inciting inspiration and direct experiences in the arts in a thematic, student centered, project-based environment, the course will also include outdoor education. Participants will join with other educators from the U.S. and international settings and experience an opportunity to broaden perspectives and engage in rich discussions.

Engage in the creative process, dive into learner-centered experiences and consider how the Reggio Emilia approach can apply in your K-12 classroom!

Please join us in the course, starting JANUARY 25, 2021. To learn more, or register for the course, click right here.

Creating A Class Culture To Promote Learning, K-8

Have a blast this Summer with this dynamic duo team and be ready this fall to transform your classroom into a joyful, learning environment for every student. Allison Richards and Meghan Rivis are fabulous Maine educators who expertly manage their classrooms with respect and excitement for learning. Find out how they do it. Join them in the online course, EDPS 532: Creating a Class Culture To Promote Learning. For more information and to Register, click here.

Online Course Starts July 6th. Register Today!

Confronting Racism in America

It’s time. With the world turned upside down with the pandemic, the civil outrage over police brutality of African Americans, and our current political climate in an election year, we have plenty to contemplate and worry about. George Floyd’s death, captured by technology for everyone to see, will not allow us to shove this one, this time, under the rug. As educators, we are in an essential place. It is our duty to be as informed and knowledgeable about our own history as we can be, and it is our duty to educate others about that history and about race and racism in America.

The New England Institute has developed an online course to help educators build their capacity to engage in authentic discussion, to reflect and take action to confront racism in their educational settings and communities.

Robin Scott Lea

Robin Scott Lea, the professor, is a middle school science teacher in Maine. Prior to being a school teacher, Robin worked as an anti-racism educator and social justice organizer both nationally and locally for a variety or organizations for many years. The New England Institute is so grateful to have Robin offer this dynamic course to teachers.

Starting on July 6, this course will run through September 14. Hop on board. Be part of a new movement of understanding and peace. This train has arrived, finally.

To Register, or for more information: Confronting Racism in America


Creative, Fun Courses for Teacher Recertification

Join us for a winter course! The New England Institute is offering courses on many important topics in education. 

Good Friends and Colleagues at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine
Suzanne Goulet, Argy Nestor, Catherine Ring

If you follow my friend, Argy’s advice, which she includes with her signature on any correspondence, you will “Make it a great day!” So why not make it a great winter season to catch up on your recertification courses? You can do it online, in the comfort of your own home, AND take quality, creative courses to inspire your students! Here are some ideas:

Are you looking for ways to encourage creativity and critical thinking for your students? Learn techniques for stimulating creative thinking and creating a challenging and nurturing learning environment in EDE 524: Critical and Creative Thinking with instructor, Theresa Cerceo, (who joins us from Aroostook County). Welcome, Theresa! (This course qualifies for earning a GT endorsement).

Need to revive your literacy game? Learn creative strategies to engage reluctant readers, ways to analyze children’s literature from a variety of genres, and how to differentiate for diverse populations. Join educator and NEI instructor Alyson Spearin in EDEN 541: Engaging Literature for Children and Adolescents, K-12. Did you know Alyson just had a precious baby girl? Alyson is home with her baby and raring to go with teaching this course for us! Congratulations, Alyson!

Artist and educator Lindsay Pinchbeck is teaching a new course, EDAR 531: Encountering the Arts: Choice, Voice & Creativity in the K-12 Classroom. This course offers inspiration and experiences in the arts in a thematic, student-centered, project-based environment. Learn ways drama, movement, music, poetry, storytelling, and visual arts can engage students and facilitate learning in all content areas. Lindsay just finished teaching this course and opening the New England Institute to a whole new world in Malawi, Africa. More information on this is coming soon!

It’s not too late to register! Courses begin January 20th. All courses are approved by the Maine Department of Education for 4.5 CEUs (45 contact hours).

And, there are more options on our courses page!

Hope to hear from you soon. Happy 2020 from all of us at the New England Institute!

New Course: When Trauma Comes to School


Dr. Elena Perrello brings her passion and experience as a former School Counselor to offer a new course for teachers: EDPO 579: When Trauma Comes to School. If you are an educator who would like to learn more, please join us for our online course, EDPO 579: When Trauma Comes to School, which starts April 8th. Earn 4.5 CEUs, or the equivalent of 45 contact hours for recertification. Course approved by the Maine Department of Education.

An interesting post from Edutopia on The How and Why of Trauma-Informed Teaching

To Register, or for More Information, Click Here.

Grace Jacobs takes gifted talented education to a global level

This is an article in Education First about one of our wonderful instructors, Grace Jacobs. Look at what she’s doing with her Gifted and Talented kids! Better yet, you can take her online course this summer: Social and Emotional Needs of Gifted Learners.…/ede-529-social-emotional…/Starts July 9th.


Social Justice in the Arts

There’s been such an assault on our sense of safety in our classrooms and schools in recent times with mass shootings – and a cacophany of opinions about what to do.  What do we do?  What would you do in this situation? Arm the teachers!  No, Only some of them!   Don’t take away our 2nd amendment!  Guns don’t kill people, people kill people!  Ban assault rifles!

