Edvance Annual Gathering 2024

The Edvance Annual Gathering brings together over 1,300 Christian educators, leaders, and staff every October for inspiration, professional development, and connection with your colleagues in Christian education.

Plan to join us at Redeemer University on Thursday, October 24 for a full day of keynotes, breakouts, and networking with your peers, as well as on Friday, October 25 for all-day specialist conference workshops on a variety of topics.

Scroll down for all the details!

Thursday, October 24, 2024

Pursuing Joy

“I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil. 1:4-6

Despite being imprisoned at the time of writing his letter to the Philippians, Paul is filled with joy. He uses the words “joy” or “rejoice” 14 times in this brief letter. His joy is rooted in the beautiful work he sees Jesus doing in the lives of the Philippians and in his own life through the gospel. In Paul’s words, we can remain confident and joyful because we trust that Jesus will complete the good work he has begun in us. We are works in progress.

Our 2024 Annual Gathering keynote speaker, Dr. Jon Eckert, echoes this sentiment, suggesting that our school communities can also be characterized by joy. Jon, author of Just Teaching: Feedback, Engagement, and Well-being for Each Student, emphasizes that education is the profession that makes all other professions possible. By partnering with Christ, we contribute to the good work he is doing in each of his children. Jon will guide us in exploring how we can do this through a focus on feedback, engagement, and well-being.

Last year at the Annual Gathering about Beautiful Work, we explored the “products” we help students to create. This year, we’ll delve into the “process”, emphasizing well-being, engagement, and feedback as the means to pursue joy in the process of learning. Join us at the 2024 Annual Gathering as we pursue joy together!

Keynote
(All Streams)

Pursuing Joy in Just Teaching: Feedback, Engagement, and Well-being for Each Student

As educators and school leaders, we serve in a profession that makes all others possible. We’re not “just teaching” - we get to do meaningful work every day that leads to just, thriving schools! Our work can be deeply joyful when we address feedback, engagement, and well-being (FEW) not for some students, or even all students, but for each student. Joy should be a hallmark of our work as we walk alongside students and colleagues and help them become all they were created to be as we become more like Christ in community.

Across two keynote sessions, we will begin with an overarching framework that strips away all that distracts us from the work we have been called to do. We will then explore how to expand and build networks with other educators who are doing this good work. The keynote sessions will feature interactive experiences that harness the collective expertise of everyone in the room. You’ll leave with both inspiration and practical insights that you will be able to apply immediately in your work.

Keynote Speaker: Jon Eckert

Jon Eckert, Ed.D., is a Professor of Educational Leadership at Baylor University and holds the Lynda and Robert Copple Endowed Chair for Christians in School Leadership. He leads the Baylor Center for School Leadership and is the Program Director of Baylor’s MA in School Leadership.

Jon has over two decades of experience in education. He previously served as a Teaching Ambassador Fellow at the U.S. Department of Education, where he worked in both the Bush and Obama administrations on teaching quality issues. He is the author of books including Just Teaching: Feedback, Engagement, and Well-being for Each Student (2023), Leading Together: Teachers and Principals Improving Student Outcomes (2018), and The Novice Advantage: Fearless Practice for Every Teacher (2016). He has written and presented white papers on Capitol Hill and at the National Press Club and has been invited to present across the U.S., Australia, and Canada, at Windsor Castle, and in Muscat, Oman at a G8-Broader Middle East Summit for education ministers.

Leaders' Plenary
(Purple)

Experience The Joy of Missing Out

Discover the meaning and value of the Joy of Missing Out: increasing intentionality and cultivating joy by missing out on the right things, helping us see how we can find presence and peace in the midst of our always-on world. In this plenary session for school leaders, Christina Crook will outline the personal and professional costs of FOMO, the elements of lasting and meaningful joy, and the life-giving, scientifically-proven power of warm human relationships. She’ll present the evidence-based realities of how toxic hustle, digital isolation, and faulty goal-setting lead to declines in well-being and engagement and how to get them back.

Leaders' Plenary Speaker: Christina Crook

Christina Crook is a pioneer and leading voice in digital well-being. The award-winning author of The Joy of Missing Out: Finding Balance in a Wired World, harbinger of the global #JOMO movement, and Good Burdens: How to Live Joyfully in a Digital Age, Christina now leads JOMO(campus), a digital wellness company serving college and high school students across North America. Christina is a Certified Digital Wellness Educator and sits on the board of Second Nature Journal, the publication of the International Institute of the Study of Technology and Christianity, and is a member of the International Society for Technology in Education, the Media Ecology Association, NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education,) and the Writers’ Union of Canada.

Agenda for Thursday

Once again this year, attendees will follow a dual-schedule model that offers the full Annual Gathering experience at Redeemer, while adjusting for capacity constraints.

You will follow either the BLUE, GREEN, or PURPLE schedule, which are explained in more detail below. You'll spend half of the day with your peers in a PSN session and then a breakout session of your choice, and the other half attending worship and keynote sessions.

Please carefully read the section below that best fits your role. *NOTE: some groups are in a different stream than 2023.

BLUE SCHEDULE

You will begin the day in the Redeemer auditorium for worship and two keynotes led by Jon Eckert.

You’ll join the full group for boxed lunch, which can be enjoyed anywhere on campus.

In the afternoon, you’ll meet with your Peer Support Network group, then you can choose a breakout session led by experts on a wide variety of topics.

GREEN SCHEDULE

You will start your day with your peer support network (PSN) in a breakout classroom at Redeemer, then for the second timeslot you can choose from a list of breakout sessions led by experts on a wide variety of topics.

You’ll join the full group for boxed lunch, which can be enjoyed anywhere on campus.

In the afternoon, you’ll head to the Redeemer auditorium for worship and two keynotes led by Jon Eckert.

PURPLE SCHEDULE

You'll start your day at Meadowlands CRC (behind Redeemer) for worship and a plenary session led by Christina Crook. Then you'll have the opportunity to participate in a breakout session focused on your specific role.

At noon, you'll head to Redeemer where you’ll join the full group for boxed lunch.

In the afternoon, you’ll be in the Redeemer auditorium for worship and two keynotes led by Jon Eckert.

See all the BLUE
Breakout Sessions

See all the GREEN
Breakout Sessions

See all the PURPLE Breakout Sessions

Do you have a passion for books? Attendees at the conference will be able to select two complimentary books courtesy of the Book Depot. We express our gratitude for their kind generosity and ongoing support of Christian educators!

Friday, October 25

Research reveals that the best professional learning opportunities are active, collaborative, role-specific, and build in time for ongoing support during implementation. With this aim, day two of the Edvance Annual Gathering provides interactive, role-specific, full-day workshops led by experts in a variety of topics.

Browse through the catalogue for the 2024 Specialist Conference offerings: 

VIEW THE FRIDAY SPECIALIST CONFERENCE LINEUP

Registration for the specialist conferences will be on a per person basis, and individuals will be invited to sign up when they confirm their registration details. If you'd like to register for Friday only, please contact us at events@edvance.ca.

Friday specialist conferences are IN PERSON ONLY. Registration includes: a full-day workshop from 9am - 2pm, morning refreshments, and lunch

Registration

Registration and pricing details will be announced in August 2024. School leaders will register on behalf of their school and indicate which staff are attending. Then individual staff members will be invited to select their breakout sessions to complete their registration.

We look forward to seeing you this October!