BURLESON, TEX. – From Aug. 2-5, 2021, the Southwestern Union held an Education Convention at Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Round Rock, Tex. Approximately 325 educators from across the Union were in attendance. On the opening night, attendees enjoyed a concert by the A’Men quartet and presentations by North American Division Vice President for Education Arne Nielsen and General Conference Education Director Lisa Beardsley-Hardy.
Each morning, Justin Yang, young adult ministries director for the Texas Conference, challenged our thoughts and minds on educational topics as our devotional speaker. Jeremy Anderson, an Adventist motivational speaker, shared how educators could fight burnout and boost morale.
Attendees were also able to hear professional speakers from the field of education. John Almarode spoke about teaching by design, Marie Alcock discussed the topic of standards-based learning and Jay McTighe spoke about performance-based assessment. There were also various breakouts and presenters who covered a wide variety of topics which educators were able to select from. Opportunity was also provided for the secondary teachers to have some professional dialogue with colleagues of the same discipline.
For the first time, educators who were willing, were given a chance to share some great teaching ideas with fellow teachers in a program called EDtalks; each speaker was given two minutes to share ideas.
On our last morning together, we enjoyed a marimba concert followed by a presentation by psychologist Ken Jones on stress management during COVID-19. Before we parted, a consecration service was led by Southwestern Union President Carlos Craig.
Recreational time was provided between meetings so that educators could rest and enjoy the resort. Our hope is that all educators felt blessed, refreshed and ready to take on the school year.
We also hope that we are all better prepared to lead our students into a closer relationship with Jesus and to become service-oriented citizens until Jesus comes.
By Mike Furr
Secondary Education Director