By Sarah Ternes (NCA Nejapa Interim Director)
Last year, part of our leadership came together to develop what has become known as the ANCA Standards of Teacher Excellence. This year, on January 23rd, we had the opportunity to fully launch those standards across our three campuses during our annual ANCA staff conference.
The conference began with a phenomenal plenary session led by our board President, Eric Loftsgard, who taught us about the 5 C´s of excellence – character, competence/capacity, Christ, commitment, and contribution. He shared multiple resources on how to develop the character piece, which is essential to developing our students holistically.
Our teachers and staff were then divided into different workshops – staff into their particular work area where they received workshops pertinent to their tasks and teaching staff into workshops based on the standard each has chosen to focus on for the current school year. Our workshops were all developed by our own staff members and it was amazing to see how much they put into it. To see our educators building others up, sharing their resources and working together to see everyone succeed is truly inspiring.
From the beginning of the day, all staff members were organized into focused table groups that had participants from all three schools, where they shared in icebreakers and meals, while the teachers ended the day in their groups for a collaboration time, sharing what each had learned in their morning sessions in addition to the tools that have worked for them in their schools. We got resounding feedback from teachers that this was the most important time of the day for them, and after having worked since 2012 to try to create more collaboration and harmony between our three unique NCA campuses, this was so encouraging to hear!
We are continually amazed at how our Good Father orchestrates details and brings so many people together to advance His kingdom through Christian education here in Nicaragua. We are thankful for how 2017 has started off and we are confident that the Lord will continue to grow us together towards excellence, in every sense of the word.
Originally published on February 5, 2017. Written by Sarah Ternes. Photos by Will Van Zoest.