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by April Bayer


Concordia hosted the annual Caleb and Joshua education workshops on Sept. 17-18 and Sept. 24-25.  The conferences are attended by undergraduates preparing to begin their first semester of student teaching and prepare students for a variety of exciting and challenging experiences that stepping in front of a classroom may bring.  

Concordia’s annual Caleb and Joshua workshops were started by Professor of Education and Psychology Dr. Russell Moulds several decades ago.

Professor Beth Pester, director of middle level education and student teaching I, now schedules and oversees the conferences each semester.

The workshops get their names from the account in Numbers 13 of the twelve spies sent by Moses into the land of Canaan. Caleb and Joshua were the only two of the twelve spies that trusted God to give the Israelites the strength to overcome the “giants” of Canaan and obtain the great blessings the land offered. Thus, the conferences prepare students to face the “giants” of teaching, such as classroom management, potential school crises, building relationships with parents, developing strong curriculum and maintaining mental health and wellness.

“[As] Joshua and Caleb said, ‘There are giants and this is scary’, but God has called us to be teachers,” said Pester.  “He is going to equip us and prepare us to be successful in our vocations.”

The Caleb workshops on Sept. 17 and 18 brought to campus a team of educators from Orange Lutheran School in Orange County, California. This team focused on issues and topics related to secondary and K-12 education.

The following week on Sept. 24 and 25, a group of teachers from Christ Community Lutheran School in Kirkwood, Missouri, travelled to Seward to lead the Joshua workshops. This team gave attention to subjects affecting elementary, middle and special education.

This semester’s conferences included brainstorming and role playing exercises, personality tests and panels on classroom management. The panel topics ranged from everyday teaching responsibilities like homework and parent-teacher conferences to more serious concerns such as grief in the classroom.

“[The Joshua workshop] was worthwhile,” said senior Rebekah Grass. “It was awesome how [the educators] shared their faith and many different experiences to give us tools to put in our teaching toolboxes.”

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