Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Update

MALI Update

      Members of the MALI Leadership Team

Leadership initiative moving forward

“Several Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leaders are presenting workshops throughout the state. Many will be on the schedules for the Maine Art Education Association (MAEA) conference and the Maine Music Educators Association (MMEA) All-State conference.

The MAEA conference will be on Saturday, April 9, Lewiston Middle School, 8:30 – 3:00. Registration will be available in the near future at All-State will be held at UMaine, Orono, May 19 and 20. Registration is available now at”

(Click here to read more on Meartsed, news from Argy Nestor).


Exciting New Development with our Staff!


The New England Institute for Teacher Education is proud to announce the arrival of Holly's brand new baby on November 27, 2015. Holly Eaton is our quintessential Communications Director, and many of you know her friendly voice on the phone, or through the many communications she has sent you on our behalf. Please join us in congratulating Holly, Trisha and their gorgeous little boy, Sam!


Welcome to the world, Sam!

We should be aware of Bullying all year long- not just in October!

Holly Eaton, Communications Director

Holly Eaton, Communications Director

Whether you are a teacher, an ed tech, a parent or a student, you know that bullying happens around the clock, 365 days a year, in person and on line… and not just in October (bullying awareness month).  The awareness that is brought to bullying during October is certainly helpful, but what happens in the classroom, on social networks, at the bus stop after all the commitments have been made, the new videos previewed, and everyone goes back to “business as usual”? How can we be sure that the lessons of and about bullying continue to make an impact into November, February, June?

What we have come across time and time again is that it’s increasingly important to incorporate bullying and harassment into the “unofficial” curriculum.  That by creating a “safe space” for all students educators help to lessen any one students individual burden, whether that burden be as a target, a bully, or as a witness.  Students need to know that they are valued, that their well-being is important, and that the adults in their lives are both compassionate and empathetic.

For some the question becomes how?  How do we include even more into a curriculum that is already busy and hectic?  Much like teaching a subject, it’s important to be prepared with resources, tools and techniques.  One of the most comprehensive resources we came across here at NEI is the website  They have already compiled several of their existing resources, and from there the sky is the limit.

Looking for some day to day techniques to teach your students as they combat bullies?  Check out Dr. Curwin’s article, “Controlling the Power of Words: Teaching Students How to Confront Insults” where he discusses 3 methods he has had great success using with his students. Looking for examples on how you can connect more directly with either one student or a group of students? Share with them your own story/stories of being bullied or harassed.  The more your students have the opportunity to connect with you as a person, the greater the possibility that they will come to you in times of need or crisis.

Looking for an opportunity to expand on this and work with a cohort?  Sign up for our online class EPSY 530: Bullying Prevention & Intervention, with teacher Tracie Peterson, January 25th – April 11th, and collect even more strategies to use with your students.

The New England Institute helps announce the new “Communiversity at Burlington College”

Stephen York speaks at the "Communiversity" conference at Burlington College, October 20, 2015

Stephen York speaks at the “Communiversity” conference at Burlington College, October 20, 2015 photo credit Zach York

The New England Institute joined other partners at Burlington College on October 20th to celebrate the announcement of the new Communiversity.

“Today, alongside Mayor Miro Weinberger and its business partners, Burlington College announced The Communiversity at Burlington College. This formal initiative brings together education and training partners such as Vermont HITEC, Community Kitchen Academy, Oplerno,  New England Institute for Teacher Education, and the Association for Anthroposophic Psychology. It also engages supporting partners from the State of Vermont— Department of Labor and Department of Tourism & Marketing. Employers such as Vermont Information Processing, Husky, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Triad Design Service, and others are also part of this new endeavor.” To learn more please visit Burlington’s press release.

Getting to know our Faculty- GT Instructor, Dr. Ruth Lyons

10423861_10207052984629455_7643244742523977651_nHolly Eaton, Communications for NEI, connected with Dr. Lyons to learn more about why she enjoys working for NEI, working with GT learners, and working with adults.

Lyons has worked in education for over 14 years, with 9 of those years focused on GT education. “GT education makes sense to me … it is how I have identified as a teacher, colleague, and administrator. I have truly seen the field from all aspects and feel that it is that perspective that helps to fit the need of all participants in NEI courses.”

Why do you like to teach adult learners?  

Instructor, Ruth Lyons

Making learning relevant is a key point in my teaching. I want participants to see value in what they are learning and that it can impact their teaching practice. Teaching adult learners allows this process to happen naturally, as participants are already in an educational setting, what they are learning can easily be transferred and utilized within those structures.

Is there a difference?  

Adult learners are taking a course because they are on a path that they have chosen, therefore the task commitment is extremely high. They see how the additional learning and coursework can benefit their career and teaching practice.

Does working with this group excite you/make you passionate?  

To see how the techniques and concepts discussed in classes are directly impacting student learning in Maine. Knowing that some of the content learned in NEI courses are making an impact in Maine’s school is very exciting.

What do you like about teaching courses for the New England Institute? 

