ACSI: Moving Forward with Lynn Swaner
Moving Forward Flourishing Series: Questioning

Moving Forward Flourishing Series: Questioning

September 22, 2022

About Today’s Show

Today’s podcast features Justin Smith, Head of the Upper School and Vice President of Little Rock Christian Academy. Justin talks with Lynn Swaner about the Flourishing Schools construct of Questioning, where “students have doubts about their faith, lack time to pray or study the Bible, and feel that most Christians are too judgmental.” Justin share how questions can actually be harnessed in the classroom as tools for both spiritual formation and academic learning.

To go further in learning about this construct, check out these resources:

 

To learn more about Flourishing Schools Research, check out the Flourishing Together book by Lynn Swaner and Andy Wolfe (Eerdmans 2021) and this video overview of the research. You can also find out about the related institute for leaders and instrument for schools here

 

About the Guest

 

Dr. Justin A. Smith currently serves as Head of Upper School and Vice President at Little Rock Christian Academy. A graduate of the University of San Diego, Dr. Smith earned his doctorate in Educational Leadership from Sam Houston State. He has led well in administration, teaching, and coaching. With a number of published articles and peer-reviewed presentations on record, he also received such honors as the Excellence in Superintendency Program Award from Sam Houston State University and recognition as The Woodlands Preparatory School's Most Inspirational Educator. Additionally, Justin serves on the board of an independent boarding school outside of Philadelphia. Prior to leading at Little Rock Christian Academy, he served as Head of Middle School at Second Baptist School in Houston, Texas.

 

About the Host

 

Dr. Lynn E. Swaner is the Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at ACSI, where she leads initiatives and develops strategies to address compelling questions and challenges facing Christian education. Dr. Swaner serves as a Cardus Senior Fellow and is the co-author or editor of multiple books on Christian education, including Flourishing Together: A Christian Vision for Students, Educators, and Schools and MindShift: Catalyzing Change in Christian Education. Prior to joining ACSI, she served as a professor of education and a Christian school administrator in New York.

 

Moving Forward Flourishing Series: Mentoring Students

Moving Forward Flourishing Series: Mentoring Students

September 1, 2022

About Today’s Show

Today’s podcast features Tyler Amidon, Director of Student Life and Middle School at Denver Christian School. Tyler talks with Lynn Swaner about the Flourishing Schools construct of Mentoring Students, where “staff point out talent in each student, help students see how they fit in God’s bigger plan, and are aware of students’ struggles at school or home.” Tyler shares foundational approaches for mentoring and how Christian school leaders, teachers, coaches, and staff can build life-on-life, eternally impactful relationships with students.

To go further in learning about this construct, check out Tyler Amidon’s website which features a podcast, blog, and other resources. To learn more about Flourishing Schools Research, check out the Flourishing Together book by Lynn Swaner and Andy Wolfe (Eerdmans 2021) and this video overview of the research. You can also find out about the related institute for leaders and instrument for schools here

Moving Forward Flourishing Series: Stress

Moving Forward Flourishing Series: Stress

August 1, 2022

Today’s podcast features Ginger Hill, Founder of Good Health for Good Works. Ginger talks with Lynn Swaner about the Flourishing Schools construct of Stress, where “constant feelings of stress and being overwhelmed accompany a lack of time to prepare for instruction (Teachers) or to focus on physical health (Leaders).” Ginger shares practical strategy for staff and schoolwide well-being during this time of increased stress and burnout in education. 

