Saturday, November 08, 2014

Reflections from #lsany

I had the privilege of attending and sharing time with educators from the New York metropolitan area on Friday. Over 500 teachers attended a one day conference hosted at Long Island Lutheran HS by the Lutheran Schools Association of New York. Here are a few of my takeaways from being a part of this conference:
  • There was great positive energy and enthusiasm among participants. My understanding is that a conference of this type has not been held for quite some time. There was an air of celebration of Lutheran education that is sometimes lacking at other events, possibly because these educators have not had the chance to join together recently.
  • Since Lutheran Schools Association is a pan-Lutheran organization, there is an air of cooperation and shared mission evident among schools in the east that is not present elsewhere in the country. I very much enjoyed that dynamic.
  • I am excited to follow the progress of a unique initiative at Long Island Lutheran HS in January. They are replacing mid-term exams with a week-long school-wide projects connected to the ancient Greeks. No doubt I will be writing more about this in the future. I appreciate the spirit of risk and innovation being accepted by the teachers of this school, and we shared many conversations not only about this vision but also practical aspects of how a project like this will look in the classroom.
  • I have not heard Mel Kieschnick speak for years, but he was the keynote speaker at #lsany. He is an inspirational leader in Lutheran education who affirms the value of both the educational process and teachers. It was a privilege to hear him and chat with him once more.
  • As I work with more schools and districts I am convinced that project-based learning models as well as the SAMR model of technology integration relate well to the needs of Lutheran educators and have a great deal of resonance with them.
  • If you don't follow Jessica Raba (@jessicaraba) on Twitter, make sure you start. As the Executive Director of the Lutheran Schools Association and the driving force behind this conference, she has shown herself to be a top level leader and innovator, as well as one of the strongest advocates for Lutheran education in this country.
It was a joy to be present at this conference. I hope to return to the New York area very soon to work once more alongside the fine folks of this region. God blessed me through them yesterday.

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