General Session with John Hunter

This general session opened with cute elementary students from the St. Thomas School singing.

I appreciated Marcia Prewitt Spiller thanking the teachers who have joined us today. As she put it, “without you, then what?!?!” I also love the quote Pat Bassett shared with us regarding teachers. “Parents don’t really appreciate a teacher until it rains all weekend.” As a parent of three myself, this statement is so true!

Pat provided us with plenty of information on the transformation of NAIS over the past fifty years. He also went on to give  the four I’s and the six C’s. He discussed the big shifts in schools we will see in the coming years. Since I’m not great at typing and listening, all I can hope is that NAIS will provide Pat’s PowerPoint slides online for easy accessibility to this information. It’s definitely worth taking a look at it.

Finally, we get to hear from a school teacher, John Hunter. He referred to the lineage of magical teachers that he has experienced in his lifetime that made him the teacher he is today. Within five minutes of him talking, you can tell he is a magical teacher himself.

John spoke of the game he invented called, World Peace, a political science simulation game designed for fourth graders. As I watched him teach us about his game, I couldn’t help but think about my own son. Oh how I wish my boy could experience such a talented, magical black male teacher in his youth, in his lifetime!

In watching the short video of the game in action in John’s classroom, you feel the care and concern he has for each of his students. If only every teacher in this exhibit hall walks away and internalizes John’s belief that good teaching is based on relationships. The best learning happens when a teacher touches students’ hearts, not only their minds. I found John truly inspiring. Thank you NAIS for allowing us to hear from this magical teacher!

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