“This isn’t a new philosophy for the majority of school districts out there, however, the distance between our buildings can sometimes be a challenge. Over the past three years we’ve begun meeting in grade- level groups K-8 to work together with our cross-building colleagues on aligning our curriculum and building a spirit of community. It involves the teachers sitting down together and mapping out the standards and benchmarks of each unit that they teach, discussing common assessments, and spending time in training,” explains Van Hekken.
The following Teacher In-Service Day breakout sessions were provided by various WMCS teachers who provided expertise in the following areas:
- Digital Toolkit 2017: New tips and tricks for the classroom (Ian Turner – WMCS)
- Behind the Smile: Helping our students cope with difficult situations (Amanda Bosscher – WMC)
- How to Draw Kids Closer to God (Bob Koning – GHC)
- Graceland Farms and the Diverse Learner; Q&A about Accommodation Plans and Educational Support Plans (Whitney Piersma and Jennifer Sunderlin – WMCS)
- Movement & Learning: The effects of physical activity on student learning (Jacque Groenendyk – WMC)
Break out sessions for PK-12 grade levels and subject areas (Bible, English, Fine & Industrial Arts, Math, Health/PE, Science, Social Studies and World Language) also took place. Teachers in grades K-5 met to discuss curriculum plans, share ideas and inspiration to start the new year.
MCS’s Dan DeKam shared, “It’s good for teachers to get together with other teachers and feel supported in the work of Christian education. They were able to connect with other teachers, build relationships and share ideas.”
It’s good for teachers to get together with other teachers and feel supported in the work of Christian education. They were able to connect with other teachers, build relationships and share ideas.
NEC’s Principal Phil Morse noted,“Because we only have one teacher per grade level in our building, it is an appreciated opportunity for our teachers to discuss curriculum and student learning with other teachers from the same grade levels. It was especially helpful for us this year because now our teachers have one year under their belt from which to draw on to ask questions.”
“My staff was so excited to be part of this day not only to meet with their new WMCS colleagues but to collaborate. From the start of worship all through the break out sessions we were inspired and informed. WMCS Teacher In-Service Day did not disappoint and far exceeded our expectations!” explained John Barkel, Principal of FCS.
My staff was so excited to be part of this day not only to meet with their new WMCS colleagues but to collaborate. From the start of worship all through the break out sessions we were inspired and informed. WMCS Teacher In-Service Day did not disappoint and far exceeded our expectations!
It’s this synergy, collaboration, discipling and teaching among the WMCS staff that makes all we do at WMCS true Kingdom work! Keep up the great work everyone!
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. – Acts 4:32
An abbreviated version of this article originally appeared in the West Michigan Christian Schools “Faith Matters” Fall 2017 Newsletter. To view a PDF of the full WMCS “Faith Matters” Fall 2017 Newsletter click here.
WMCS Members include, Fremont Christian, Grand Haven Christian, New Era Christian, Muskegon Christian and Western Michigan Christian Might Schools and Middle School