2017 Island Teachers Conference
October 5 - October 6, 2017
University of Maine Hutchinson Center
Belfast, Maine

Hosted by the Island Institute since 1987, the Island Teachers Conference is an annual networking and professional development opportunity for island and coastal educators who share both the challenges and advantages of teaching in small, rural and geographically isolated communities. The conference provides a welcome respite from the professional isolation that many island educators experience. At the conference, participants and presenters have the opportunity to network, create and strengthen collaborations, and take part in high quality professional development specifically designed for the unique needs of island schools.

Three categories of professional development are offered at the conference:

  • Individual school work time and trainings 
  • School-to-school and school-to-community collaborations
  • Workshops and presentations (including offerings for administrators and school board members)

About the 2017 Conference

The 2017 Island Teachers Conference took place Thursday, October 5th and Friday, October 6th at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast, Maine. The theme of the 2017 conference was Small School Solutions: Meeting Island Students Where They Are.

Educators from the coast of Maine and beyond were invited to attend and exhibit at the conference and lead workshops and presentations on a wide-range of topics, including: place and project-based learning through collaboration, creative expression, social issues, STEM education, and much more!

See photos from the 2017 conference in our photo gallery!

Workshop descriptions: PDF icon Island Teachers Conference - Workshop Descriptions
Two-day agenda and schedule: PDF icon Island Teachers Conference - Agenda and Schedule

Day 1 (Thursday, October 5) — Conference kick-off with dinner and an evening program – The evening presentation was Understanding and Addressing ACEs – Adverse Childhood Experiences with Brittany Ray, director of TREE (Transforming Rural Experience in Education) at Cobscook Community Learning Center.

Day 2 (Friday, October 6) — All day conference – Educators from the coast of Maine and beyond presented on a wide-range of topics, including: place and project-based learning through collaboration, creative expression, wellness and social issues, ELA, STEAM, and much more. Please see the full list of workshops below.

The Friday keynote presentation was PATHWAYS: Personalized Learning for High School Students at Islesboro Central School (ICS) — with Islesboro teachers Jon Kerr, Kristen Kelley and Jess Woods, and Korah Soll of Rural Aspirations Project. ICS offers an approach to learning that includes personalized plans reflecting each student's voice and choice and broadening the traditional model to include individualized, experiential, inquiry-based learning guided by standards.

2017 ITC Workshops and Presenters

Full schedule with workshop descriptions, times, and details: PDF icon Island Teachers Conference - Workshop Descriptions

  • The Importance of Whole School Morning Meeting — Marci Train and Katie Norton, Long Island Elementary School
  • Twitter for Teachers: Growing Your Voice, Network & Learning — Benjamin Brigham, VulpinED
  • School Leaders Round Table for Superintendents, Principals, Teacher-Leaders and School Board members — Karen Burns and Nick Battista, Island Institute
  • The 'Nitty-Gritty' of Personalized Learning Plans — Jon Kerr, Kristen Kelley, Jess Woods (Islesboro Central School); Korah Soll, Rural Aspirations Project
  • Sustainable Engineering and Place-Based Art: Interdisciplinary Design Projects Build Student Investment — Jenn Page, Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership
  • Addressing Cognitive Overload on Teachers Effectively and Simply — Andrea Logan, Consultant, Maine Association for Middle Level Education Board Member
  • Maps and Games in the Gulf of Maine — John Van Dis, Edna Drinkwater School and Rebecca Clark-Uchenna, Island Institute
  • Engaging Reluctant Writers — Nick Schuller and Marjolaine Whittlesey, The Telling Room
  • A Year of Plenty - A Year of Multi-Disciplinary Activities Centered Around Growing Kelp with Students — John Van Dis, Edna Drinkwater School
  • The Body Never Lies: Identifying Personality Archetypes Through Movement — Chloe Keller, Vinalhaven School
  • Technology and Cross-Curricular Education in the Arts — Bill Trevaskis, Vinalhaven School
  • Ukulele Ensemble: Bringing Music for Every Classroom — Courtney Naliboff, North Haven Community School
  • Composting with Worms, Vermiculture — Jock Robie, Mainely Worm Bins
  • ACEs Trauma Informed Classrooms: Let’s Get Practical - Part 1 — Brittany Ray, TREE program, Cobscook Community Learning Center
  • Data Stories: Helping Students Learn to Make Sense of Data by Keeping It Local — Bill Zoellick, Schoodic Institute and Molly Schauffler, RISE Center, UMaine
  • Fractured Food Web: Winners & Losers in the Gulf of Maine — Mary Cerullo, Friends of Casco Bay
  • ACEs and LGBTQ Students — Sue Campbell, OUT Maine
  • Gleanings from Shelburne Farms ABC’s of Farm-based Education and Project Seasons — Nancy Earnest, Chebeague Island School
  • Miniboats across the Ocean — Dick Baldwin, Educational Passages
  • Extended Growing Season: Integrating a Farm-Based Summer Learning Program into the School Year — Abby Plummer, Edna Drinkwater School
  • Universal Design for Learning: Strategies to Meet Students Where They Are — Janet May, Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies, UMaine

Additional Resources

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