WFIS Executive Director Suzie Hanson attended ACSI’s two-day roundtable retreat, Together!, in Seaside, OR, earlier this week. Julie Adams and Dr. Roger C.S. Erdvig were the keynote speakers. Adams is an expert teacher trainer specializing in neuroscience, mental health, wellness, and best practices for literacy, critical thinking, and engagement. Dr. Erdvig is an author, speaker, and scholar who wrote the book Beyond Biblical Integration. In Suzie’s opinion, both speakers were excellent!

Suzie’s thoughts: Two concepts from Julie Adam’s presentation stayed with me. First, a reminder for teachers to ask two critical questions when a student is off task. These questions should be asked quietly and genuinely. 1. Do you know what you have been asked to do? 2. Do you have the skills to do it? The spirit of the questions is- As the teacher, I am here to make sure you know both; if not, then it is my job to teach you.

The other helpful reminder for success in the classroom is “A student needs to Maslow before they Bloom.” This is about Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Benjamin Bloom’s hierarchy of the mastery of learning.

I also greatly appreciated Dr. Roger C.S. Erdvig’s commitment to helping schools create environments that foster love and learning. Despite the harsh conditions outside a school, the school can be a “greenhouse” for students before they are “planted” outside in harsher conditions of society. To create an environment that genuinely honors biblical integration, the school’s mission must be communicated in every answer given to a student and every question asked.

Both speakers are available to support your schools. On Tuesday’s Zoom, we will hear from ACSI school leaders about their experience and takeaways from the retreat. Thank you for your generous invitation to the retreat and fantastic hospitality! I appreciated learning from all of you.