For MACM Mentees

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

Maine’s Alternative Certification Mentoring (MACM) program, a Maine Department of Education and University of Maine, was created to support you during your first year of teaching with a conditional certification. Download the MACM mentee handbook by clicking on the download button below.


Here is how it works:

  • You will be assigned a special educator mentor from MACM who may or may not be in your school or district. You will have the same mentor for the entire year.
    • If s/he is NOT teaching in your district, or nearby, you and your mentor may stay in contact by phone, by text, video chat, email- you can work this out together.
    • For those whose mentors do not teach in the same district as you, your school will assign a veteran teacher to be your formal mentor for district activities. This person will conduct the required formal observations and orient you to your district’s norms and procedures. Your MACM mentor will help you will all your special education-related support needs. The MACM mentor will 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 MACM 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 MACM 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 MACM Coordinator for help.
  • Early in the school year, you, a member of your school’s certification team, and your mentor will develop your plan. This plan (think of it as your personal IEP) should overlap with any teacher induction or certification plan required by your school district, and will include your plan to achieve professional certification in three years AND tangible, specific goals you want to achieve during the school year.
  • Your mentor will conduct informal observations of your teaching each semester. These observations are not evaluations; rather, they are intended to help you polish your teaching skills.
    • Observations can be in person, real-time observations using Swivl technology, or videotaped lessons agreed upon in advance by you and your mentor. Observations will include a pre-observation conference so that you can discuss the upcoming lesson, the context and anything else your mentor should know about the lesson, and the specific things that you want your mentor to pay attention to. There will be a post-observation conference for you to talk about the lesson and receive your mentor’s feedback.
    • Your school will also observe you during the year; these observations may be evaluative in nature as required by the district or Maine DOE.
  • You will enroll in the online graduate course MACM Special Education I for the semester closest to your start as a teacher. The 3 course credits will count toward your professional certification. The course is online and meets via Zoom each month for 2 hours. You will have modules to complete before each live session. There will also be 4-5 information or resource modules that your mentor and you will complete together.
    • The Special Education Mentorship course is being 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. This course is offered for graduate credit and you will receive grades for participation and course assignments. 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.
    • 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. Check with the publisher- at least one of these texts is also available as an e-book:
      • Martin, C., & Hauth, C. (2015). The Survival Guide for New Special Educators 2nd 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)

Fall 2019

MACM Course Registration Information

Special Education 1 is a graduate course required for all new conditionally certified special educators who are MACM participants. This online course is primarily asynchronous; up to 5 (synchronous) live sessions will be scheduled during the semester, dates and times TBD.

MACM Special Education I and II (for those who took Part I Fall 2018 or Spring 2019) is offered through the University of Maine or at 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.

SED 598 Part 1 CRN 89082 Sec 0990 Karen Kusiak

SED 598 Part 1 CRN 86078 Sec 0991 Melissa Lyons-Vitalone

SED 598 Part 2 CRN 89085 Sec 0993 Karen Kusiak

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.

PDS 555 Part 1 CRN 86077 Kelli Fogg

PDS 555 Part 2 CRN 86079 Sandra Warden