To go further in learning about this construct, check out these resources:

To learn more about Flourishing Schools Research, check out the Flourishing Together book by Lynn Swaner and Andy Wolfe (Eerdmans 2021) and this video overview of the research. You can also find out about the related institute for leaders and instrument for schools here

Moving Forward Flourishing Series: Qualified Staff

Moving Forward Flourishing Series: Qualified Staff

June 28, 2022

Today’s podcast features Darren Iselin, Director of Research and Innovation with Christian Schools Australia (CSA). Darren talks with Lynn Swaner about the Flourishing Schools construct of Qualified Staff, where “new teacher hires are credentialed (educationally and licensed/certified) and have classroom experience,” and which emerged as a strength for CSA schools through the Australia pilot of the Flourishing School Culture Instrument (FSCI). Darren unpacks a number of reasons for this, including partnerships with higher education institutions and in-school training opportunities for pre-service teachers, and concludes with encouragement for Christian schools to invest in the professional qualifications of teachers.

To learn more about Flourishing Schools Research, check out the Flourishing Together book by Lynn Swaner and Andy Wolfe (Eerdmans 2021) and this video overview of the research. You can also find out about the related institute for leaders and instruments for schools here

Moving Forward Flourishing Series: Resilience

Moving Forward Flourishing Series: Resilience

May 31, 2022

Today’s podcast features Dave Hill, Founder of HeartSmart. Dave talks with Lynn Swaner about the Flourishing Schools construct of Resilience, where “students handle stress effectively and respond well to/bounce back from difficult situations.” Dave shares insights about developing resilience, character development, and social emotional learning (SEL) in schools.

To go further in learning about this construct, check out these resources:

 

To learn more about Flourishing Schools Research, check out the Flourishing Together book by Lynn Swaner and Andy Wolfe (Eerdmans 2021) and this video overview of the research. You can also find out about the related institute for leaders and instrument for schools here

Moving Forward Flourishing Series: Culture of Improvement

Moving Forward Flourishing Series: Culture of Improvement

April 25, 2022

Today’s podcast features Heather Lee, Assistant Superintendent at Fredericksburg Christian School in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Heather talks with Lynn Swaner about the Flourishing Schools construct of Culture of Improvement, where “guided by school leadership and focused on the future, the school is continually improving/makes necessary changes to improve.”

Moving Forward Flourishing Series: Community Engagement with Joel Gaines

Moving Forward Flourishing Series: Community Engagement with Joel Gaines

April 1, 2022

Today’s podcast features Joel Gaines, Head of School at The City School in Philadelphia. Joel talks with Lynn Swaner about the Flourishing Schools construct of Community Engagement, where “the school engages with the surrounding community and local churches, and regularly taps into community resources, including networking and resource- sharing with other schools.” Joel shares insights on how schools can be a light and a bringer of shalom to their communities and neighborhoods.

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How to Support Women’s Leadership in Christian Schools

How to Support Women’s Leadership in Christian Schools

November 11, 2020

This month’s podcast features Becki Rust, ACSI Thought Leadership Project Coordinator, who interviews Dr. Maria Varlet, Head of Research and Innovation at Crest Education in Melbourne, Australia, about the importance of women's leadership in Christian education. They discuss ways to develop women’s leadership through mentoring, building a leadership network, and taking a strengths-based approach, as well as Maria's recent blog post for the new Women Leaders for Christian Education blog.

Returning to School with a Trauma-Informed Perspective

Returning to School with a Trauma-Informed Perspective

August 14, 2020

This month’s podcast features Betsy Winkle, Director of Evaluation Services at All Belong. Guest host Dr. Charlotte Marshall Powell speaks with Betsy about ways that trauma-informed perspectives can help both students and teachers adjust back to school life during COVID-19. This podcast provides a helpful follow up to Betsy’s earlier blog post on the same topic of trauma-informed instruction for students and support for educators.

School Mergers and Collaborative Christian Education

School Mergers and Collaborative Christian Education

April 30, 2020

This podcast features Phil Puleo, Superintendent of the Christian School Association of Greater Harrisburg (CSAGH), an organization that oversees both Harrisburg Christian School (HCS) and West Shore Christian Academy (WSCA) in the Pennsylvania capital.  I talk with Phil about the process of bringing these two schools together, the promise that mergers and acquisitions have for Christian school sustainability, and lessons he’s learned about collaboration that apply to the COVID-19 crisis.

 

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