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From the Editor

I am Proposing

Consider this an invitation to query article topics that you would like to address in future issues of ShapingtheFuture. The 2019 convocation was a fruitful starting point for recruiting writers. If you have an article to propose, please do so. Send your idea to me at ed.grube@lea.org. Please don’t send the entire article—just what your article is about and why it’s important to educators in Lutheran schools. Include whether you envision it as a network piece or a feature article. Word counts are 1,000–1,200 for network pieces and 1,500–2,000 for features. Check the LEA writer’s guide for additional details.

...and Thanking

Kathy SlupikA special word of gratitude to Kathy Slupik, as she retires from her work as executive assistant. Among her regular tasks was serving on the ShapingtheFuture editorial team along with Sharon Stadtwald and me. Her work helped to assure a quality online publication.

...and Noting

Please note: Articles in this publication do not necessarily represent the official views and preferences of Lutheran Education Association. We publish thought-provoking articles based on their general potential of helping and challenging educators in Lutheran schools and agencies.

God has blessed you to be a blessing to others.

From the Executive Director

Grow a Teacher

When an occasion to gather more than 2,500 Lutheran educators comes around every three years, LEA seizes the opportunity to make lots of things happen! The 13th triennial LEA convocation was held October 10–12, 2019 in St. Louis. More than 2,700 participants gathered from 34 states and 9 other countries around the theme “Opening Eyes, Minds, Hearts.” The three days of the convocation included five plenary events involving entertainment, worship, keynote speakers, music, and theme development; 208 sectional workshops; an exhibit hall featuring 117 vendors from across the United States, and many opportunities for social time and fellowship. The pre-convocation LEA Global Symposium drew 60 individuals and organizations together from around the world to hear and talk about global opportunities for ministry, mission work, and service globally in Lutheran education.

All convocation attendees focused on professional development and spiritual growth, but one group of participants had some of the most unique experiences of all. Mixed in with the professional educators were 62 pre-service educators, representing eight of the Concordia campuses and Valparaiso University. For almost all of the students, this was their first experience of such an event. Students’ attendance at the convocation was made possible by LEA’s Grow a Teacher initiative. Launched prior to the 2016 LEA convocation, this project used LEA funds and donated dollars to cover the cost of convocation registration and hotel nights for up to ten students from each campus. This was in addition to the complimentary membership that LEA has been providing in recent years.

grow-a-teacherIn addition to full participation in the convocation, these students experienced their own event, which started on Wednesday night and ran through lunch on Thursday. The special Grow a Teacher gathering was planned this year under the leadership of a student team at Concordia University Nebraska. They even created a special tee shirt that was worn by students from all nine campuses on one of the days. Feedback from the student participants was uplifting. They agreed that this was a highlight of the trip, and there were many comments about looking forward to entering their fulltime teaching ministry because of it. (Read one student’s reflection.)

LEA also offers a mentor program which pairs retired Lutheran educators with interested undergraduate students and provides the potential for continuing this relationship into their first year of teaching. Fourteen mentor connections have been developed to date. Contact the LEA office if you are interested in participating.

The convocation is just one way in which the Grow a Teacher initiative has flourished. Please consider the following ways in which YOU can be involved:

God has richly blessed the students who are seeking to serve as Lutheran educators. Please join LEA as we work together to Grow a Teacher one at a time!