Our theme this year is “Filling Our Cups.” We recognize that in 2019, between changing policies, administration, trends, and students, sometimes we just need to remember to take care of ourselves to be the best teachers we can be. Our jobs as middle level educators are more complex than ever– sometimes we need to “refill our cups.” We also recognize that teaching is ultimately about relationships– if our students are not ready to learn emotionally, it is hard to motivate them to do so. One of the “16 Keys to Educating Young Adolescents” from This We Believe is that educators value young adolescents and are prepared to teach them. We need to refill our cups in order to help theirs overflow with positivity and engagement.
In addition to our traditional sessions that you have grown to expect from us– pedagogical and practical sessions rooted in middle level best practices that you can take back “to use Monday morning–” we will also have sessions focusing on mindfulness, strategies to avoid teacher burnout, and advice and Q&A sessions for administrators, new teachers, and experienced teachers. We also have sessions which will focus on social-emotional learning, multiculturalism, and “filling the cup” for our students.
With that, we are so excited to introduce our Thursday keynote speaker, Jamie Toohey, who will lead us through an “Adverse Childhood Experiences” ACEs workshop.
Jamie Toohey is the Instructional Coach at Oxford Hills Middle School in South Paris, Maine and has been teaching in SAD#17 for 14 years. Prior to making the jump into education, Jamie was a Commercial Lending Analyst with General Motors working in Atlanta, Rochester, and Philadelphia.
Jamie holds a BS from the University of Georgia and both a Master’s degree in Education and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern Maine. Jamie is also a 200-hour registered yoga teacher and a Kripalu Yoga in the Schools certified instructor. Last summer, Jamie had the pleasure of spending a week in New York with other educators from around the globe at the C.A.R.E. retreat (Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Educators) in which she grew her social and emotional awareness to better serve herself and her school community.
Two years ago Jamie was approached by the Oxford County Resiliency Project to champion resiliency efforts at Oxford Hills Middle School. Since then, Jamie has joined forces with the Maine Resiliency Building Network (MRBN) to help spread the word throughout Oxford County about the impact of adverse childhood experiences and the power that resilience can offer.