As vaccination rates increase and many states reopen, people are hopeful about moving toward a new normal. The Atlantic Union Conference Office of Education chose “Fresh Beginning” as a fitting theme for the New Teacher Symposium, August 2-4. Forty-three new teachers attended the hybrid workshop held at the DoubleTree Hotel in Leominster, Massachusetts. The new teachers came from schools in the Greater New York, New York, Northeastern, Northern New England, and Southern New England conferences.
Education superintendents and/or their associates made presentations for the new teachers in their respective conferences. Most participants attended in person, but many participated virtually. The virtual platform also provided school principals and other teachers the opportunity to join in at various times. Teachers who attended the workshop in person followed various safety precautions such as signing in, temperature checks, wearing a mask, and seating two persons per table to maintain a safe physical distance.
“I was very pleased to see the new teachers of 2021 who were so committed to learning how to become excellent Adventist teachers,” said Jerrell Gilkeson, Atlantic Union Conference education director.
Atlantic Union Conference administrators: G. Earl Knight, president; Pierre Omeler, executive secretary; and Elias Zabala, Sr., treasurer, each took a day to bring official greetings. Cyril Millet, Bermuda Conference education superintendent; Eve Gilkeson, wife of Jerrell Gilkeson; and Miguel Crespo, New York Conference president, each had a day to present the morning worship. From there, the days were filled with relevant and significant seminars providing tools for their teaching journey, such as “The Joy of Teaching,” “Lesson Planning,” “Growing, Coaching, Mentoring,” “Technology That Keeps Us Turning,” and “Bloodborne Pathogens” to name a few.
“[The new teachers] were on task and on time. They asked excellent questions. They were eager to have resources and a mentor to help them be successful,” Gilkeson added. “Praise God for these teachers that set aside their quest for riches and fame to become ministers of education during a pandemic!”