On March 8, educators in the Penobscot region gathered at Bangor High School for a morning of collaboration and education around social and emotional issues that impact today’s youth. The regional curriculum leaders group, PREP (Penobscot River Educational Partnership) and the local superintendents group SPRPCE (Southern Penobscot Regional Program for Children with Exceptionalities) worked together to bring a national speaker and workshops to teachers in the region. The national speaker, Heather Forbes, is the author of the book Help for Billy. This book focuses on how to work and teach students who have experienced trauma. The purpose of the workshop was to educate teachers and administrators on the different social and emotional issues that students are coming to school with, and provide teachers with strategies to help these students. Hermon School Department teachers and administrators participated in this event, and were able to bring back information and strategies to use in the classroom.

After attending the Bangor workshop in the morning, Hermon educators returned to Hermon High School for an afternoon of learning from each other. Teacher leaders, administrators and instructional coaches designed mini workshops based on the professional development needs in the district. Some of the topics included: discussion strategies across the curriculum, math curriculum updates, using google classroom, student engagement, etc. As a district, we are very fortunate to have many skilled educators who are willing to teach their colleagues. We hope to continue using this model for future professional development.