The Lutheran Difference: LESA Co-Hosts 2020 “Virtual” LuthEdCampSTL

LuthEdCampSTL 2020: Teachers’ turn to learn virtually

At the end of each school year, LESA teachers typically have had the chance to close out the year with a professional development event, LuthEdCampSTL. They would gather for breakfast, have a devotion, brainstorm topics for discussion, then break out into 12 or so classrooms and, over three sessions, converse in small groups covering a plethora of education-related topics and celebrate the end of the year together.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, on May 28, 2020, the learning event continued in virtual format. Members of the planning team, comprised of teachers from LESA schools, LCMS School Ministry staff, and Laura Montgomery, LESA's Director of Educational Resources, thought it was still important to continue this year's LuthEdCampSTL and ventured to move the event online using Zoom.

The result was an amazing online learning event in which nearly 200 educators registered. The day was expanded to a full day with five themed sessions, each session hosting fourteen online discussion rooms, for a total of 70 sessions.

“It’s been a tough spring for our teachers and we wanted to support them by giving them a chance to reflect and discuss experiences from this school year, share best practices and resources, and be thinking ahead for next school year,” said Laura Montgomery, LESA's Director of Educational Resources

The spiritual component of the day was provided by a video devotion led by Rev. Will Hanke of Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church and members of the Missouri District Churchworker Care Team were also available to address spiritual/emotional needs of the participating educators.

Based on the early survey comments from attendees, it's clear that those efforts and the day's events were appreciated:

"Truly, thank you for an awesome Professional Development that left me feeling energized and encouraged!"

"I always look forward to LuthEdCamp as my favorite professional development each year, and this year was as amazing as ever!!!"

"The LuthEdCamp was extremely well done! Kudos to everyone involved as it shows how a really good electronic conference can be done."

On behalf of LESA and the LuthEdCampSTL team, thank you to all who attended. We hope to see you in person next year!

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