The mark of a true community and healthy relationships is the ability to celebrate the beauty and strength of others. We honour who God has created us to be when we help each other to develop our strengths and gifts. Scripture tells many stories of people who were called to do amazing things for their community. Being able to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn is a signpost of true selflessness, kindness and compassion. We wish to grow in Christian character and develop a culture in our schools, families, neighbourhoods and churches where appreciation, gratitude and deep love lead us to cultivate an authentic community.
With that in mind, many of our schools are in the process of hosting celebrations of learning, where students can share with their family, friends and community members the excellent learning that they have journeyed toward. What an amazing opportunity for our children to tell their stories of connection, contribution and learning. The beauty in these events is the understanding that students, as well as adults, are continually deepening our knowledge and wisdom. We never really arrive at a place where we are done learning.
During Thursday’s closing session at the Edifide convention, we will be holding our own celebration of learning. This celebration will include welcoming new members; recognizing 15-, 25- and 35-year milestones; and honouring our retirees. We will listen to Dr. Beth Green of Cardus on the meaning of excellence in Christian teaching, and we will celebrate the recipients of the newly minted John Rozema Teaching Excellence Award.
We are so excited by the number of teachers who applied for this award and were willing to share their excellent teaching and learning. We thank them for their leadership but also their vulnerability. To have others critique and give feedback is a risky but necessary exercise for true growth and change. We look forward to sharing these educators’ journeys.
Healthy institutions have artifacts, ceremonies and places of gathering that tell the stories of the movement. The convention has been such a gathering for more than 38 years. We welcome you to the 2016 Edifide Convention and invite you to participate in “Leading with Love.”
Looking forward to seeing you!