What is like to be a TfT school designer?
What is like to be a TfT school designer?

Bulletin 13   |   February 24, 2021

School designers frequently field the question--“What is like to be a TfT school designer?” There is no single answer to this question, but, just as we do in TfT, sharing stories can often communicate best. The following texts from last Saturday morning give a glimpse into the life of a school designer.

The first text that morning was from Manhattan Christian Principal Matt Kamps who was spending the day snowshoeing with TfT school designer Nate Beede. They were making tracks in the Beehive Basin of Big Sky recreation area in southwest Montana.

While snow was providing the perfect conditions for Nate and Matt, TfT school designer Sara Espinoza texted that the Portland International Airport was shut down from the snow and ice; therefore, her flight home to Texas was cancelled. Inconceivable at the time (her text marked only the beginning of this saga), deteriorating weather conditions in Texas resulted in numerous cancelled flights once Portland opened up. Sara spent an unimaginable eight days in hotels and airports trying to fly home.

Throughout the ups and downs (or lack thereof aviation-wise), Sara’s updates were a testimony of her unwavering spirit, perseverance, and openness to divine opportunities that presented themselves throughout the week. And have I mentioned that she continued to prepare for, and eventually share at, the Deeper Learning Conference from her hotel room? 

I am deeply humbled by the high-quality work, countless hours, and dedication of this incredible team of designers; the hours you actually see them as they facilitate is just the tip of the iceberg. Further, I am deeply appreciative of the way that our TfT schools partner with and care for them through the implementation journey. I can never say “thank you” enough to you all.

Thank you.

Engaging your school community about TfT

TfT has become part of the fabric of Allendale Christian. For times when Principal Brian Koetje meets with prospective families, current families, supporters, teachers, or students, he wanted to have the core elements of TfT displayed on his office wall. He appreciates the opportunity to point to the wall and explain to parents that the school sees their child as an Image Reflector, a Beauty Creator, and more. He also included Deep Hope statements from preschool teachers and the 8th grade teacher to show that this is a framework that encompasses all grades, everything they do at Allendale Christian. 

A follow-up story…

In the last bulletin, we shared a story about the Allendale Christian 5th graders in Miss Kirchhoff and Mr. Vandenberg’s class who were determined to spread the fruit of the spirit as they live into their deep hope: “to be part of God’s restoration team for the greater good of His glory in the classroom, creation, and community as you use your heart, soul and mind.”  Kindness continues to spread as documented by their local news station.

Virtual document panels: Rehoboth Christian School

Like many of you, third grade teacher Becca Hibbler at Rehoboth Christian School has been grappling with trying to ensure that students “see the story, live the story” during remote learning. She shares her story of using a virtual document panel as she and her students live into the storyline of “Together we can move mountains.”

Virtual TfT site seminar story #4: Reframing and renaming

We continue to share TfT stories from our fall TfT virtual site visit. Today’s story is from Joe Melissen’s Grade 9/10 Entrepreneurship and Marketing class at Surrey Christian. Joe invited his students to rebrand the school’s annual walk-a-thon that supports Surrey’s sister schools in Sierra Leone and Honduras.

Incorporating FLEx into math: A resource

If you are a math teacher within the TfT network, chances are you can relate to the struggle to find FLEx opportunities that combines learning standards and an authentic opportunity for students to practice a Throughline way of being. James Peterson, South Christian High’s Head of School and a TfT school designer, recently shared this website that aims to support teachers in designing math projects that are authentic and relevant. It even includes ideas for AP math!

An opportunity: Engaging climate change while building community

World Renew is providing an opportunity for high school students to participate in a virtual gathering called the Seek Beyond: A Virtual Climate Tour. It is for high school students who would like to learn more about climate change and do something about it. Through three sessions in early April, this virtual trip offers young adults the unique opportunity to build community with people who care about the climate crisis and to understand climate justice initiatives currently underway in Honduras (a country experiencing pronounced food shortages due to climate change). It's an experience that promises to shape their faith and their future as they dream about their place in caring for God’s world. Participants can register here.

Throughlines: An invitation to collaborate and grow a collection

In the last bulletin, we invited the TfT network to grow a book list that aligns with the Throughlines. We continue to invite K-12 teachers to add titles of books/poems/podcast episodes that coincide with each of the Throughlines. Each page on this Google spreadsheet features a different Throughline, and a minimal amount of information is required. We are excited to see how this resource grows into a K-12 collection used across the TfT network.

For every new individual title you contribute, you will be entered into a drawing for a TfT T-shirt. We will continue to draw two names every two weeks over the next four weeks. Be sure to enter your first name and email address in the column labelled “contributed by” so that we can contact you.

We are excited to share that the first two recipients of a TfT T-shirt are Rachel Hekman of Sioux Falls Christian and Karla Biel of Mount Zion Christian School. Thank you for contributing to this resource.
powered by emma
Subscribe to our email list.