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Invite a Legislator to School Month

January 15, 2019

Every teacher in Maine

The message below is from Maine Teachers of the Year, Shelly Moody (2011) and Kaitlin Young (2018). They’re following through with an initiative that Kevin Grover started before he died in 2012.

Kevin at the surprise announcement for the 2010 Maine Teacher of the Year.

Many of you may not have had the pleasure of meeting Kevin Grover, our 2010 Maine Teacher of the Year. Kevin made a connection with every person who was fortunate to cross his path. He had a deep commitment and love of teaching that inspired all of us who were blessed to know him.

Kevin created “Bring Your Legislator to School Week” with a goal of engaging, enlightening and informing policy makers from our local or state government. His intent was to provide school board members and legislators with a better understanding of how their decisions affect learners and educators across the state of Maine. In 2013, Representative Mary Nelson of Falmouth and Educate Maine moved forward with Kevin’s vision by sponsoring LD 822 in his honor.

Although it has been almost 6 years since LD822 established January as Invite Your Legislator to School Month, the Maine State Teacher of the Year Association believes that that it’s time for us to return to Kevin’s vision.  Our goal is to begin an annual tradition of inviting stakeholders into our schools to meet with teachers, administrators, and students. It is our hope that this experience will strengthen the relationships between all parties, promote increased knowledge, and initiate productive conversation surrounding prekindergarten to grade twelve public education programs.

The following is an excerpt from a letter Kevin sent to his colleagues regarding his idea:

Yes, that’s Grover in the photo with Kevin and Vice-President Joe Biden during a visit to Washington, D.C. as the 2010 Maine Teacher of the Year.

I propose that teachers contact local town councilors, school board members, state representatives and federal representatives. Elected officials should be invited to spend at least one hour in a classroom helping and/or observing. It is not a time for a panel discussion, whole school assemblies in honor of prestigious guests or catered lunches, it is time for sitting in on a math lesson, reading to students, or joining teachers on their 20 minute lunch break at the photocopier. It is time for a dose of reality.

Let’s join together and start 2019 by building bridges with the decision makers who impact our students and schools!

For more information, please visit our Invite Your Legislator to School Month collection of resources and/or resources from our session presentations at ECET2ME and MEA Fall Conference! CLICK HERE to find your Senator or Representative. 

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