May 2019 Prairie Update

Song of Solomon 2:11-12

For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.

 Thoughts from Gayle...

Cultivate Curiousity

Earlier this month I attend a seminar with author Mark Buchanan. One thing he said has really stuck with me: Cultivate curiousity about the interruptions. Wonder what God is up to at those times. If you are like me, interruptions are often experienced as an annoyance that pulls me away from my work. So I am challenged by Mark’s encouragement to see these interruptions as opportunities to engage in God’s work. And I love the phrase: cultivate curiousity!

Thanks to everyone who attended our AGM in April. We had a good turnout with almost all our school communities represented! Our new format with workshops in the morning was very well-received and as such, we will do this again next spring. Our hope is that next time, schools will bring a team (multiple board members and educators) to take advantage of this learning experience.

At the AGM, we welcomed two new board members:
Lenny Houweling
Jonathan Slomp

Two current board members were affirmed in their willingness to serve another term:
Rod Harder
Tim Hoogland

Terri-Lynn Emms was affirmed as the Administrator Representative.

The membership also approved the 2019-2020 budget.

TFT 101

We completed our last session this week and finished with a deep dive into FLEx. One of the quotes that grounded our discussion was “It is nothing but a pious wish and a grossly unwarranted hope that students trained to be passive and non-creative in school will suddenly, upon graduation, actively contribute to the formation of Christian culture”
(N. Wolterstorff).
As you plan for next year, we encourage you to send your new teachers AND mentor teachers/TfT Lead Teacher to these days. A few reflections from participants:

  • TfT invites me to think deeper and wider in my understanding of God and His story.
  • TfT invites me to actively participate in God’s great work!
  • TfT invites me to look beyond the curriculum, towards God's calling on my student's lives.
  • TfT nurtures me to be intentional and authentic in bringing God into the classroom.
  • TfT nurtures me to take ownership of God's story in education so that it oozes into every crevice of my teaching.
  • TfT nurtures me to grow in my own faith and to see my role in sharing God’s story.
  • TfT nurtures me to ask questions, collaborate and act on ideas "within" a safe community of like-minded people.
  • TfT empowers me to make student learning engaging and authentic.
  • TfT empowers me to be a living model.
  • TfT empowers me to keep learning and growing in my relationship with God.

Essential Survey

In our recently developed Playbook, we articulated that our goal is to be our schools’ Essential Partner in Christian Education. In order to establish a baseline of our current level of “essential” we have created a survey for our members to complete. We anticipate using the same basic questions on a regular basis to determine our progress toward our goal.

The survey should take less than 15 minutes for individuals to complete. Depending on the depth of conversation, it may take longer for groups to complete.

We encourage schools to take a few minutes at a staff meeting for teachers to complete the survey. We really want to hear the teacher voice, and feel this is the most efficient way to gather the most responses.

Teachers: Please complete the survey individually. Your school data will be aggregated. We would appreciate it if you could complete the SURVEY by the middle of June. 

Leaders/Administrators: Please discuss the questions with your leadership team and submit one completed survey. We would appreciate it if you could complete the SURVEY by the middle of June. 

Board Members: Please discuss the questions with your Board and submit one completed survey. We would appreciate it if you could complete the SURVEY by the middle of June, but understand that your meeting schedule may not allow for this. If you don’t have time to complete it this spring, we will send you a reminder in the fall. 


PCCE Teachers’ Convention

See you on October 24-25 at Northeast Edmonton Christian School. 
Our keynote speaker is Brad Griffin from The Fuller Youth Institute.

Summer Professional Development

An immersive experience that will engage you in the journey of reconciliation, offered by our Christian School colleagues in BC from July 22-28. MORE INFORMATION
If you are interested in attending, let our office know and we may be able to subsidize your registration cost.

Christian Deeper Learning Conference

Next year’s conference will be held in Denver from February 26-28. David Smith will be the keynote speaker.
Pick up (and read) the book. 


In this VIDEO Norway’s approach to education in general and athletics in particular is worth learning about.

This quick VIDEO that describes the difference between cooperation & collaboration. The ideas are applicable to both your classroom and your work with colleagues.

LA teachers are always looking for writing prompts, so here you can DOWNLOAD 100+ prompts for middle school (and a couple of grades on either side).


Spring Retreat

Looking forward to seeing many of you tomorrow at our Spring Leadership Cohort retreat. Dr. Rod Wilson has some wonderful plans in place to encourage us to look deeply at our leadership journey.

For many of our schools, being able to offer a variety of courses is challenging when personnel and resources are not available. Read this STORY about how one school creatively addressed their situation.
Perhaps PCCE schools could arrange something similar!

A Thought-Provoking Read

One of our major responsibilities as school-based leaders is facilitating teacher growth, and supervising & formally evaluating their work. This ARTICLE on what the authors call the Feedback Fallacy pushes beyond current practice and gives some practical suggestions for how to do better.  Consider discussing the article with your admin team:

  • Tell of a time when you received feedback that “shut you down.”
  • Share stories of times when you received coaching or feedback that was helpful in your growth.
  • Talk about the implications of this article for your school’s Teacher Growth, Supervision and Evaluation Policy. What should you stop doing? What should you continue doing? What should you start doing?

High School Redesign

All across our continent, high school leaders are thinking about how best to design schools to best meet the needs of their learners. This ARTICLE has lots of links to schools that are doing interesting things. Our PCCE schools have the responsibility of thinking about high schools not just in terms of meeting the needs of our learners, but within the context of achieving our vision & mission.
   With those “glasses” in mind, you may be challenged and inspired by some of these articles.

School Boards


With new board members joining, it is good to engage in some conversation and learning related to your work as a Board. PCCE offers Board Governance workshops to guide you through this process. CONTACT us for more information

Christian Stewardship Services

Through your PCCE membership, your school is also part of CSS. Here’s their latest NEWSLETTER that outlines some of their services.

Effective Committees

This RESOURCE provides some excellent information on the roles and effective functioning of committees.


Find some good strategies for effective communicating your school’s story HERE.



Have a read through this ARTICLE about a FLEx at Gateway Christian School that took them to Dominican Republic.

A group of Medicine Hat CS students traveled to Ottawa to participate in the Youth Call 2 Prayer event. Check out their TWEETS!

Important Dates

October 24-25

PCCE Teachers’ Convention Edmonton

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