Teachers Week

Near the heart of the mission of Faith Builders is our commitment to training teachers. Each year in August, Faith Builders hosts around 300 teachers and school staff at Teachers Week in Guys Mills, PA. Our goal is to provide resources to promote and sustain the vision for quality Christian education.

Teachers Week is packed with main sessions, workshops, and breakouts for new and experienced teachers. Evening activities enable attendees to share ideas with each other or enjoy reprieve from the content of the day.

Workshops and breakouts discuss teaching, history, science, math, literature, spelling, Bible, and more. Teachers Week is scheduled a week or more before school usually starts in the fall to give teachers a place to generate ideas, energy, and vision for the coming year. Attendees have found this event to be a focused week of practical content and ideas sharing built on a foundation of biblical teaching and refreshment.

Teachers Week 2024 is planned for July 30-August 2.

Called to Teach: Musings About My Journey
Looking Back: Reflections on 20th Century Mennonite Education
Today’s Challenge: Teaching Children in a Post-Modern World
What’s Ahead? And Now Abideth Faith, Hope, and Charity

Split sessions for newer teachers Chris Brode
Pillars in the School

  • Biblical Foundation
  • Spiritual Formation
  • Academic Excellence
  • Service and Mission

Split sessions for experienced teachers Arlyn Nisly
Rest: What Does God Really Want for Teachers?

  • Rest and the Character of God
  • Elijah and the Big B-word
  • In Repentance and Rest…Salvation??
  • Jesus and the Big A-word

New Teacher Orientation K-4 Becky Bollinger & Hilary Martin
Ready to teach? Effective teaching requires preparation and this workshop is intended to help prepare you for your first year in the classroom. It will include topics such as teaching methods, lesson planning/presentation, classroom management, and motivation as it pertains to grades K-4.

New Teacher Orientation, Grades 5-12 Kevin Groff
Ready to teach? Effective teaching requires preparation, and this workshop is intended to help prepare you for your first year in the classroom. It will include such topics as motivation, a typical lesson, and the learning process.

Public Speaking for Ladies Anita Yoder
If public speaking terrifies you, this workshop is for you. Learn simple tools to prepare and deliver any time you speak inside or outside your classroom. We might not be able to take all your butterflies away, but we’ll try to get them to listen to you! Limited to 20 participants.

Public Speaking for Men Jeremy Sauder
Although more prevalent than the fear of death or taxes, glossophobia can be managed or overcome!  Come to learn basic principles and practice public speaking with joy and confidence.  Limited to 20 participants.

Aquatic Life: What lives in the pond or puddle beside your school? Dana Atkinson
We will go outside and bring the outside in as we visit aquatic habitats like ponds or streams.  We will observe, inquire, collect, and get to know aquatic microorganisms, insects, and plants.  Participants in this hands-on experience will gain knowledge and skills to use aquatic life as a teaching tool to deepen core classroom learning. For any teachers whose students have access to aquatic habitats.

Stimulating Questions & Active Discussions Jonas Sauder
Stimulating questions lie at the heart of effective teaching:  Is a healthy tree over 50% dead?  Why does division by a fraction produce a larger number? Some questions generate active discussions: What is poverty? We’ll consider the role of questions and discussion as we participate in and lead some active discussions in this workshop.

I ❤️ Art! Deana Swanson
Teaching art can be challenging and daunting for those of us who are not great artists, yet art is super important for students’ brains and creativity.  It’s not that difficult to teach art if you have great ideas and enjoyable (not frustrating) projects. We will complete several projects in class; and ideas and resources for an entire year of art will be presented.  

For the Love of Elementary Music! Jeff Swanson
We plan to cover every aspect of K-6 music programs including music age appropriate music selecting, lesson planning, sight singing, ear training, voice training, school program planning and more!

Developing a Passion for Reading Myron Brubacher
For some students, reading is a thrilling opportunity. For others, it is a drudgery. Attendees will have opportunity to share in practical reading class discussions and to take part in hands-on reading activities. We will focus on creating a positive reading atmosphere in your elementary grade classroom by developing engaging reading classes, exciting read-aloud times, and a welcoming classroom environment.

K–4 Math Strategies for Struggling Students Ruth Anna Kuhns
This interactive workshop will explore a visual, hands-on approach for building number sense, measurement, and place value skills.  It is specifically intended for tutors and experienced elementary teachers.      

The Path from Idea to Written Word Regina Martin
Everyone has a message, but do they know how to express it in clear writing? We will explore steps to help your elementary level students develop confidence in expressing their ideas on paper. This foundation will be a tool to use for the rest of their lives.

First Aid, CPR and AED Certification Ryan Lehman and Bill Taylor
Would you like to have more confidence in dealing with the inevitable playground mishaps that you encounter as a teacher? This workshop will provide instruction and the examination to provide students with a First Aid certification to the American Heart Association Standard. There is an additional $20 cost for this workshop and the class is limited to 25 participants.

Teaching Reading with Joy and Rigor Anna Zehr
Elementary teachers teach reading all day long as they use texts from any subject to strengthen reading skills of comprehension and fluency. In this workshop, we’ll read from a variety of texts including The Family Under the Bridge as we implement various oral reading methods, design questions that enable class conversations around texts, and practice narration and activities that strengthen student absorption of content in any subject. Focused on Grades 3-6.

Healthy Bodies Enable Healthy Minds Kyle Lehman
In this work session we will learn how to design recess and Phys-ed activities that are both safe and healthy for developing bodies. We will also explore ideas for improving some of our common games, activities, and specific athletic skills. Finally, we will learn about the three main respiratory engines that run the body, implementing excellent running form, and enabling healthier students.  

  • Learning to Read I: Phonemic Awareness Jean Wagler
  • Organizing a Multi-Grade Classroom Andrea Webb
  • Finding Time for Writing Carol Burkholder
  • How Do Anabaptists Teach History? Peter Goertzen
  • Bible Memory Deana Swanson
  • Thinking Like Children to Teach Children Jeff Swanson
  • Building Community in the Faculty Justin Ebersole
  • Supporting a Teaching Husband Diana Sauder
  • How to Use Textbooks Piper Burdge
  • Engaging Students Through Lecture & Questions Norwood Shank
  • Life in the Soil Dana Atkinson
  • A Classroom Steeped in Poetry Marilyn Martin
  • The Value of Recess & Play Jeremy Sauder
  • and many more

FB Canada hosts Teachers Week Ontario the week after Faith Builders Teachers Week. For more information and registration, click here.

Midwest Teachers Week is offering its first teacher development event this year.  It will take place on July 30-August 2 in Fairland, OK.  For more information, go to mtwinfo.org.

Please note: Some iPhone users have had trouble accessing the registration link. If you cannot access the registration page, please try a different device or call us to register at (814) 789-4518.