Collaborative Model Track

2024 Event

Collaborative Model Schools

2024 Workshops

Collaboration Without Consternation – Mandi Gerth


The collaborative model teacher is doing the work of two. She is teaching a classroom of students and she is managing relationships with parents—often times teaching them as well. This workload can be overwhelming and discouraging. While teaching is a calling and we labor because we love, the collaborative model teacher must set boundaries around her time and her mental exertion. She cannot give to students and parents what she does not have. In this workshop, we will look at ways collaborative model teachers can manage time, expectations, and communication so that they can continue to grow and serve.

Twenty Years in a Collaborative School: Lessons Along the Way – Jean Auxier


From day one to day 3200, twenty years in a classical, collaborative school have made for an incredible journey! Join me as I trace the most pressing matters of those early and middle years, which included our need to define classical, parent burn-out and homework loads, clarifying curriculum, building community, and training teachers. Then, we’ll reflect on the challenges of the most recent years: the GroupMe culture, facing facts, and cultivating student loves. Join me for a practical, honest ac- count of mountains and valleys traversed in this unique model.

Ascending Shadows: Shedding Light on Our Curricular Choices – Jean Auxier


Using Plato’s allegory of the cave as a beautiful metaphor for classical education, we will be challenged as educators to “ascend the shadows” of curricular and pedagogical choices. Are we simply “naming shadows” by focusing on memorization and rapid recall? Are we leading students upward and past the shadows in pursuit of knowledge, virtue, and wisdom? This workshop is intended for all grade levels and may be particularly helpful for collaborative schools who share instructional responsibilities.

Understanding the Home Day: Help for the Collaborative Model Teacher – Mandi Gerth


In order for the collaborative teacher to succeed, she must be sensitive to the workload appropriate for the home day component. While many parents have chosen the collaborative model because they are intentional about classical education, many have not. The collaborative teacher labors to educate not just her students, but the parents of her students. In this seminar we will discuss how to approach your curriculum from a home day / class day perspective while looking carefully at ways to bring parents along in their knowledge of and love for classical education.

Mandi Gerth serves alongside a dedicated team of classical educators at a collaborative model school in Fort Worth, Texas, where she currently teaches upper school humanities. She holds a master of humanities degree from the University of Dallas with a concentration in classical education. Her work has appeared in The Classical Difference magazine and on the CiRCE Institute and Theopolis blogs. She and her husband have labored for over twenty years to build a family culture for their five children that values books, baseball, museums, home-cooked meals, and conversation about ideas.

Jean Auxier is the Dean of Faculty and Curriculum at Faith Christian Academy (Kansas City, Missouri), where she has served for twenty years and currently oversees forty- three faculty members. Her teaching experience at FCA includes 7th grade humanities (currently), 3rd grade, and KG. Her passion is to rightly and deeply understand classical education and help others do the same. In 2022, Jean received the Herzog Foundation Teacher of Year Award.