Growth, Change, Transformation
Growth, Change, Transformation

TfT Bulletin #9   |   April 27, 2022

You ever have it when you encounter a similar message or idea over and over again within a short period of time? I seem to be in that cycle right now–people sharing stories of growth, change, transformation.

One of my latest moments centered around the following photo taken of two reflections gathered from two individuals participating in the TfT training SWOT analysis at Central Christian School. This activity often occurs near the end of TfT training in Year Two–perhaps you remember participating in this yourself.

Teaching for Transformation? Teaching from Transformation?
I love this puzzle about the TfT implementation journey. It is often hard to figure out what comes first: growth or change. For some of us, it is growth that results in change. For others, it is a change that has resulted in growth. Most likely, we experience both directions in our professional growth journey.

If you find yourself thinking that you, too, have also now encountered this idea of growth, change, transformation a few times recently, you have! I promise to write about something different in the next Bulletin.


The Early Adopters of St. Cloud Christian

The early adopters of St. Cloud Christian recently completed this year’s TfT training and took time to celebrate the work they accomplished together. As part of their celebration, their TfT School Designer, Peter Welle, invited the early adopters to reflect on their personal and professional growth while also considering the role of Early Adopter in next year’s whole staff TfT journey. And, yes, their early adopter journey involved a diaper-wearing goat.  

TfT Masterclasses 

I am excited to share that we have over 50 participants from across the TfT Network already registered for the TfT Masterclasses this summer. We will continue to provide the information and registration links in the Bulletin until we close registration at the beginning of June.
Masterclass Facilitator
Primary Beth Bleeker
Sioux Center Christian Kindergarten Teacher 
Intermediate Pam Zuidhof
Surrey Christian School 3rd Grade Teacher and Assistant Principal 
Middle School Tim Leugs
Legacy Christian Middle School Teacher and Instructional Leader 
The Sciences Thor Benson
Southwest Christian Secondary Science Teacher and Dean of Faculty 
World Languages Elizabeth Sabins
Lansing Christian Secondary Spanish Teacher and TfT Instructional Coach 
Music Specialists Jessica DeWit
Sioux Falls Christian TfT Director and TfT Instructional Coach 
Learning Resource/ Support Educators Tracey Twinam
Denver Christian Director of Extend Learning Services 
Masterclasses are an opportunity to deepen your TfT design, collaborate with colleagues from across the TfT Network who teach in your area, and begin designing your TfT plans for the upcoming school year.
Continuing education credits are available for participating teachers. Please reach out if you have questions regarding the Masterclasses.
Register Now →

Storyline Scavenger Hunt at Sioux Falls Christian

We consistently hear TfT teachers testify to the importance of seeing examples of the TfT core practices in action; it is a core reason for publishing the Bulletin. The leadership team at Sioux Falls Christian has been intentional about sharing TfT core practices in action among their own school and staff. Jessica DeWit, Professional Development Coordinator and TfT Director, recently shared how their staff engaged in a Scavenger Hunt through Goosechase to explore the Storylines and Storyboards of their colleagues. We appreciate Jessica sharing the prompts used for the Storyboard scavenger hunt.

Secondary TfT: 10th Grade English at Des Moines Christian School

In Julia Shield’s 10th Grade English class at Des Moines Christian School, the Storyline is “Broken Reflections.” The idea is that all humans were created in God’s image, and therefore, reflect Him. However, because of sin, that reflection is distorted, much like a broken mirror. We can catch glimpses of truth and reality, but the picture is distorted and incomplete. In Julia’s class, the students look for these glimpses and distortions of truth in the texts they read and the cultures they study; they use a growing Storyboard to share their work and reflections. My deep hope is that as students begin to recognize God and His truth in the world around them, they will see, acknowledge, and respond to God’s glory and worth.

Elementary TfT: Pre-K at Muskegon Christian School

Pre-K Teacher Allison Westra wanted to help her four-year-old students understand that they didn’t “Live the Story” only when they were in her classroom at Muskegon Christian School, but that they could “Live the Story” in all parts of their lives, including at home. With her Deep Hope of “In all we do, we are KIND and GOOD” as a guide, she created Habits of Living (Throughlines) punch cards to help her students Live the Story in practical ways at home every day. Students were invited to participate in Habits of Living challenges in “Real Work” around their homes.

Whether they were Creation Enjoyers looking for bugs outdoors (a real challenge in winter in Michigan), Servant Workers cleaning their rooms without being asked, or God Worshipers sharing a Bible Story with their parents, Allison’s students learned that they can play a role in God’s Story in school or at home. They can be KIND and GOOD for God’s glory. Mrs. Westra shares the details of her story here.

Elementary TfT: 1st Grade Grandparents’ Morning at Grace Community School

Storyboards have the potential to be significant in a variety of situations. Recently, Grace Community School celebrated Grandparents’ Morning in 1st Grade. First Grade teacher Elizabeth Benscoter shared the following reflection:
Today was Grandparents' Morning for 1st Grade, and I just had to share a sweet story! When the students brought their grandparents to our classroom, I heard most of them say, "Come see our storyboard!!" and then they dragged their grandparents over to it, pointed to things we have put up, and talked about what we have been doing all year!! Having a year long display of our class story was one of the best changes I made this year and this was just another evidence of that!
I also had a grandfather come up and say, "I love your deep hope. Thank you for instilling that in my grandchild!" I was so happy they took the time to read it and I love seeing Grace grow in our TfT implementation!!

Meeting Our School Designer Team: Pat Kornelis

Pat is a long-time member of the Dordt University Education Department, teaching graduate courses in educational psychology and assessment, and also assisting graduate students in writing their final thesis projects. Two years ago, Pat added a new graduate course, Teaching for Transformation (EDUC 556/557), to her teaching duties. This course is designed to onboard “new-to-TfT” teachers who are recent hires at TfT schools. When she’s not teaching or engaging in TfT training, Pat enjoys spending time with her family exploring the amazing sights (and culinary delights) of Minnesota. What Pat loves about TfT is how it invites, nurtures, and empowers all learners (teachers and students) to be transformed into peculiar people who seek to live out their roles in the Kingdom story.

Pat shares this story from one of her former students in the Teaching for Transformation graduate course.