POP is an acronym that accurately describes the burst of ideas and creativity when Maine’s statewide network of professional development partnership members gather to discuss issues and priorities in professional development. Since 1986, the Maine Support Network has provided support and professional development for educators at all grade levels and areas of specialty. The inspiration behind the Partnership of Partnerships (POP) was a dedication to deepening and broadening the infrastructure supporting Maine’s network of state and regional partnerships. POP reaches out to schools and regions by coordinating professional development activities and by connecting educators and parents to share promising practices, materials, and expertise.
Through POP networking, members learn about innovative practices as well as how to offer workshops to their school communities at a fraction of the cost through collaborative cost sharing. A greater percentage of the professional development budget can be spent on direct services rather than on travel and lodging for presenters, resulting in an expansion of the number and diversity of topics presented each year.
Several times a year, partners gather to formulate ideas for professional development initiatives. At these meetings, they discuss local priorities, which are typically identified by community stakeholders, including teachers, parents, administrators, and specialists. Most of the POP work actually occurs through the Internet and telephone. Members can log onto the Support Network’s web page, receive and send e-mails, faxes, and participate in telephone conference calling. Discussions focus on marketing strategies or searching for external funding sources, for example. Grant funding possibilities are routed by e-mail attachment, or through the mail.
To find out more please visit http://www.mainesupportnetwork.org/pop/