Workshops to Leave Participants Wondering
Christian Teachers Convention
by Darren Spyksma, SCSBC Director of Learning ◊
Participating in professional development is one of the many rewarding aspects of the teaching profession. As part of a dynamic slate of presenters at the recent Christian Teachers Association Convention, I was able to co-lead two workshops. In many ways, the two workshops spanned the range of my job as Director of Learning. In the morning, Greg Gerber, my fellow Director of Learning, and I walked teachers and administrators through a look at the new BC Ed Plan. We considered the impact this plan will have on our focus and implementation as educators. It was delightful to explore and deconstruct this exciting initiative with a room of seasoned educators willing to share in each other’s wisdom and experience.
In the afternoon I had the opportunity to co-lead a workshop with Nanaimo Christian School’s Middle School Vice Principal, Shannon Gillespie. This workshop came from the opposite end of the spectrum. We invited participants to engage their “inner middle schooler” and participate fully as a student would. As a group we used experience based activities as the vehicle to enforce the value of the scientific process. Through botched experiments, dancing raisins, three meter tall marble drop structures, and a smattering of spit balls, participants were able to get out of their comfort zone while laughing at themselves and others. Participants became frustrated with disconnects between plan and practice, with each other and in these moments heard the call to persevere as real scientists.
As a Directors of Learning for SCSBC, it is a joy to be involved in all aspects of learning and education in our member schools. By leading a high level discussion we have the opportunity to assist schools in moving forward with exciting learning initiatives. Yet we also enjoy getting practical with classroom teachers, assisting them in adjusting pedagogy and learning design to best encourage students into a place where they experience “flow” in their learning and are learning at an optimal level. Both in formal professional development such as the CTABC Convention and on the ground in your schools we look forward to supporting our member schools in Kingdom building through education.