NEI attracts a unique learner who is self-motivated and dedicated. These two traits have been true in all of my students thus far with NEI, these students want to make a difference and want to learn. Seeing participants satisfied and feeling more equipped is a great perk of teaching for NEI.

How long have you taught G&T courses at the collegiate level/or at an advanced level?  Or other collegiate level courses?

I have been in the education field for 14 years, 9 of those years have been in the Gifted and Talented field. I have been a classroom teacher of gifted students, a Gifted and Talented Coordinator, a principal of a school themed around gifted education, an adjunct professor in GT courses, a keynote and session presenter and International, National, and State GT conferences, and have earned a doctorate in Talent Development and Gifted Education…the GT education makes sense to me and it is how I have identified as a teacher, colleague, and administrator. I have truly seen the field from all aspects and feel that it is that perspective that helps to fit the need of all participants in NEI courses.

What would you say/share with an anxious adult learner to help put them at ease?  

To try a course! The professionals that NEI works with WANTS you to be successful and we will make any course work for you and your situation. I want my courses to be relevant and useful to those who take them; I feel like that is my obligation to you as a participant. You will find a group of colleagues in the same situation from you and this collaboration will ease any worries.

Can you give some examples of why you feel educators would benefit from taking G&T courses? 

Practical application and program buy-in. I feel one of the biggest threats to GT education is the view that these learners just need extra work to stay busy, that is not the case. A GT learner is entitled to learn new information every year and make gains. This means that we need to know how to add rigor, depth, and complexity to their education; not just more work. In my series of courses, participants will gain theory, history, and practical application.


Interested?  Dr. Lyons has courses available this spring and summer.  Register today and take your learning to the next level:

EDE 527: Educating Gifted and Talented Learners; ONLINE Jan. 25 – April 11

EDE 524: Critical and Creative Thinking; ONLINE March 7 – May 23

EDE 525: Curriculum and Instruction for G&T Learners: Online July 11 – August 22

Register Today 

Obtain Your 690 (Gifted & Talented) Endorsement in 2016!

NEITE Logo 100515

Four Gifted & Talented Courses for Spring/Summer 2016 – Get your endorsement in 2016!

EDE 527: Educating Gifted and Talented LearnersJanuary 25 – April 11; Online


This introductory course provides foundational information on gifted and talented education (i.e. history, laws, etc.), details characteristics of gifted students from various populations, describes how such students are identified and assessed, and presents up-to-date, research-based pedagogy on curriculum design and instruction.

EDE 524: Critical and Creative ThinkingMarch 7 – May 23; Online

Participants will learn practical techniques for stimulating critical and creative thinking and strategies for adapting existing curricula to develop these abilities in students. The course will examine ways to encourage creativity and critical thinking and ways to create challenging and nurturing learning environments.

EDAR 528: Brains on Fire: Rekindling Imagination in the Classroom, K-8March 18, 19 & June 3, 4; Bangor

Mindy Rebecca

Participants will learn practical, hands-on arts integration strategies that can be used immediately in the classroom. Teaching students through the arts (visual art, dance, music and drama) is an effective and engaging learning strategy and is been supported by recent brain research. Learn about the critical evidence of improved achievement in all subject areas by students who are regularly exposed to the arts.  Click Here to watch a YouTube video for this course!

EDE 525: Curriculum and Instruction for G & T LearnersJuly 11 – August 22; Online

This course provides a theoretical, research-based framework and practical ideas for writing, implementing, and adapting curriculum for gifted and talented learners in a standards-based era. Participants are first introduced to various curriculum theories, the Integrated Curriculum Model, curriculum reform, and a process for curriculum design and development.

Click Here to Register for any of these courses

Follow this link for a printable flyer to share with your friends & colleagues: NEIBC G&T Flyer 101615

Never Judge a Resource by its Title

10423861_10207052984629455_7643244742523977651_nAs the Communications Director for the New England Institute, I am always on the look out for new and exciting resources to share. Some are obvious, and I get them right out to our students, our staff, or our broader audience via email or social media.  Some literally have had to show up in our office emails about a dozen times before I start to pay attention to them, which is the case with the website

The first few times our Executive Director, Catherine Ring, mentioned the website to me I thought, “Who can afford to pay other teachers for classroom resources?  This is a joke!”  In our own school district education budgets have been drastically reduced, and I couldn’t imagine how sharing such a resource would be looked upon as useful.  But again in my email the other day was a link to their newsletter, and I decided I should take some time to review the website, and see what they were really offering, rather than assuming that somehow I knew.

Let me start by saying how wrong I was.  After spending just a few minutes looking around I quickly realized that although much of the content was for sale, there was still A TON of free resources available at the click of the mouse.  Powerpoints, PDFs, Documents, Prezis, zip files (and the list goes on)… in a variety of subjects and grade levels, and everything I clicked on looked helpful, looked fun, and looked like something we should definitely be sharing.

Teachers Pay Teachers

Every click I made while perusing the website reminded me that Teachers Get Teachers, and it became obvious that that was the underlying cause of the website’s apparent success. Teachers wanted to gain insight from other teachers, and as one teacher said, “I feel like I have a thousand teachers in my classroom everyday.”

