New Special Education Teachers

Maine SEEDS Special Education Internship is offered through the University of Maine or the University of Southern Maine.

University of Maine: Those not already students at UMaine will need to complete a Graduate Non-Degree Status form. This status is in effect for one year. The form can be found on the Graduate School website. Please contact Gail Boucher for registration assistance.

University of Southern Maine: Please contact or see Julie Marsh at the Professional Development Center, USM, 8 Bailey Hall, 37 College Ave, Gorham, 207.780.5315 to enroll.

COURSE TEXTS may be ordered directly from the publishers. These texts are the kind that you’ll want to keep in your classroom after your first year:

  • Martin, C., & Hauth, C. (2015). The Survival Guide for New Special Educators 2nd ed. Arlington, VA: Council for Exceptional Children. ISBN 978-0-86586-506-8 (soft cover); 978-0-86586-507-5 (eBook).
  • Winterman, K. G.; & Rosas, C. E. (2014). The IEP Checklist. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. ISBN 978-1-59857-389-3 (paperback), 978-1-59857-545-3 (epub)
  • Golden, C. (2018). The Data Collection Toolkit. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. ISBN 9781598579246 (paperback)

Congratulations on your first teaching experience,
and welcome to the Special Education profession!

Maine SEEDS (Formerly Maine’s Alternative Certification Mentoring program), a Maine Department of Education and University of Maine partnership, was created to support you during your first year of teaching with a conditional certification.

Here is how it works:

  • You will be assigned a special educator mentor, who may or may not be in your school or district. You will have the same mentor for the entire year.
    • If your mentor teaches in your district, you will follow your district’s new teacher induction/PEPG plan. Your mentor will help get you started.
    • If your mentor does NOT teach in your district, you and your mentor may stay in contact by phone, by text, video chat, email—you can work this out together.
    • Your school will assign a veteran teacher to be your district mentor. This person will conduct the required observations and orient you to your district’s norms and procedures. Your Maine SEEDS mentor will help you will all special education-related support needs. The Maine SEEDS mentor may observe you informally to get a sense of your teaching style and to help you problem-solve around particular issues or needs. You can ask your Maine SEEDS mentor to observe you when you need help figuring out new strategies!
    • Maintaining contact with your mentor will be your responsibility—take the initiative to use this valuable resource person!
    • Mentors are NOT evaluators, and discussions between you and your mentor remain confidential (just between the two of you). Mentors are instructed to contact the Maine SEEDS Coordinator if problems or concerns arise.
    • If problems develop between you and your mentor, try to first address them with your mentor. If this doesn’t work, contact the Maine SEEDS Coordinator for help.
  • You will enroll in the online graduate course Special Education Internship during your first year as a teacher. The 3-course credits will count toward your professional certification. The course is online and meets via Zoom for 2 hours every 3-4 weeks. You will have modules to complete before each live session.
    • The Special Education Internship course is offered at the University of Maine and at the University of Southern Maine. Both campuses have graduate programs in special education, and this course can be part of your program of study if you choose to pursue a graduate degree.
    • The course will be essentially the same across campuses and is taught by carefully selected special education professionals. Some are special education directors; others are experienced instructors or faculty members from higher education. All have extensive teaching experience in schools like your own. Assignments are designed to be things you will apply in your teaching- no term papers or tests are required!
    • Check with your school district about course expenses– most districts will pay for both semesters of this course. Many also will pay for your course texts.

The New SED Teacher Handbook has information and resources that will be useful to you as a first year special educator.