In TfT circles, we often engage dialogue around "real work."
In TfT circles, we often engage dialogue around

TfT Bulletin #9  |   January 31, 2024

In Teaching for Transformation circles, we often engage in dialogue around “real work.” This conversation centers around the question, “What is real work?” I quite like this question.
Like most of my favorite questions, this question elicits multiple responses and perspectives. While I have my favorite current “answer” to this question (which has changed and grown over time), there are many other perspectives to the question “What is real work?”
So, I was intrigued when I came across this 700-year-old perspective on real work by Franciscan philosopher-theologian John Duns Scotus (1266–1308):
We are to love things in and as themselves, to love things for what they are, not for what they do for us. That’s when we really begin to love our spouses, our children, our neighbors, and others. When we free them from our agendas, then we can truly love them without concern for what they do for us, or how they make us look, or what they can get us. We begin to love them in themselves and for themselves, as living images of God. Now that takes real work!
Christian educators can take this approach to real work for students and for ourselves: engaging in learning experiences that foster a deep love for all people, the image bearers of God’s Story. 

2024 Masterclasses: Tell us what you would like to see!

We have begun planning for our annual, summertime masterclasses. Masterclasses are opportunities for experienced TfT teachers to come together in a short, virtual course format to deepen and hone their TfT practices.
Each Masterclass includes four 90-minute sessions (11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. CST). This summer’s dates are July 9, 11, 16, and 18.
Once again we plan to offer Masterclasses focused on the core practices for primary, intermediate, and middle-school teachers. However, we would like your feedback on additional Masterclasses that would be valuable to you. Please fill out this one-question survey to suggest other masterclasses.
Last summer we offered a masterclass focused on Transformational Lesson Design, one of our essential practices. This masterclass was well received and has opened the door to imagining new masterclass offerings.
We will announce the additional masterclasses in the next TfT Bulletin. So, save these dates!

2023 Masterclasses: Catching a glimpse

If you have never attended a TfT Masterclasses, we want to offer a glimpse into a couple Masterclasses from last summer.  Every Masterclass is designed to—
  • nurture collaboration and the sharing of ideas with colleagues from across the TfT Network of schools
  • deepen your skillset in the implementation of TfT practices
Check out the rich sharing of ideas as the Intermediate grade-level Masterclass participants collaborated around FLEx and Storyboards
In addition to Masterclasses that unite around grade levels, we also offer Masterclasses that rally around subject areas.  Check out a couple Storyboard and Reflection question examples shared during the Fine Arts Masterclass.
Inviting your school community into Deep Hope
It is always encouraging when TfT Network schools share examples of how they invite their community into the Deep Hope of their staff. Please continue to make us aware of what this element looks like as other TfT schools are motivated by the ideas shared.
This example comes from Hope Academy—a video they shared during their Evening of Hope that brought together over 400 school supporters.
Student scholarship and learning opportunity for TfT Network Schools
Summit Ministries is offering $2000 scholarships so that students of TfT Network schools can attend their annual student worldview conferences.  Each TfT school has a minimum of two $2000 scholarships available to students age 16+ attending one of nine available conferences during the spring/summer of 2024 in Colorado and Georgia. The worldview conference empowers students to impact culture from a Christian worldview while building lasting relationships. Information on the application process can be found here with additional details around the conference here and on the website. We highly encourage you to share the details of this amazing opportunity with your student body.
The TfT Tips Trio
This week’s tips complete the exploration of TfT's Transformational Lesson Design resources with a focus on empowering learners. Teachers invite students into learning stories and design learning experiences that nurture the student within the story. Ultimately, the teacher designs learning opportunities that empower students to respond and live their part within the learning story, God’s story. Check out this week’s tips for ideas on empowering students through transformational lesson design.