Posts Tagged ‘Professional Development’

June 15th Deadline For MLEI

May 31, 2013

NOW is the time to register for the Middle Level Education Institute at Bowdoin College on July 29-August 1. The June 15th deadline is fast approaching and we don’t want you to miss out! No matter what challenges or opportunities your school, team, or classrooms are facing, MLEI is the perfect venue to bring a team together and work intensively and extensively over a period of three days on one or more key projects for September. In addition to large blocks of team time, and the company of enthusiastic MLEI participants, you’ll have access to internationally recognized middle level experts Nancy Doda, Mark Springer, Jill Spencer, and Chris Toy throughout the institute. We are also in touch with the folks providing training and resources for MLTI who will be on campus to support you with preparing for the fall. Teachers and principals who have attended past institutes consistently report that time together at MLEI has paid huge dividends throughout the school year and beyond. So head on over to the Middle Level Institute website and register NOW! We look forward to seeing you in July. Oh, and be sure to spread the word by sharing this information with your middle level colleagues. Thanks!

It’s TIME…To register and join us at MLEI 2012!

June 11, 2012

There’s still time for you to register and join middle level colleagues from across the state, New England, and beyond at the Middle level Institute being held July 30-August 2 at Bowdoin College. If you are working on developing new forms of teaching and learning for the 2012-13 school year MLEI is the perfect opportunity to collaborate intensively with other middle level educators. Imagine being able to engage in “what if”  and “how to” conversations with local and regional colleagues as well as nationally recognized experts Nancy Doda and Mark Springer! For more about MLEI and its faculty check out the links below.

Jill Spencer is a lifelong middle level educator, best selling author of books for AMLE, graduate instructor in curriculum, and a nationally recognized expert in literacy, middle level teaming, and school improvement. Learn more about Jill at and at

Nancy Doda has been an award winning classroom teacher and team leader, a tenured professor in the Graduate School of Education at National-Louis University’s Washington, DC campus; a Board member for the National Middle School Association; and a Charter member of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. She is an internationally recognized expert in all things middle level! You can learn more about Nancy at

Mark Springer is an internationally recognized middle level teacher, expert on project-based integrative curriculum, and bestselling author. His two books, Watershed and Soundings are considered the definitive resources for how to vision, plan, and implement democratic, student-centered classrooms. Mark has received AMLE’s Distinguished Educator Award for his work in the classroom. You can learn more about Mark at

Chris Toy has been a middle school principal here in Maine. He has been recognized by NELMS as an A+ Middle Level Administrator and received MAMLE’s Dr. Ed Brazee Award for lifetime service to middle level education. Chris wears a variety of hats these days including consulting with AppleProfessional Development around the world, teaching graduate courses at USM, Thomas College, and Antioch New ENgland Graduate School, and teaching cooking classes in several venues around midcoast and southern Maine. You can learn more at

So come join us! We know you have lots to offer, and we know you’ll come away with lots of ideas for next year. To register just click on this link

I Need My Middle Level Conferences!

September 15, 2011

I need my middle level conferences.

I know that funding is tight and might rule out being able to attend.
But I need my middle level conferences.

And I know it’s hard to be away from your classroom and the school.
But I need my middle level conferences.

I need them because they feed me.

Most of you know about the MAMLE conference at Sugarloaf each October – this is certainly one of my favorite places to learn and to network with friends. But I’m always surprised at how many Sugarloaf conference attendees aren’t familiar with the NMSA/Association for Middle Level Education, or with that amazing conference.

(Yes, NMSA recently updated their name to Association for Middle Level Education, to better reflect their global, not simply national, mission and that they work with any school that works with middle graders, not just “middle schools.”)

This year’s national conference is in Louisville, Kentucky, on November 10-12, and promises to be just as amazing as previous years. Henry Winkler is one of the keynoters, and there are fabulous featured sessions on everything from student motivation to technology to dropout prevention to literacy to differentiated instruction, and more! There are also hundreds of breakout sessions on nearly any topic you might find helpful, the the Exhibit Hall is full of vendors with interesting and helpful products (as well as freebies!). But mostly there are thousands of amazing middle level educators from all over the country just dying to connect and to share and to collaborate.

I don’t know about you, but by this time of the year, I have initiatives I’m working on, challenges I’m facing, and ideas I want to share. And by attending middle level conferences, I can hear keynotes that inspire me, and attend sessions that answer my questions, and give me more good ideas, and address my challenges.

But for me, the most important aspect of attending middle level conferences is networking. My best work in school comes from the ideas I’ve shared with, talked over with, or “stolen” from colleagues. And other than some communication through email, twitter, and Facebook, conferences are primarily where I get to see, visit with, and talk to (face-to-face!) my colleagues. Conferences are where I can find out what my professional friends are up to. What are their initiatives, successes, and challenges? How are they doing? What tidbits can I take away from their experience? What tidbits can I share from my own? Where are our potential points of collaboration? What are their new best books or resources or contacts to share?

And this is is how I am best fed professionally.

It’s your turn: How are you fed professionally? Why do you need to attend your middle level conferences?

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