“What would you do during a two-and-a-half-hour block that combined both math and drama classes?”

How would you answer this question? Honestly, I don’t remember how I answered, when it was asked during my ACS interview many moons ago. But I was offered the job, so I must have done okay and began my teaching career here in September 2009.

Back Together Again

ACS hosted 50 educators from across the globe on the Wednesday before spring break. What a privilege! We hosted a Project-Based Learning pre-conference day ahead of the sixth Christian Deeper Learning Conference. It was such a wonderful day for me to reflect, be thankful, and to celebrate.

When we began planning for this day late last school year, we “got the band back together.”

Back in 2014, six ACS educators visited High Tech High in San Diego, CA to create and design a Project-Based Learning Residency for Christian Educators. This experience was probably one of the highlights of my educational journey to date. I was challenged and grew immensely as an educator and as a leader.

We hadn’t reconnected like this in years. It was so rewarding to work alongside these dear colleagues again.

Gracious Hosts

During this pre-conference day, I was again filled with a deep sense of gratitude.

Our amazing staff work tirelessly to teach, support, and disciple our students. We shared some of their work with these Christian educators from across the globe.

Our staff were gracious hosts by opening their classrooms and connecting with their international colleagues. Some staff showcased our mission and vision through authentic projects by our students. Other teachers encouraged student voice and choice. Some teachers led protocols where our students received feedback on their projects.

Our guests were inspired; I was humbled. Our staff are truly remarkable.

Costumes, Creativity, and H20

Even though I was inspired by our staff, I was even more proud of our students!

Our secondary students shared how they are working to combat period poverty on the other side of the world, how they are helping local organizations engage with a younger generation, and how they designed and created costumes for a local theatre company production.

From “H20 I Can Drink This!” a water filtration project in grade 7 to sharing stories of people in marginalized communities by our grade 6 students, our middle school students showed project-based learning in action.

Our elementary campus showcased their creativity in every classroom by answering the question, “How are we like our creator God?”

I could go on and on.

Our students are using their God-given gifts and abilities to truly shape God’s world. Seeing our students engage with our international colleagues, welcome them into our school, and represent our community was such an honour.

Because of You

Throughout the day I caught myself thinking about our ACS community.

We shared how God has blessed ACS with dedicated staff, passionate students, and the excellent education program we provide.

But this is happening because of all of you—our community who supports the school financially, encourages staff, and sends your children here.

The glory always goes to God, but He works through you—His people. You make it possible for our students to engage their minds, to nurture their hearts, and allow them to shape God’s world.

We (and I) have come a long way since 2009.

As I reflect on that pre-conference day, I’m left with a deep sense of gratitude to God for placing me here at ACS, for blessing this place, and for you all who helped to make this happen. It was a wonderful blessing and reminder of why we’re all committed to Christian education at ACS.