Meeting Our Urgent Needs

A Reflection on the FL-GA Educator’s Conference

By: Kathy Larson, 2nd Grade Teacher

On September 26th-28th, 14 HTLS teachers and staff members, along with 500+ other Lutheran educators, attended the Florida Georgia District Lutheran Educator’s Conference in Daytona Beach, Florida.  The theme for the conference was “Urgent Care” based on the Bible verse Titus 3:14, “Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.”

We attended a variety of different workshops that catered to different subject areas and grade levels, as well as youth work, church work, how to help and care for others, and how to help and care for yourself.  The workshops were very informative, and often interactive.  Each one of us took something away from the workshops, whether it was something that we can use in the classroom or use in our personal lives.  We were able to share what we took away from the conference with each other when we came back, and we were all validated and encouraged by the good things we are doing. 

I, myself even had the privilege and honor of conducting a workshop on thinking maps.  I had 55 attendees at my workshop that consisted of a variety of teachers from preschool all the way through to high school.  I was excited to share my expertise on an up and coming topic in education.  I even had a teacher send me a picture of one of her students trying out a thinking map after the conference.

At the conference, we were able to sit with other educators from different Lutheran Schools in Florida and Georgia within our same grade level and share ideas.  During this time, we had a guest speaker who spoke to us about care for our students and their families as well as how to care for ourselves.  We had time for prayer at our table and to pray for each other and our families. 

Of course, we couldn’t be at Daytona Beach without some relaxation time.  It was super easy to do that since the beach was just off of the hotel.  One morning, we woke up early and watched the sun rise while walking on the beach.  We also had some staff bonding time together playing games, walking on the pier and having a staff dinner.

I am grateful to be able to attend to such an awesome conference where I learned so much about myself and what tools I can use in my classroom.  It was also a great time to spend with a wonderful faculty and staff who are not only my colleagues, but who I also consider my family.