Middle School Drama (and we don’t mean theater)

How do middle school students need to be treated different than lower/upper school students? How are their minds developing and does it effect your teaching? What should you do with the difficult students (the rebellious student, the class clown, the shy student who won’t speak up, the dead class that won’t engage in discussion, etc.)?

Eric Cook

Eric Cook is from Lexington, Kentucky, but worked in schools in Ohio and Virginia before joining Covenant Classical School in 2009. Eric earned a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Social Studies Education from Transylvania University, and a master’s degree in Instructional Leadership from Northern Kentucky University. He has taught history, political science, psychology and philosophy in public schools, and served as an assistant principal for several years. In 2006, Eric felt called to join the classical Christian school movement and became the Middle and Upper School Head at Faith Christian School in Roanoke, Virginia. In addition to his leadership roles, Eric taught apologetics, theology, philosophy of religion, and served as thesis director. He is also the President of the Society for Classical Learning.

Worldview and Media

Your students are going to movies, watching TV, reading magazines, listening to music and “facebooking” on the internet. Are they putting any thought and reflection into any of these activities, or are they just letting popular media wash over them without attempting to discern or examine the cultural influences all around them? Worldview training and cultural discernment are vital for a classically trained student in American society. This seminar shows you how to get your students to think about what they are seeing and listening to from a Christian perspective.

Peter VandeBrake

Peter Vande Brake attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI, where he was an All-American decathlete and Philosophy major. He a ended seminary at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA, and then did his doctoral work at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids. He taught, coached, and was Headmaster at North Hills Classical Academy from 1996–2010. He is a leadership consultant for the CiRCE Institute and the high school principal and track coach at The Potter’s House School in Grand Rapids, an urban Christ-centered school. He is married and has two daughters.

Huckleberry Finn: The Book About What Books Don’t Say

As a narrator, Huck Finn is a schoolmarm’s worst nightmare. Not only does he slaughter proper English, but he questions pieties (in hilarious ways) and generally puts all conventional wisdom to the test of reasonable self-interest. His insights and honesty, however, make him the invaluable commentator on the dfference between precepts taken from books (even the Bible) and the evidence of his own experience. Yet even young readers can see that his journey down the Mississippi with Jim repeats the great literary and Biblical themes, staring with “Moses and the Bulrushes.”

Glenn Arbery

Senior Editor, People Newspapers and Adjunct Professor at University of Dallas

After finishing his degree at the University of Dallas, Glenn Arbery taught literature at the University of St. Thomas in Houston and Thomas More College in New Hampshire. In 1997, he returned to Dallas to become director of the Teachers Academy at the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. For seven years there, he taught graduate courses and directed the Summer Institute for Teachers, an intensive graduate course in classic texts of the Western tradition. His Book "Why Literature Matters" appeared in 2001 from ISI Books. For the Dallas Institute Press, he edited "The Tragic Abyss," the third volume in the series on literary genre under the general editorship of Louise Cowan. In 2003, he became a senior editor with People Newspapers and a contributing editor of D Magazine, where he has won state, regional, and national awards for his writing. He is currently editing a collection of essays by the Southern critics John Crowe Ransom, Allen Tate, Robert Penn Warren, and Donald Davidson.

Liability for the Christian School Teacher

Every student represents an opportunity for ministry. Regrettably, every student also represents a potential lawsuit. How should teachers and schools protect themselves from this threat? Attend this session and learn practical solutions to address these major areas of liability.

John L. and John M. Cooley

John L. Cooley served as a Christian school administrator for 10 years prior to beginning his law career. Ind addition to his law degree, Mr. Cooley has earned an MRE in Christian education and a Ph.D. in church administration. He currently serves as President of WootenHart PLC in Roanoke, VA. John Mark Cooley is a partner at WootenHart and has been in practice there for over 10 years. Together they focus on representing faith-based programs, religious schools, and non-profits and have assisted schools with constitutional law, employment and contract issues, student discipline and expulsion, parent issues, organizational structure, and non-profit IRS filings.

Creating Purpose and Outcome Statements I

This session will explore the problems with the traditional mission statement and propose a better idea: Purpose-and Outcome Statements (mission; portrait of the graduate; characteristics of professional excellence). Examples from Independent of School Management (ISM) workshops will be presented and the audience is encouraged to create their own Purpose and Outcome Statements.

Walker Buckalew

Executive Consultant, Independent School Management

In additon to his role as a consultant with ISM, a firm serving more than 4,000 school clients, Dr. Buckalew is also the author of eight non-fiction books and three Christian fiction books.

Plato on Gymnastics

As everyone knows, Plato despised the body. Or did he? This workshop explores books 2-4 in the Republic to see what Plato had to say about the place of gymnastics in the classical school.

Andrew Kern

Andrew Kern is the Founder and President of CiRCE Institute. He has also helped found Providence Academy, Ambrose School, Great Ideas Academy and Regents Schools of the Carolinas. Andrew is the co-author of Classical Education: The Movement Sweeping America, The Lost Tools of Writing and The CiRCE Guide to Reading. Andrew is also a consultant and founded the CiRCE apprenticeship.

The No Lecture Zone: Effective Use of the Socratic Method

A Socratic dialogue on Socratic Method. There’s no telling what might happen.

Andrew Kern

Andrew Kern is the Founder and President of CiRCE Institute. He has also helped found Providence Academy, Ambrose School, Great Ideas Academy and Regents Schools of the Carolinas. Andrew is the co-author of Classical Education: The Movement Sweeping America, The Lost Tools of Writing and The CiRCE Guide to Reading. Andrew is also a consultant and founded the CiRCE apprenticeship.

The Rhetoric of Science

This seminar will share rhetorical practices that can be used successfully in upper school science classes and briefly examine the rhetoric used by scientists.

Paul Ziegler

Paul Ziegler is a math and physics teacher at Trinity Academy of Raleigh. A teacher for forty years, Mr. Ziegler still enjoys the profession, the students, and the challenge of finding new ways to empower students to think independently.

Math Teaching with Confidence

With their emphasis on language and literature, classical schools often find mathematics to be their Achilles heel. Memorizing basic math facts is good, but do your students fully master the math tools that you teach? Have you heard your students say, “I can’t do math?” There is no child with an inability to be successful in mathematics. Discover how, by integrating language wiht math, we develop students with confidence, a stronger conceptual foundation on which to build, and the ability to communicate their knowledge and understanding of conceptual math more effectively. Every child can leave your classroom or your grammar school with the skills, concepts, and confidence to believe not only that they “can do math,” but that they can do math with excellence.

Ellen Yarborough

Ellen holds a B.A in education with a Mathematics minor from the University of Texas, San Antonio. She implemented the supplemental math program for Boerne ISD in 1992 and for the Geneva School of Boerne in 2007.

Beethoven meets Sayers: The Classical Value of High School Chorus and Band

What are the real reasons music is so vitally important in education; especially classical learning? How can it be used to further the search for truth and beauty and to transmit our cultural legacy to future generations.

John Heaton

John Heaton is a native of Orlando, Florida. He has concluded his 20th year as the second Headmaster of New Covenant Schools in Lynchburg, Virginia. New Covenant is a classical Christian School serving around 450 students in Pre-K through 12th Grade.

Walker Pennock

Mr. Pennock has teaching experience in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. He has also performed professionally in local symphonies and stage productions.