There’s that. Then there’s what do you do in the aftermath?  It’s one thing to be prepared for a crisis, but when that crisis is over and we’re dealing with the damage that ensues, we’re in it for the long haul.  The time of grieving, healing, fixing, consoling, counseling, coaching, teaching is just beginning.  Parkland students were old enough to take their anger and frustration at the lack of response from our elected offiicials on themselves.  The Sandy Hook little ones never had that chance.

After the initial grief stages, there’s shock and awe and anger that is exacerbated by the lack of responsible action by adults to fix this.  There is post traumatic stress syndrome – and not only from the victim schools – but all that witnessed it. That’s all of us.  We’re all in this together.  We all have a responsibility, a moral obligation, and for god’s sake, we’re teachers, so of course we’re going to do all we can for our kids.

So many important questions have challenged us recently.  What do we, as teachers do, when our students want to walk out and protest, but are not allowed to by the school district?  How do we take care of ourselves in this insane time so that we can take care of our students?  How do we put our own mask on first?  And if we are arts teachers, what role can the arts play in the grieving process?  In social justice?  In social protest?  Where do we draw the line?  The lines?  The shapes?  The colors?  The feelings? How can we use our powerful voices as art and music and dance and theater teachers to help us all through this process?

A conversation with a great group of arts teachers in Maine, through the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative’s Winter Retreat, is happening Saturday, March 10.  I’ll keep you posted about the ideas discussed.

Teaching Children of Poverty: Why Culture Counts

Course Description:

This course will help educators, parents and professionals understand the complex challenges that poverty imposes on children’s capacity to learn and provides strategies for differentiating classroom instruction and providing opportunities to inspire and engage these students. Our schools are becoming more and more diverse, and educators are faced with economic, cultural and linguistic challenges in the classroom.  Topics on race, culture, diversity and poverty and the complexity of achievement gaps among racial and socioeconomic groups will be discussed.  An examination of the teacher’s own culture and its impact on student learning will be explored.  Finally, educators will learn to use tools and resources to foster and build resilience.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a hybrid course, meaning that for two weekends (at the beginning and end of the course), students will meet with the professor in person at a location above.  This course will run for 10 weeks. In between sessions, students will be in contact with the professor once weekly online.

“When there is an environment of learning, one demonstrating that all students can really achieve beyond mediocrity, then everyone benefits. Differentiating instruction for all students forces the standard to rise: Students find themselves doing more, and teachers find themselves raising the bar and preparing for success.”  —  Rosilyn M. Carroll, Center for Excellence in Urban Teaching at Hamline University, St. Paul, Minnesota.

To Register or Learn More, Click Here.


Meet the Professors, in Person!

New Hybrid Courses!

The pendulum has swung in the direction of online courses in recent years, even for the New England Institute.  After all, online courses offer more opportunity to more teachers who don’t have to travel to a specific location. There are pros and cons to learning online, and at the New England Institute, we try to make the experience as personable as possible, with weekly contact with instructors.

However, some teachers prefer to meet their colleagues and professors face-to-face, even if it is for only part of the time.  And some are willing to travel to the nearest destination to do so. You get to work with colleagues, build relationships, and ask questions of the professor, in person. As a result,  we have decided to add two hybrid courses: one meeting in Ellsworth, Maine and the other meeting in Hope, Maine. And they are two brand new courses, so we invite you to check them out!

Lindsay Pinchbeck, founding director of Sweettree Arts, will be teaching a course entitled:

Encountering the Arts: Choice, Voice and Creativity in the K-8 Classrroom.

You can join Lindsay in her very own school in Hope, Maine, and learn some wonderful strategies to incorporate into your classroom right away.  Drama, Movement, Music, Poetry, Storytelling, and Visual Arts will be integrated across content areas: Math, Science, Social Studies, Reading and Writing.


Stephen York is excited to be offering his brand new course,

Teaching Children of Poverty: Why Culture Counts 

and will be doing so starting in February at the Moore Community Center in Ellsworth.  This course will also be coming to Portland soon. Stephen is well known for his humor and intellect, and will certainly challenge your thinking about this sensitive subject!

So what, exactly, is a hybrid course and how does it work?  Participants will meet with their professors face-to-face for two weekend sessions: one at the beginning and one at the end of the course. Educators will work independently in the 10 week inter-session, and be in weekly contact with their professor. The first weekend will allow all participants to get to know each other, learn about the course, ask questions in person and start to build relationships:  a real plus to face-to-face sessions. Weekend sessions start after school on Friday so you don’t have to miss any time in the classroom or make substitute plans for your class, and on Saturday for a full day. You would leave the first weekend fully equipped to start your inter-session work, be in touch with the professor weekly by email or Google Classroom, then at the end of 10 weeks, come back for a second and final session in person, to share what you’ve learned, present projects, and celebrate your challenges and triumphs together. Following the second weekend, after witnessing what is usually a wonderful day of shared presentations by your colleagues, you will be expected to write a summative paper about what you’ve learned and the course experience.

Still think you need an ONLINE course?  No worries — there are plenty of other options on our course page on our website.  There’s something for everyone.

Happy Trails!!