By Lonnie Hetterle — Denver, Colorado…A three-day In-service Teachers’ Convention brought over 100 Rocky Mountain Conference educators to LifeSource Adventist Fellowship in Denver, August 4-6. The group represented 17 elementary schools and two academies. The convention began with an orientation for the six teachers new to Rocky Mountain Conference.
The spiritual tone for each day was set by LifeSource pastors, Andy Nash and Seth Day. Expert educator, and a vice president at Southwestern University, Steve Stafford, was the featured speaker for the in-service convocation. Stafford’s presentations concentrated on “teacher self-care” and being “the best you, you can be”. His passion and fun-loving spirit were contagious, providing the RMC teachers with much-appreciated thoughts and tips.
As part of the agenda, teachers were challenged by two officers from Denver Public Schools on the topic of school safety. They presented several practical ideas to help our schools by providing the safest place possible for students and staff. Johnnathan Ward, head of Ministry and Mission, and head chaplain at Avista Adventist Hospital presented “Compassion Fatigue,” a topic important to all caregivers, including teachers. The teachers returned to their schools better prepared to recognize and manage stress throughout the school year.
Jessica Eubanks, a new teacher at Colorado Springs, commented, “I was very impressed with all the speakers at this year’s teaching convention. The information given was relevant, personable and up-to-date. I loved the self- care attribute that the whole conference seemed to be based on. As teachers, we live to serve others, our students, our parents, and our co-workers and staff, but we don’t always remember to take care of ourselves. If we don’t take of ourselves, then we are not able to serve others.”
The 2019 convention final session included pastors of local Adventist congregations who joined a discussion about the current challenges and opportunities involving issues which relate to the LGBTQ community, which impact both Adventist schools and churches.
Ed Barnett, RMC president concluded the convention with a challenge and a prayer of dedication for our teachers as they begin the new school year.
Pat Chapman, administrative assistant in the RMC education department, who attended RMC teacher’s conventions for more than 20 years, said “this was one of the best and most relevant I have been part of. We have incredible, committed teachers, who spend every day reflecting Jesus to the students they teach, being supported, affirmed and cared for in an educational culture that reflects our Adventist values and belief system.”
—Lonnie Hetterle, photo supplied