We here at Curriculum Trak are excited to announce a new initiative we have been working on for the past several months – virtual workshops. Since 2003, we have been honored to play a supporting role in the curriculum planning and instructional efforts of faith-based schools. More recently, we have been excited to see the network of curriculum mapping schools growing stronger than ever before. Most of the schools we serve are reporting unseen enrollment booms due, in part, to your passionate response to recent cultural and societal realities. Many schools are serving parents who are engaged like never before, asking questions and expecting that the outcomes they were promised will be achieved in the minds and hearts of their students. Many teachers are stepping into the faith-based classroom for the first time. Overall, faith-based education is embracing an opportunity like never before. We want to continue supporting your efforts to keep advancing the cause and encouraging the educators who stand before students on a daily basis. To that end, we are happy to announce the 2022-2023 Virtual Workshop series.

The Curriculum Trak Virtual Workshops are designed to be an additional opportunity, outside of those events you have already planned to support professional development at your school, to think about topics relevant to the Christian school. These workshops are designed to connect faith-based educators with thought leaders in our industry while also providing opportunities to meet, collaborate, and discuss important topics with others. So, each of our 90-minute workshops – we have one scheduled each month between October and April – will feature a keynote speaker who will present on a topic they have researched, written about, and support in various ways. That presentation will incorporate small group discussion opportunities allowing each attendee to interact with a subset of the attendees joining us from any location in the world. These events are open to any educator, whether they are using Curriculum Trak or not.

Why Virtual?
After the past few years, we know that many educators would rather collaborate in a face-to-face setting these days. We are all gravitating toward more personal gatherings these days. But, we also recognize that the remote tools we all have had a chance to practice with over the past few years provide opportunities that just cannot be enjoyed in other contexts. The smaller, independent schools we most often interact with do not always have the resources or opportunities to drop what they are doing and collaborate with other schools. Neither can they always invite speakers in as frequently as they might like. Web-conferencing tools are still valuable for shortening the distance, maximizing the time, and providing access to people in places that are not as close as we might like. So, we are leveraging that idea to simply provide opportunities that you may not otherwise have available to you. That said, we do not see our virtual workshop series taking the place of any of the great (hopefully, face-to-face) opportunities you have arranged. We see these as a supplement to those.

Why Workshops?
The webinar model seems to be very common these days (even as we seek out more opportunities for face-to-face gatherings). The problem with webinars is that your presence is often optional. The show will go on whether you participate or not. Many webinar attendees report playing the webinar in the background as they go about their other activities. As educators, we all know that those kinds of “learning experiences” often aren’t much of an experience and very little learning actually takes place. We here at Curriculum Trak also believe that your thoughts, ideas, and questions are not optional! Your experiences, your struggles, and your victories can provide valuable insights, encouragement, and ideas to others. In the spirit of true collaboration and networking, we are organizing these events so that your input and participation will be just as important as the keynote speaker’s. We want to hear from you! To that end, we are limiting seats, requiring a small registration fee, and asking that all attendees do their best to be fully present and available to participate.

Why These Topics?
When we first began exploring this initiative, we decided to focus on topics that were central to the mission of the faith-based school. Your school, like many others, is at what seems to be a pivotal point in the faith-based educational movement. Parents are engaged like never before – seeking alternatives, asking questions, and demanding more assurances around the promised outcomes of the school to which they entrust their children. We have seen faith-based schools truly shine during this time, and we hope to infuse information into your continued efforts that will equip teachers, whether they are veterans or they are experiencing this mode of education for the first time. We hope these workshops will fill in some gaps, add some additional layers, or maybe even spark thoughts that you hadn’t yet had the opportunity to consider, empowering your school to be all that you have promised to your communities. We have reached out to influential thought leaders, and the topics we have planned have come highly recommended. (Actually, we already have a growing list of speakers and topics we are beginning to organize for next year, and we would gladly receive your recommendations as well.)

Who Can Attend?
These workshops are open to anyone who registers. As you will see by the overview of topics, many will come from a specific faith-based perspective. That is because we are seeking to serve the broadest swatch of our current base, but we are also interested in expanding that community beyond just those schools who use Curriculum Trak. Thus, these sessions will not necessarily focus on anything related to the Curriculum Trak platform.

How Do I Participate?
You simply need to register for the event(s) you would like to participate in. You will find a registration button below the description of each event. Payment is required at the time of registration. Reminders will be generated as the event gets closer. When your event begins, come prepared to soak in information and share your perspective in an encouraging way.

Be sure to join us and we hope you’ll encourage others to join us as well!