Humanities News

This website is maintained by James St. Pierre and Dorie Tripp, Humanities Teacher Fellows for the State of Maine Department of Education. Our goals are to provide a practiced-based, inclusive and comprehensive series of newsletters and professional learning workshops that all teachers will find useful and to which all teachers can contribute. This website will include links to all resources provided in the newsletters and recordings of our professional learning workshops, but will primarily focus on commentary, additional resources we've collected, and dates for upcoming events. Please feel free to contact us with any suggestions or to connect with content or resources of your own that you think will be useful to teachers throughout the state.       --Jim and Dorie

Resource Links

Recommended Books and Resources

Rural Maine and Indigenous Peoples Resources

Graphics Resources

Graphics can brighten just about anything. I try to incorporate a graphic into everything I create for this reason. But it is important to be mindful of copyright laws. There are two easy ways to avoid violating these laws. The first and easiest way is to use images you've created, such as pictures of your students engaged in specific activities (just be sure parents have given permission to your school for their likenesses to be published). The second is to use royalty-free images which are provided as downloads through many sites. I've listed the ones I've found most helpful below. --Jim

  • Pexels
  • Unsplash
  • Morgue File
  • Pixabay
  • Google has an advanced search function that allows you to search for royalty-free images: find “usage rights” and click “creative commons." 
Upcoming Events and Deadlines
February 2024

February 12, 7:00pm-8:00pm

National Association for Music Education Town Hall: Council for Guitar Education. Click here for details. 

February 13 | 5:00 p.m.–6:30 p.m. ET

The International Literacy Association hosts The Reading Brain: Building Students' Reading Muscles in the Digital Age

Gilda De La Cruz and Carol Jago will explore insights from neuroscience into the reading brain, particularly the ways in which technology has affected deep reading. Mark your calendar for this upcoming ILA Intensive on language development hosted by Sonia Cabell with a keynote by Susan Neuman. More speakers will be announced soon!

February 17-18

Japan Impact Comics Convention, Lausanne, Switzerland

Chennai Comic Con, Chennai, India

Japan Weekend Comics Convention, Madrid, Spain

Fan Expo Vancouver Comics Convention, Vancouver, Canada

February 22-24

ComicsPRO Comics Industry Meeting, Pittsburg, PA

February 23-25

MagicCon: Chicago

Pensacon Comics Convention, Pensacola, FL

February 27

The International Literacy Association hosts ILA Intensive on Literacy, Content Instruction, and Language Development

February 29-March 3

Emerald City Comic Con, Seattle, Washington

February 29-March 28
Introduction to the Question Formulation Technique. The Maine Department of Education Interdisciplinary Instruction Team, in collaboration with the Right Question Institute, is hosting a three-week asynchronous course on the Question Formulation Technique (QFT). Click here for details. Twelve contact hours available upon completion.

March 2024

Music in Our Schools Month. Click here for details. 

March 8

Educators for a Multilingual Maine Annual Conference at the Lewiston campus of the University of Southern Maine. Click here for details. 

March 7-9

National Council for History Education annual conference in Cleveland, Ohio. This year's theme: "History at the Crossroads"

March 26
The International Literacy Association hosts Four Actions to Design Tailored Reading Instruction
5:00 p.m. ET | 1 Hour | Online

March 29

The Maine Council for English and Language Arts annual conference in Portland. Click here for details

April 2024
April 11-14
American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.
May 2024
May 16-18
Maine Music Educators Association Annual Conference at UMaine. Click here for details. 
June 2024
June 25-27

The Telling Room's Summer Institute for Educators.

"Join us for one, two, or all three days of our Summer Institute for Educators! This professional development opportunity is open to anyone who engages with youth, through writing or otherwise, whether you are a classroom teacher, a teaching artist, or someone seeking creative ways to connect with young people in your world. In each session experienced Telling Room staff members will share proven methods for deepening writing skills and fostering meaningful connections with students. " Register here. 

July 2024
July 12-13
The National Association for Media Literacy Education annual conference. Click here for details. 
August 2024
September 2024
October 2024
October 21-25
Media Literacy Week. This website provides a host of activities, ideas and lessons for promoting media literacy.  Click here for details. 

About the Fellows

James St. Pierre is a national board-certified teacher with thirty years of teaching experience at Fryeburg Academy where he has taught courses in English and biology and served as English department chair. In addition to his work at the secondary level, he also holds the position of Lecturer at both Granite State College and White Mountains Community College, where he has taught as an adjunct for two decades. He holds a master’s degree in English Literature from Middlebury College and has presented at state and regional conferences regarding the medium of comics. He is married with two sons and enjoys making comics in his free time.

Dorie Tripp is a national board-certified music teacher with 14 years’ experience teaching elementary music in Maine public schools. Over the years, it has been her mission to promote music instruction that is developmentally appropriate, inclusive, diverse, and engaging. In her quest to do this, she has taken on many roles as a learner and leader. Dorie spent two terms as Vice President of the Maine Music Educators Association, contributed to the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative as a Design Team member, was an active member of the Maine Learning Results writing team for the Visual and Performing Arts, and co-hosted a series of PD sessions for educators during the Covid 19 pandemic. In 2021, she was awarded the MMEA Music Educator of the Year Award. In this next step of her journey, Dorie is looking forward to working with the Maine DOE. She’s excited to practice, share, and support unique learning opportunities for Maine students and educators!



James St. Pierre
Humanities Teacher Leader Fellow

Dorie Tripp
Humanities Teacher Leader Fellow