Hallway Conversations
Episode 081: An Advent Invitation

Episode 081: An Advent Invitation

December 7, 2022

Matt and Dave had a great time away in British Columbia recording our last episode with our friend Darren Spyksma, but it sure is good to be back with our normal trio–we definitely missed having Abby with us!

After a little good-natured joking around, we turn much more serious, thinking about the Advent season we are now in. All three of us love Advent! Matt brought along an Advent prayer that we used to open our conversation today. Dave recently shared an Advent story in his email newsletter, which became a big part of our conversation today. Dave shares some of that story here, and if you’re interested in reading more, you can read the full post–it is linked below. We hope this episode is a blessing for you, and encouragement to slow down as you move towards the manger this year.

  • Dave’s newsletter post, which is entitled “Advent is the Antidote” can be read in full here: https://drdave.substack.com/p/advent-is-the-antidote 
  • If you’re interested in subscribing to Dave’s newsletter, you can do that here: https://drdave.substack.com/ It is all about encouraging teachers to embrace positivity, rekindle their passion, and strive towards living out their purpose. It also includes a healthy dose of Dave’s playful approach towards his teaching practice. He would love it if you’d follow along.
Episode 080: A LIVE Episode from InspirED!

Episode 080: A LIVE Episode from InspirED!

November 23, 2022

Matt and Dave recently had the opportunity to travel to British Columbia for the InspirED Christian Educators’ Conference, and while we definitely missed Abby, we loved having the opportunity to record a live episode while we were there. Regular listeners will notice a dip in audio quality–hazards of recording a live episode in a large room! (Thanks for listening anyway; we think there will be a good bit of wondering and curiosity for anyone who listens in.)

Because we’re used to being a trio now, we asked our good friend, Darren Spyksma to join in the fun. Darren serves at the Society of Christian Schools British Columbia. Darren has a wonderful rhythm of tweeting out an “Ed-thought of the day”: something that will challenge and/or encourage reflection on the part of Christian educators. We tackled a couple of his prompts live to try our normal thinking-out-loud of our hallway conversations. We also took questions from the audience as prompts for our conversation. In this episode our conversation ranges from the difference between compliance and learning, the beauty of a well-placed semicolon, the faith-formation aspects embedded in the curriculum, how to manage the burden of the ALWAYS MORE nature of teaching, and what to do with “Indiana Jones” teachers. Something here for everyone! We hope you’ll enjoy this longer-than-normal episode with all the silliness and joy.

Episode 079: Why Do Kids (Dis)Like School?

Episode 079: Why Do Kids (Dis)Like School?

November 9, 2022

Matt kicks off our conversation this week by sharing about a book he is currently reading entitled Why Kids Love (and Hate) School. Reading this has prompted him to wonder about whether more kids love school or hate school–and it got us thinking about our own experiences as students and how that has shaped the way we all feel about school, even as teachers. We share our own stories from school, and think about what it is that we liked (and disliked) about school, and think through ideas of what schools can do to make them perhaps more hospitable spaces for all of our students. We would love to hear from you, dear listeners, about what kinds of things you are doing at your schools that are making a practical difference in helping kids to love school.

Bonus: More Thoughts on Teaching Bible with Gayle Doornbos

Bonus: More Thoughts on Teaching Bible with Gayle Doornbos

November 2, 2022

This week: a short bonus episode with more wisdom about teaching the Bible from our friend and colleague, Dr. Gayle Doornbos. After we “finished” recording our last episode, Dave left the mics on and kept recording. Gayle had more wise things to share about faith formation as part of a Bible class. We hope you’ll be encouraged, challenged, and blessed by what she has to say here!

  • A peek behind the scenes: this is almost always how we end our recording sessions--with Dave just leaving the mics on. Once in a while, we have a great moment that gets edited into the episode…but most of the time it’s ridiculous drivel. Maybe sometime we’ll have a whole bonus episode of our hijinks? (Probably not!)
Episode 078: Advice for Teaching the Bible - with Gayle Doornbos

Episode 078: Advice for Teaching the Bible - with Gayle Doornbos

October 26, 2022

This week, Abby was not able to join us for recording, and while we definitely missed her, we were grateful to have a good friend from the Theology Department join us, Dr. Gayle Doornbos, Associate Professor of Theology at Dordt University. Gayle teaches a course entitled “Teaching the Bible,” and knowing this, we invited her to join us for a conversation about teaching the Bible as an academic subject. As Matt and Dave both have had their own (mis)adventures in teaching Bible classes, we thought Gayle’s insight and experience would be worth sharing with our listeners, as we have learned a lot from her! Our conversation today covers a lot of ground–we discuss many parts of the joys and challenges of teaching Bible, from helping students develop a theological imagination, to the understanding the difference between knowing the facts of Bible stories with knowing the Big Story of Scripture, to the question of what should be included in the curriculum of biblical studies, to moralism in teaching the Bible, to whether “anyone can teach Bible” vs. whether we should have specially-trained Bible teachers in Christian schools. Gayle encourages us to think about studying the Bible as not just an academic exercise, but also as a formative experience for shaping students’ faith life–even though that is challenge! We hope that Gayle’s wise words will be an encouragement to anyone called to teach Bible in a Christian school setting.

