Mike Muir, Opening Speaker: MAMLE Conference

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Meeting Learners’ Needs – Both Here and Back at School

Mike opened the conference this morning with his engaging presentation called “Dream While  Awake”. Mike works with the ResulTech which is a division of The Citadel Group. He has been doing interesting work in different parts of the country looking at schools and creating schools to address the needs of potential dropout students.

One of Mike’s favorite projects is creating standards based online courses for at-risk kids. Mike’s Maine project on this topic is with Edward Little High School in Auburn. The work is with the high school at this point but will branch into middle school. The program is primarily project based, students are motivated because they want to graduate.

“We, middle level educators, are critical to keeping kids in school and having them graduate! Maine’s dropout rate is 5.4% and each day there are 21 drop-outs.”

Lessons from Drop-outs (Gates research):

  • I was bored
  • No one knew me
  • They weren’t teaching me anything need to know
  • The teachers didn’t understand me

“These kids are different and the world they live in is a different place. For example students today have never been in school without MLTI. Kids need something different… not saying that what we’re doing is bad or wrong but kids are different. Schools do school well without technology. To add technology without doing something different is a waste.”

Relationships in action:

  • greet students
  • know students by name
  • school is clean and appealing
  • be respectful to students
  • help remove students’ barriers

“Every time I deal with a kid I am setting the culture of the school” Dennis Litkey

Mike reminded us of the key components from This We Believe, document from National Middle Level Association and what we know work well in school.

I invite all those who attended Mike’s keynote this morning to share what your “takeaway” is by clicking below on “Leave a comment”.

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5 Responses to “Mike Muir, Opening Speaker: MAMLE Conference”

  1. Ed Brazee Says:

    Mike…excellent keynote this morning. Thanks for taking us down the “most difficult” trail…in such an understanding way.

  2. Lisa Gilman Says:

    Today has been informative and as always inspiring.

  3. Chris Toy Says:

    Great keynote Mike! I was especially taken by the quote from Dennis Litky about each interaction with a student being a chance to create the school’s culture…for better or worse. Thanks for a thoughtful keynote Mike.

  4. Sarah Rubin Says:

    Great keynote! It’s always nice to be able to take away useful, thought provoking ideas from a speaker. Thank you!

  5. Mary Callan Says:

    Thanks for posting this! I was unable to attend the conference this year and was wondering how I would be able to stay connected… This is just what I need.

    Thanks Mike for making the connection between research and practice… what seemingly simple things educators can do that make a profound difference in the lives of our students.

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