Thursday, November 2, 2017

Adventist Education Matters

Wholistic education is the difference


“They (students) need the very best of instruction and religious training. They need that virtue that comes from God, added to knowledge, which will qualify them for trying and responsible positions. The intellectual and spiritual growth should be as marked as the development of the physical powers.” Sabbath-School Workers Jan. 1, 1889
Adventist Education was created alongside the medical work to be a preparation for young people to develop skills that would make them an invaluable part of any community.  Through their intelligence, diligence, kindness and skillful service graduates from our schools would become beacons of blessing no matter where they found themselves.  Their abilities would be hallmarks of excellence and would naturally lead them to positions of leadership and respect in their communities.

TeachSDA is continuing to advocate that administrators, teachers and students keep this goal in mind.  Our academic goals are not secondary to a solid relationship with Jesus.  They are an integral part of the holistic ideal of Adventist Education as missionary training.  We believe that every individual is a missionary called to minister in any area God places them in.  Through studies like Value Genesis it is clear that our religious emphasis has positive results, students who attend our schools are more likely to be active members for the rest of their lives.  Through our research in the academic programs of Adventist Education it is also clear that the longer students attend our schools the better they perform.  Often with standardized tests, SAT and ACT scores far above their counter parts in both parochial and public schools.

This issue will cover several topics that every excellent educator should be considering!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Welcome to @teachSDA

Leveraging technology to grow connections


The 2017-18 school year has begun for me here in the Southern Union and many of you have started as well.  Some of you have been a part of the teachSDA community for many years and some of you are new.  I thought it would helpful to remember why we started teachSDA.  

Chris Webb was a former student of mine and during his academy and college years he developed a love for education.  I was overjoyed and encouraged him at every opportunity.  He eventually graduated and began teaching in Taiwan.  He was an amazing teacher, I like to think I had a bit to do with that.  But he quickly realized what many of us veteran teachers learn early.  The classroom can be painfully isolating.  Educators become so busy with the day to day management that they lose perspective and connection with those around them.  The system also tends to isolate and silo teachers giving them very little opportunity to expand their professional network.  Add being on the other side of the world and the issues are magnified. 

So what could be done to solve the problems?  Chris and I continued to talk through emails, Twitter, Facebook and video chats and eventually came to the conclusion that technology could be a helpful tool to connect teachers from diverse backgrounds and locations.  So many of the day to day issues we deal with as teachers are universal.  So we could benefit from the creativity and wisdom of others.  The platform could also be used to advocate thoughtful and deliberate educational ideas in Adventist Education.  So the first Adventist Twitter personal learning network was created.  Over the course of that first year a website and newsletter was added; eventually a Facebook was added too.

We've continued to grow over the last five years and now are part of the Adventist Learning Community project.  Thanks for journey!  We hope you'll continue to join us on TwitterFacebook and www.teachSDA.org 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Fall is here!


Let's have some science fun with fall

Autumn is a perfect opportunity to get out of the regular classroom routine and learn some science!  The eight links in our newsletter this week give you ideas designed for easy implementation in any classroom.  Read it here

Monday, September 26, 2016

Digital Citizenship Week is Coming Soon

October 16-22

It seems every student has a smartphone, a tablet or both, so we need to talk about managing their use and educating students in digital citizenship.  Ignoring the devices or banning their use is not a realistic approach and overlooks a teachable moment.

This October, Common Sense Media is sponsoring Digital Citizenship week on October 16-18.  Here's some resources to help you plan for the opportunity.  Remember that digital citizenship week is also an opportunity to educate parents too!

Join us on Twitter and Facebook as we share some thoughts about Digital Citizenship.  Use #teachSDA on Twitter or find us on Facebook at teachSDA.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Adventist Learning Community Announces R.A.I.N. Art Resource for 9th Grade!

Each letter of RAIN refers to a stage of learning that the curriculum will address.
Rediscover- Looking with fresh eyes at God, His creation (yourself, your environment, and others).
Appreciate- Stimulating thankfulness for God’s acts of love.
Immerse-Going deep into a state of creativity and focus. Investigating ideas that the Lord places on your mind.
Nourish- Art-making as enrichment for your life and for the lives of others.

Contextualizing art education in a Creationist and Biblical worldview leads to awesome potential, encouragement, validation, mission, and companionship in the art-making process. Seeking to work with the Creator God opens our minds to the possibilities that He can orchestrate to inspire new works, whether it be through people we meet, or experiences that we have. It also brings purpose and meaning to our work as we aim to glorify Him and communicate His messages to others. As we obey Him, He also promises His help.

The image of rain refers to God’s blessings and nourishment for our creative endeavors and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. It is a reminder to ask for the Holy Spirit to lead and guide the creative process, allowing God to use us and influence our thoughts. The fluidity of rain is also a symbol of flow in creativity. May our work be  a blessing to others as continuation of His outpouring in us.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1”
R.A.I.N. is an art resource for Grade 9 consisting of 36 weekly lessons with video.  

Grade 9 is a critical stage for continuing to focus on art education. Many may have already stopped their instinctive creative expressions by this time. Art educator Betty Edwards writes, “Age nine or ten seems to mark the abrupt end of children’s artistic development in terms of drawing skills. At this age, children confront an artistic crisis, a conflict between their increasingly complex perceptions of the world around them and their current level of drawing skills to depict what they see”(64). Grade 9 then, is a wonderful opportunity for developing advanced skills in perception through drawing instruction and other art activity. Edwards also explains how improving perceptual skills has great potential for problem-solving in any field (XVI).

This resource includes opportunities to use art as a means to connect with and serve others and bring hope to communities. Artist Charlie Peacock writes, “Other-centered living (after the model of Jesus) is at the very heart of good art-making” (246).