Episode 077: Are the Kids All Right? Deep Hopes for Parent Teacher Conferences

Episode 077: Are the Kids All Right? Deep Hopes for Parent Teacher Conferences

October 12, 2022

Our question today came from our friend and colleague down the hall, Sheila. She shared with us that she had been listening to another podcast and it prompted a wondering from her: “The parents on the podcast said that it [the parent-teacher conference] was very academic and reporting of scores but they just wanted to know who their child was at school beyond the surface level–they talked about wanting to know the stories behind thee growth or the stories of growth in friendship or other skills. What’s the deep hope for parent-teacher conferences?” This prompted a lot of reflection for us on our experiences both as parents and as teachers about the role of parent-teacher conferences–the good, the bad, and the ugly. We hope this episode is an encouragement for parents and teachers alike!

Episode 076: Adventures in Reimagining Assessment

Episode 076: Adventures in Reimagining Assessment

September 28, 2022

Thank you, loyal listeners, for joining us each week! You may have noticed that there was no episode in the queue last week. Never fear; we have no intention of giving up on the podcast! But with some changes to responsibilities for two of us this year, we are having a harder and harder time getting all three of us into the studio together to record a weekly episode. So we are planning to shift to an every-other-week schedule for the foreseeable future. We hope you’ll continue to join us for each new episode when they drop. We love recording and sharing our conversations with you all, and if our schedules ever line up better again, perhaps we’ll go back to every week–who knows? :-)

This week’s episode came from a swirl of several convergent streams–a quote from a book about assessment that Abby read, a question from a listener (thanks, Jess!) about assessment practices prompted by something she read on the CACE blog, and challenges we have faced in our own practices regarding assessment. With this kind of confluence, we felt a tug to think together around the topic of assessment, and share some of our experiences and adventures in reimagining what assessment is, and what it is for, and how we try to assess our students’ learning. It’s a ranging, rambling conversation, but we hope you’ll be encouraged and inspired to think through your own assessment practices by listening in.

  • Here is the article from the CACE blog mentioned by our listener, Jess. We highly recommend you read it! Its title raises the key question it seeks to answer: “What If Assessment Was a Gift?” You can read it here: https://cace.org/what-if-assessment-was-a-gift/ 
  • In this episode, we also discuss an article by Elaine Brouwer entitled “Assessment For Learning: A Blessing for Our Students,” which is available in this issue of Christian Educators Journal: https://www.cejonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/47-2.pdf 
  • In the episode, Abby mentions an idea for engaging students in reflection even right before taking a test as a way of building community and reducing anxiety. The idea was in a video by math educator Howie Hua. You can view that video on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/howie_hua/status/1570194591227473921 
Episode 075: Uncomfortable Truths and Teacher Imagination

Episode 075: Uncomfortable Truths and Teacher Imagination

September 14, 2022

This week’s episode is inspired by a tweet from our friend, Darren Spyksma that has us thinking about things that are “uncomfortable truths” about education today…and things that we think really need to change about the way we do school. Through the conversation, we come to the idea that teachers and school leaders need to develop an imagination for what could be rather than just focusing on what is

  • If you are on Twitter, you should really follow Darren Spyksma! You will find him inspiring and encouraging…and challenging for developing your teacher imagination. You can find him at @DSpyksma
  • In this episode we referenced Kelly Kapic’s excellent book, You're Only Human: How Your Limits Reflect God's Design and Why That's Good News. You can order a copy from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Youre-Only-Human-Limits-Reflect/dp/1587435101/ 
Episode 074: A Conversation with Justin Bailey, part 2

Episode 074: A Conversation with Justin Bailey, part 2

September 7, 2022

This week, a continuation of our conversation with Dr. Justin Bailey about his new book, Interpreting Your World: Five Lenses for Engaging Theology and Culture. If you haven’t listened to our last episode yet, we would recommend starting there, because we’re going to be jumping into the middle of a conversation here.

While this isn’t a “teaching” book…it has plenty of wisdom for Christian educators, and lots of encouraging ideas for how to help children and young people make sense of the complex cultural setting we find ourselves living in. We hope you’ll find Justin’s wisdom on discerning issues of faith and culture both challenging and encouraging.

Interpreting Your World will be available soon, and we highly recommend it to you! You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.com/Interpreting-Your-World-Engaging-Theology/dp/1540965066/

Episode 073: A Conversation with Justin Bailey, part 1

Episode 073: A Conversation with Justin Bailey, part 1

August 31, 2022

It’s the beginning of the new academic year across North America, and we know that many of you listeners have already launched in, and some are very soon going to. We started classes this week too—lots of newness around! And…we are hoping to try a few new things this semester on the podcast as well. One new thing: we are hoping to regularly start sprinkling in interviews with people we would love for you to get to know. This episode is our first “interview” show. We started with our good friend and colleague, Dr. Justin Bailey.

Justin teaches in the Theology department at Dordt University, and he is one of the most popular professors on this campus—students love him! He recently wrote a new book entitled Interpreting Your World: Five Lenses for Engaging Theology and Culture. While it isn’t a “teaching” book…it has plenty of wisdom for Christian educators, and lots of encouraging ideas for thinking about how to help children and young people make sense of the complexity of the culture we find ourselves living in.

We enjoyed visiting with Justin so much, it was a long conversation! So we decided to split it into two episodes. The first half of the conversation is here for you, and we’ll have the second half coming out next week. We hope you’ll find Justin’s wisdom on discerning issues of faith and culture both challenging and encouraging.

Interpreting Your World will be available soon, and we highly recommend it to you! You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.com/Interpreting-Your-World-Engaging-Theology/dp/1540965066/

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App