NAD Teachers Convention 2018
(Chicago, Illinois) Teachers from the North American Division congregated at the McCormick Convention Center from August 5 to 9, 2018 to attend the 2018 NAD Teachers’ Convention. Around eight thousand teachers gathered to share, learn, deepen, and broaden the understanding and appreciation of their calling through various programs and events from breakout sessions, inspirational speakers, and exhibits with the theme “Encounter Jesus: Experience Excellence”.
We asked the teachers to tell us how the teachers’ convention impacted them as educators in helping GAA students learn and achieve at the highest levels.
Mrs. Saladier, 1st and 2nd grade teacher shared her experience at the convention. “The teacher’s convention was a wonderful experience. Every session I attended was inspiring and enlightening. I found many helpful tips shared by other professionals. It was a delight to meet teachers dedicated to Adventist Education and so willing to share their gifts toward making a difference in a young person’s life. We truly encountered Jesus and experienced excellence which was the theme of our convention this year.”
Mr. Krum was inspired by the messages shared at the convention. ”There was a speaker that really touched my heart. His story of how his teacher 'Mrs. G' believed in him and challenged him to do his best made me realize that each of my student longs to have the same attitude toward them. I see that our relationship with Jesus is the source of that tough love and belief we have in our students. God will help us inspire each student to stretch and grow and do his/her very best.”
Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Lee, shared her excitement in attending the convention for the first time. “The NAD Teacher's Convention in Chicago 2018 was the first one I've ever attended. I was so excited to see childhood friends, see my elementary/highschool teachers from the academy I attended in Toronto when I was a student. I attended specific learning breakout sessions and attended amazing concert performances by Steve Curtis Chapman, Jamie Jorge, and Wintley Phipps. The entire event inspired and motivated me to continue and further that experience of encountering Jesus within the classroom here at GAA. I was blessed to get to know my fellow colleague, Mrs. Tkalec, much better since having to share a room with her at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. She's an awesome roomie!"
English teacher, Ms. Hartline, expressed her appreciation of the benefits gained from the convention. “The convention in Chicago was the perfect experience for a new educator like myself. The multitude of breakout sessions that were offered provided not only advice but fresh new ideas and creative curriculum. One of the breakout sessions that I attended was specifically for incorporating a prayer journal into the English classroom. This allows faith and learning to mesh within the classroom, as well as help students to experience personally the power of prayer in their own lives. I am excited to begin incorporating this idea and many more into our English curriculum this year!”
Math teacher, Mr. Dela Paz, agreed that attending the teachers convention proved to be invaluable in one’s growth as an educator. “It was a blessing to have been given the opportunity to attend the convention in Chicago. Besides meeting other math teachers and learning from different educational booths at the exhibits, educators sharing their expertise in the field of Mathematics was beneficial for my professional development. Geogebra® sounded interesting, but I ended up learning more from the session “Best Practices: Understanding Challenges in Math”. The speaker helped us gain a better understanding of how we can help students succeed.”
Third and fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Tkalec, shared the blessings she received from the event. “The NAD Teachers' Convention was awesome! I was inspired being surrounded by more than 6,000 other Adventist teachers, it was amazing to be a part of such a large community. Being together with that many other teachers, it was interesting to find how much we all had in common even though we were from diverse places such as Alaska, the Caribbean, New York, California, and Guam/Micronesia. All teachers there were there because they wanted to be used as God's instruments to nurture and teach His children. I came away from the convention with a renewed passion and energy, and I pray that I truly can be used by God this year. “
According to our Bible teacher, Mrs. Ingold, the convention was a huge blessing. "The NAD Convention was a breath of fresh air. Every breakout session I attended gave me new ideas or solutions. The speakers were invigorating and have reminded me that even on my worst day, I may be the best hope for a student in my class. A side benefit was reconnecting with old friends from college who are now in education. It was exciting to see that nearly 7,000 people in the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, let alone the rest of the world, are committed to preparing our children for serving our Lord and being ready for His coming."
The convention was an effective professional development that has enabled our teachers to develop the knowledge and skills they need to address students' learning challenges. More importantly, it also served as a spiritual revival drawing our teachers closer to Jesus as they serve as educators this school year, 2018-2019.