One day that inspires all year

Pre-conference workshops and gatherings provide teachers, school leaders, and administrative staff with targeted topics to help them as they work in schools day-to-day. Just as importantly, these gatherings bring like-minded people together for fellowship and prayer.

  • Leader’s Day and Practicums are held the day before the official opening of the conference: June 19, 2024.
  • Many attendees note that these targeted workshops and meetings provide not only practical information, but a helpful extra day to get settled in before the main conference begins.

Leader’s Day

Wednesday, June 19, 2024, 8AM – 5PM

Welcome to Leader’s Day 2024

Meet with experienced leaders who can encourage and assist as you guide our movement forward. Come together to advise and pray for one another.

Teaching Lab: The Art of Teaching in Practice

Wednesday, June 19, 2024, 9AM – 4PM

This practicum is back by popular demand. Seats are limited.

What’s the difference between a great lesson and a middling lesson? How do we offer teachers the kind of feedback that encourages excellence in our classrooms?

Participants in this practicum will learn what to look for in a lesson, and how to offer feedback on what they see. They will develop an eye for distinguishing effective lessons from ineffective ones, and they will build a vocabulary that helps them articulate this difference to their colleagues.  This practicum is for administrators who are responsible for assessing the quality of classroom instruction. It is also for teachers who want to hone their craft. All participants will come away with practical tips about how they might implement teaching lab exercises in their own schools.

Our experienced facilitators have assessed classroom lessons in dozens of ACCS schools around the country. They will lead you through the process of classroom observations and help you deliver effective feedback.

CHRISTOPHER SCHLECT, PhD, has worked in classical and Christian education for over thirty years. At his home institution, New Saint Andrews College, Chris is Head of Humanities and Director of the Classical and Christian Studies graduate program. He also teaches courses in history, education, and classical rhetoric. Read More.

BRYAN LYNCH is Academic Dean at Veritas School, a pre K–12 classical and Christian school in Newberg, Oregon. Bryan was a founding board member of Veritas, served as Headmaster there for 20 years, and has 40 years of experience in private and public education. Read More.

Teaching Literature

Wednesday, June 19, 2024, 9AM – 4PM

Audience: Upper school teachers or anyone interested in this topic.

Description: A demonstration of how to lead high school students through lessons from five different classic texts.

Young teachers have a tendency of over-preparing for literature classes, depending too much on their lesson plans, and then becoming disoriented when the conversations they intended on having don’t pan out (either because students can’t answer their questions or give overly simplistic answers that don’t lead to anything interesting or disputable).

For the last fifteen years, nearly all of my literature classes have proceeded along a very simple lesson plan: read and discuss. I read our texts out loud in class and occasionally pause to ask questions, make observations, paraphrase unusual expressions, or offer stories to illustrate confrontational claims made by the author. Granted, this sounds quite simple, but it’s one thing to describe it and another thing to see it done.

JOSHUA GIBBS has nineteen years of experience teaching classic literature in Christian schools. He is also a lecturer on pedagogy and great books and the author of How To Be Unlucky, Something They Will Not Forget, The 25th, Love What Lasts, and pamphlets that include “A Short Introduction to Classical Christian Education.” Joshua has also been a long-time contributor to the CiRCE Institute blog and the creator of the Proverbial podcast. He is also an Alcuin fellow and a member of the Templeton Honors College advisory board and—beginning summer 2024—the co-founder of The Classical Teaching Institute at The Ambrose School.

Joshua is married to Paula and they have two daughters, each of whom has seven names. You can learn more about his work at GibbsClassical.com.

Speaking Latin: For Beginning and Experienced Teachers

Wednesday, June 19, 2024, 9AM – 4PM

The Institute for Classical Languages (ICL) exists for one purpose: to help teachers and schools teach Classical Languages with greater success. The ICL Latin Practicum is designed for teachers and administrators at every level of skill in Latin. We do this by organizing participants into multiple skill-based tables, so every participant will be with those of similar skill and working on exercises that match their own skill level. No matter their skill level coming in, all participants will learn or practice powerful techniques useful for teaching Latin in their own schools.

This year’s practicum will focus specifically on techniques for teaching students to speak Latin aloud. Ideally, language education includes exercises in all four pathways: speaking, hearing, reading, and writing. While having students speak Latin is extremely powerful in the classroom, it is also daunting for teachers.

Each session is focused on a topic or technique useful for getting students to speak Latin, then participants work at their table with skill-level peers on skill-appropriate exercises related to the topic or technique. Participants at advanced tables will complete exercises while using advanced Latin, while others will use simpler and more basic forms.

TIM GRIFFITH is a Senior Fellow of Classical Languages at New Saint Andrews College, chairman of the Institute for Classical Languages, and director of the Universal Latin Exam. He has spent the last 17 years improving methods for teaching ancient languages in a modern context. Most recently he has developed Picta Dicta (www.pictadicta.com), an online learning platform specifically designed to assist parents and teachers with teaching ancient languages.

From Past Attendees …

So much wisdom and hard work done by others is presented to us in a nutshell.

It is nice to know we are not the only ones experiencing a certain issue. I appreciate receiving wise counsel from others!

I love to hear the wisdom of those who have gone before us in the movement.

I loved that this offered practical advice for grammar school teachers. It’s a great conference for someone just starting in classical education and someone who is looking to improve upon their teaching.

The vision casting brings unity to each school and to the ACCS body. It is a balanced mix of vision and practical.