On November 9-11, The Heights Forum hosted its third sold-out conference of 2022. Following the success of the Teaching Vocation Conference last January and the Executive Conference on Mentoring this past May, the focus of this fall’s conference was the Art of Teaching. To borrow the words of one participant, who attended both the January and November conferences: the Teaching Vocation Conference taught why teaching is such a noble profession and the Art of Teaching Conference taught how to live out this vocation practically.
The Art of Teaching Conference provided the occasion for sixty-three teaching men to experience the culture of The Heights School. With participants hailing from as far east as Spain, as far west as California, as north as Canada, and as far south as Texas, the conference also afforded the opportunity to share experiences and ideas, to form new friendships, and to strengthen old ones. In addition to teachers, The Heights also welcomed twenty-one school leaders to campus, many of whom participated in specialized sessions as part of The Heights Forum’s new Leaders Initiative, a program of professional formation for new and aspiring schools leaders.
Besides the talks, classroom observations, and breakout sessions, a highlight of the conference was Thursday night’s dinner. With a tone not unlike our own faculty dinners, the gathering was a real celebration. Many recited poems—some of original composition and some presented in languages no longer spoken—others performed skits or sang songs; all enjoyed an evening of brotherhood and fellowship.
As participants departed campus Friday evening, they left not only with new ideas and professional goals, but with new friends and mentors. The conference was, to paraphrase one participant, more than merely informative; it was truly formative.