So, I encourage you to read some of their recent blogposts, check out their free resources, review this week’s newsletter, become a member (for free) and never again judge a resource by its title!

Need new techniques for working with students on the Autism Spectrum?

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 9.56.22 AMNow that the school year is underway we are receiving calls from veteran educators who are feeling stressed about issues that they breezed through in the past!  “Last year I was teaching Kindergarten, but this year I’m in third grade, and I really need help…”  Every year is different, with a different group of students, creating vastly different dynamics year after year. (Click here to read more from this blog).

Scheduled to run from the week of September 28th through December 14th, EDSN 526: Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ONLINE) is available for either 3 college credits or 4.5 CEUs.

Instructor, Tracie PetersonWe recently caught up with Tracie Peterson who teaches this online course for us. Tracie reflected that, “As the percentage of students on the Autism Spectrum increases, no educator is left untouched by this disability. In order to provide these students with the programming they deserve, I believe every teacher needs to have training regarding the unique needs of this population.”

Register Today

Getting to Know our Faculty – Tracie Peterson

Holly Eaton, Communications for NEI, spoke with Tracie Peterson recently about why she enjoys working for NEI, and with adult learners.

Peterson, a former NEI student, joined the faculty over a year ago.  She started her educational career as a ski instructor, a passion that motivates her to this day.  Earning her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from New England College in 2011, she now focuses much of her educational efforts towards working with special needs students in Bridgton, ME.

Why do you like to teach adult learners?

As an Elementary School Teacher and parent of a toddler, I spend my days interacting with children of many ages. I appreciate the opportunity this gives me to collaborate and interact with ‘grown ups’.

Is there a difference?

Adult learners have a variety of experiences to share that make the learning more colorful for the entire group. In addition, the cohorts I’ve worked with have created supportive and encouraging learning environments for one another that go beyond any experience I could create for them on my own.

Does working with this group excite you/make you passionate?

Absolutely! From first year teachers to seasoned professionals, the variety of backgrounds our students come in with make every class I teach unique. Being able to collaborate with administrators, general and special education teachers as well as academic support technicians gives my students team building skills that they can take with them to work.

What do you like about teaching courses for the New England Institute?

Before I began teaching for the New England Institute, I participated in some courses as a student. I found the reflective practice model the Institute emphasized to be not only meaningful for me, but immediately useful in my work with young children. As an instructor, I try to create the same type of experience for my adult students, emphasizing the importance of having something useful to take away.

How long have you taught this (and other) courses at the collegiate level/or at an advanced level?

I’ve been training coaches in areas of child development for twenty years.

What would you say/share with an anxious adult learner to help put them at ease? Talking specifically about her two online courses this fall:

For some students, it will be the first online course they’ve taken. I’m prepared to reach each student at his or her comfort level and work together to create a valuable learning experience. It’s about respecting one anothers’ ideas, asking questions and finding answers as a team.

Can you give some examples of why you feel educators would benefit from the online Autism Course?

I’m excited to be teaching two online courses this semester. As the percentage of students on the Autism Spectrum increases, no educator is left untouched by this disability. In order to provide these students with the programming they deserve, I believe every teacher needs to have training regarding the unique needs of this population.

From the online Managing Classroom Behavior Course?

Managing Classroom behavior incorporates research based behavioral practices. We interact with a variety of materials to develop data collection and analysis skills. We use this data to create support practices that focus on positive behavior interventions and that recognize skill deficits. You could be the most effective and responsive teacher, but a student with significant behaviors creates a classroom environment that isn’t beneficial to learning.

Thank you Tracie!

Register today for:

Class will run from the week of September 28th through December 14th, and is available for either 3 college credits or 4.5 CEUs.
Class will run from the week of October 12th through December 14th, and is available for either 3 college credits or 4.5 CEUs.

Judy Fricke on Teaching Children through Play – and the Arts!

JudyFrickeJudy Fricke started teaching for the New England Institute last Fall, and brings a passion to her students that has to be experienced to be truly appreciated!  Judy has been working with parents and childhood educators for over 20 years, and finds this course to be the perfect opportunity to help her students create opportunities for children to learn in ways they may not have thought to incorporate.

In a brief conversation Judy spoke about her experience with NEI and the course, “I’m fortunate enough to be the instructor for New England Institute’s course Early Childhood Learning through Play using the Arts as the basis of play. I’d like to invite anyone out there who is interested to come join us for our next session and investigate bringing the enjoyment of the Arts into your curriculum. Children learn through play, and the Arts are the perfect avenue to bring that play into your classroom.”

The next class will be held in Bangor on:

Friday October 2nd from 4-8pm, Saturday October 3rd from 8-4pm, and Friday December 4th from 4-8pm, and Saturday December 5th from 8-4pm.

You can choose to take this course for 4.5 CEUs, or for 3 college credits, and you will find that our costs are lower than the University system with no hidden fees.

Click here to Register