The staff at MCST participates in a variety of professional development activities. MCST teachers are committed to professional development and participate in individual program updates and course work as well as being involved in school wide professional development initiatives. Onsite professional development sessions have included the research and integration of literacy and numeracy strategies.
MCST Book Club – In January 2010, MCST held its first ever voluntary Book Club gathering. This is an opportunity for teachers to select and read a book that focuses on both personal and professional development. Some of the books that the participants have selected to read to date are: Shop Class As Soulcraft by Matthew B. Crawford; Mindset – How We Can Learn To Fulfill Our Potential by Carol Dweck; Professional Learning Communities at Work: Best Practices for Enhancing Student Achievement by Richard Dufour and Robert Eaker; The Element by Ken Robinson.
During the 2011-12 school year the MCST Book Club selected Inevitable- Mass Customized Learning in an Age of Empowerment by Charles Schwahn and Beatrice McGarvey. Great reading and provided support for our teaching approach – as the authors of Inevitable describe student motivation includes “meeting learners at their readiness level, accommodating personal learning styles and finally learning through content that is personally interesting.” A suggested reading from the book Inevitable is Teaching Digital Natives-by Marc Prensky and the MCST Book Club completed the school year. Digital Natives became the favorite book with meaningful information and great activities.
2012-13 book club, as a result of members participation in the Maine Literacy Summit in August selected Texts and Lessons for Content-Area Reading by Harvey “Smokey Daniels and Nancy Steineke. It was decided that this book required a year-long focus to research the literacy strategies suggested in the book and implement in the classroom. Teachers are now in the implementation stage and will begin reporting back to the group in April.
CTEDDI —Career and Technical Educators using Data-Driven Improvement— A group of MCST teachers and administrator, Suzanne M. Hall the Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction Coordinator, participated in a professional development model that empowers CTE administrators and educators to use student assessment data to enrich classroom practice, capture student interest, and effectively target individual and group learning needs.
- Professional development was a year-long process that included MCST Teachers using their own students’ data to create classroom- and student-level instructional improvement plans.
- Teachers learned to make systematic, strategic instructional changes that can result in higher student scores.
- Teachers saw positive improvements based on the instructional changes they had made, such as :
- reviewing areas of general weakness, ?
- finding new materials and resources to use with students
- adding to the curriculum or changing curriculum timing,
- assisting or getting assistance for individual students to address weaknesses.
- Understand data and assessments as well as use data effectively
- Improve learning and skill acquisition for students
- Plan for continuous improvement of learning and instruction?
- Share ideas and collaborate with other teachers
Math-4-CTE- A grant from the Maine Department of Education that partners the Mid-Coast School of Technology, Thomaston Grammar School, Oceanside East, Rockland Middle School, Islesboro, CSD University of Maine Farmington (UMF), and Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance (MMSA). The goals of Math-4-CTE are to:
- refine a model of professional development to improve teachers’ knowledge and instructional skills in the area of data analysis and statistics;
- build capacity for collaboration in a Regional Learning Community; and
- improve student achievement in the areas of data analysis and statistics.
Professional Learning Communities of the participating schools will meet to pursue ideas and conversation around how students learn and common misconceptions. The PLC sessions will be used to connect content knowledge, standards, research, and classroom practice with teachers developing a lesson plan or activity.
Building Bridges – Building Bridges for high school educators is a career awareness program sponsored by Maine’s North Star Alliance Initiative (NSAI) and the Maine Department of Labor. The program is designed to connect educators with key sectors of local businesses in order to learn more about currently used technology and skills needed for some locally available careers. In the Midcoast region educators from MCST and sending schools met numerous times during the Spring 2009 semester. With a focus on the marine and composites industry they toured a number of local businesses including Lyman Morse Boatbuilders, Pope Sails and Rigging, Back Cove Yachts, Atlantic Challenge, and Journey’s End Marina. The program ended with a tour and introduction to the Advanced Engineered Wood Composites Center, located at the University of Maine Orono campus. The NSAI sponsored program covered travel costs and CEU fees for the participants.