This year’s CLC Teachers’ Conference was hosted by Immanuel Lutheran Church of Mankato, Minnesota, Wednesday through Friday, October 20-22. All CLC Christian Day schools were represented. Also attending were six students from the education program at Immanuel Lutheran College, Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Teacher David Bernthal, Fond du Lac, Wis., opened each session with a devotion. He stressed feeding our faith with God’s Word for continued growth in our Savior, seeing God in the world around us, and having a renewal of faith as we return to our home congregations.
Pastor Wayne Eichstadt began the overall presentations with a paper titled “Burn-Out” which included a burn-out measuring test. The teachers were reminded to focus on what God is accomplishing through us. Other presentations for the first day included “When Do You Hold a Student Back?” (by teacher Rachel Dassow) which allowed groups of teachers to work on case studies to determine if retention was necessary, a curriculum review of the Christ Light Bible history series (by teacher Ryan Hammett), and multiple “Title Five” papers on topics such as read-aloud packets, cursive writing, and teaching parts of speech in grammar.
Teacher Craig Owing’s review of a book titled Already Gone (authored by Ken Ham and Britt Beemer) raised a number of concerns facing churches today, including reasons why the younger generation is not actively attending worship services, as well as why we need to defend our beliefs in society.
Taste of What’s New
Thursday sessions gave the teachers a taste of what’s new and available for classroom use. “Contemporary Christian Music” (by Professor Joel Gullerud) and “Using the Smart Board” (by teacher Kyle Ochsner) headlined the day. Prof. Gullerud gave numerous samples and resources for finding Christian music to use in everyday lesson plans. He also made the point that CCM is available in all genres of music. He set out to prove that “Contemporary Christian music is a viable alternative to secular music” and can help “combat the immorality that the world promotes.” At the same time Prof. Gullerud responded to cautions concerning CCM—things such as substantive fluff, mere emotional highs, and false teaching. There was also discussion about if and when CCM might be incorporated into our public worship settings.
Teacher Kyle Ochsner proceeded to demonstrate the use of a Smart Board. This tool allows teachers to incorporate the installed program into lesson plans with other programs such as Microsoft Powerpoint, pdfs, and internet sites, turning them into interactive lessons. The question remains as to whether smaller schools can justify the efforts and cost for the benefits derived. Individual
Smart Board practice was offered to any teachers not attending the group field trip later in the day.
Thursday sessions included a paper on “How to Help the Slow Child” succeed (by teacher Kirsten Gullerud) and a Title Five presentation (by teacher Laura Ude) on freebies available to schools.
Three presentations were given Friday morning: a curriculum review of God’s Design for Science by Debbie and Richard Lawrence (by teacher Quinn Sprengeler); a Title Five “Rewards and Incentives in the Classroom” (by teacher Dan Barthels); and “Teaching With Analogy to Improve Critical Thinking” (by teacher Jeff Karnitz).
The teachers of the CLC would like to heartily thank the members of Immanuel – Mankato for their providing housing, meals, snacks, drinks, freebies, and all the rest!
Next year’s CLC Teachers’ Conference is to be hosted by Faith Lutheran Church, Markesan, Wisconsin