Lit & Ed
Lit & Ed, a facilitated reading and discussion group, is designed for professionals—teachers, educational technicians, administrators, guidance counselors, and other school staff—who work with students within a school setting. We meet five times during the school year to reflect on your work as educators through the lens of literature. This is not a class; there are no homework assignments other than reading the literature, and the expectation is to have rich discussions that connect participants to the experiences of their students and their colleagues in a supportive atmosphere.
Lit & Ed is based on the success of MHC’s Literature and Medicine, a nationally recognized reading and discussion group for healthcare professionals. Like Lit & Med, Lit & Ed seeks to support faculty and staff by providing the opportunity to consider their work through a variety of literature. Participants of Lit & Med have overwhelmingly reported increased job satisfaction, empathy, and improved professional relationships.
The goals of Lit & Ed are that participation will ultimately improve student experiences in schools by increasing the empathy, communication skills, relationships, cultural awareness, and job satisfaction of participating faculty and staff. We also hope that participants will gain a stronger sense of connection and community with colleagues, reducing feelings of isolation, burnout, and other factors that lead to attrition.
Contact Nicole Rancourt if you are interested in bringing Lit & Ed to your school.
Each year, MHC offers a number of public lectures and symposia, many of which offer CEUs and/or clock hour certificates for Maine teachers. Scholarships for teachers (and their students) are often available.
Each fall, the MHC develops a multidisciplinary forum in Portland that involves art, science, and the humanities. CEUs are always available, and we offer student discounts and scholarships. The 2015 Forum was Communicating Climate Change; in 2014, we explored Why Darwin Matters.
MHC’s annual Winter Weekend, a humanities seminar on a classic text, provides an opportunity for participants to explore, in a group setting, an important work of literature. Held at Bowdoin College in early March, the program begins with a Friday evening lecture and dinner (a gastronomic taste of the time and culture reflected in the chosen text). The group reconvenes Saturday morning to spend the day enjoying presentations by scholars on various aspects of the book, from cultural context, to critical analysis, to explorations of specific themes.
It’s easier than ever to stay on top of the news; worldwide events are at our fingertips, in real time. But if you want to get a grip on the bigger picture, it can be harder than ever to find coverage that explores international issues in depth. Offered through Maine’s public libraries, World in Your Library is a series of three hour-long presentations on foreign policy issues presented by foreign policy experts.
Discuss issues of local importance in your community with Speaking of Maine, a single-session speaker program that brings experts to libraries around the state.
Maine National History Day, co-organized by the University of Maine and the Margaret Chase Smith Library, is an annual event for teachers and students in grades 6-12 that promotes critical thinking skills through project-based learning. Students choose a category–website, paper, exhibit, documentary film, or performance–and compete in a statewide event held at the University of Maine each spring. The top finishers in each category travel to Baltimore, MD for the national-level competition in the early summer.
MHC partners with Maine Historical Society in the fall term to offer a seminar based on the year’s History Day theme and methods for translating History Day into the classroom.
Maine Council for the Social Studies
MHC serves on the Board for the Maine Council for the Social Studies (MCSS), the Maine affiliate of the National Council for the Social Studies. MCSS offers an annual statewide conference each year in November and will be rolling out regional professional development as well. MCSS is always looking for new members and particularly seeks teachers interested in professional leadership opportunities to serve on their Board.