September 19, 2023
Augusta, ME—The Maine Department of Education (DOE) and Educate Maine have partnered to develop the Teach Maine Center to support and advance a vibrant educator workforce in Maine that enables all students to thrive.
The Teach Maine Center will engage, empower, and unite educators across the state to incubate and develop strategies, supports, and professional learning connected to the Teach Maine plan. Developed in partnership with educators and stakeholders and released last year, Teach Maine focuses on four key themes to develop, support, and sustain Maine’s educator workforce: incentivize recruitment and retention efforts; expand and diversify educator workforce efforts; support educator development, growth, and leadership; and elevate educators and the education profession.
“Maine is a place that values and respects our educators and we are turbocharging that with the Teach Maine Center. The vision is to create a hub by teachers and for teachers that allows them to collaborate, innovate, and lead our profession and public education forward in Maine,” said Maine Education Commissioner Pender Makin.
“We are excited to announce this groundbreaking partnership with the Maine Department of Education to create the Teach Maine Center. This partnership represents our shared commitment to strengthen, grow and diversify Maine’s educator workforce. We look forward to this important work and the positive impact it will have on students, teachers, the teaching profession, and the future of education in Maine,” said Educate Maine Executive Director Jason Judd.
Maine, like most states, continues to experience an educator shortage that was exacerbated by COVID-19. At the same time, educators and schools are faced with increased student and community needs. Increasing collaboration among educators and with businesses and communities will increase educator well being and support them in their teaching.
The initial incubation phase of the Teach Maine Center will focus on increasing stakeholder engagement and collaboration across the business and education sectors; expanding data collection and reporting related to Maine’s educator workforce; advancing and successfully implementing short and long-term teacher recruitment/retention strategies identified in Teach Maine; strengthening professional support for educators through MCTL programming; and achieving long-term sustainability for the Teach Maine Center, which will be administered by Educate Maine.
Through December 2024, partners will identify and meet with stakeholders around teacher workforce issues, conduct 16 in-person and virtual county-level forums with educators to get
input on teacher recruitment and retention, complete a landscape analysis of the educator workforce, solicit statewide educator input on ongoing professional development needs, and launch a marketing campaign focused on encouraging people to join Maine’s educator workforce. In collaboration with key education organizations and the Maine DOE, Educate Maine will assemble an advisory committee to provide input throughout the initial phases of the Center.
The Maine DOE used federal emergency funds to invest in the first phase of the Teach Maine Center.