Eastern Early Education Senior Coordinator Message

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The Way of Influencers

It’s hard to believe we’re a little over halfway through this school year. How’s it going so far? Have you already identified children who need special attention, special assistance, or special care? I think from time to time we ALL need special care, maybe a bit of extra love to carry us through the more challenging events in our lives. We’ve just celebrated Valentine’s Day, an occasion to focus on loving one another. Perhaps during this time you reviewed I Corinthians 13—the “love chapter” in Scripture.

Teachers are called upon daily to give “I Corinthians 13” care to the kiddos in our schools and classrooms. Our seemingly insignificant choices powerfully affect all those around us. We are called to be building up the Kingdom of God, brick-by-brick, day-by-day. Our day is significantOur lives matter. Today matters. We are so loved, fellow influencers! God fondly watches over us and calls us to a special ministry—to love the “littles” HE directs to each of our classroom.

Influencers. Caring adults in the lives of young learners. Teachers who love like Jesus loved! Developmental research shows that there is a direct connection between a loving relationship of you and your students and the likelihood that they will flourish and become productive adults themselves. According to childtrends.org, research shows that the impact (or influence) of one caring adult yields these benefits:

[Children are] “more likely to complete tasks they start, remain calm in the face of challenges, show interest in learning new things, volunteer in the community, engage in physical activities, participate in out-of-school time activities, and be engaged in school.”


We want that for each of our kiddos.

Let me encourage you with this “adaptation” of I Corinthians 13 from an educator’s perspective. You may have seen versions of this online, but I hope you find yourself in my version below.

If I teach and explain everything well to my students, but don’t love, I am nothing but the creaking of a rusty swing or worn-out trike.

If I am fluent with the latest “best practice in early education” but don’t have love, I am nothing—my efforts are useless, and I’ve missed a chance for relationship and influence.

If I have all the latest teaching technology at hand, but don’t love, I've missed the mark in being a life-changer.

So, even though I say the right things and do the right things, I miss the mark without love.

  • Love is patient when needing to explain again and again to students who just don’t get it.
  • Love is merciful when others find fault with me, criticize, or misunderstand me.
  • Love doesn’t envy when colleagues get recognition, and I don’t.
  • Love isn't proud and doesn’t boast about my own achievements.
  • Love is flexible and allows me to change my plans to meet the needs of students (and peers). Love does not get out of sorts when the lesson does not go according to plan or when scheduling does not flow well. Love recognizes my way isn’t the only way to do things.
  • Love doesn’t raise its voice unfairly or talk at children or parents. It speaks to others with kindness, even in times of correction.
  • Love isn't “I-me-my” first in my classroom.
  • Love doesn’t gossip about the failures of students, their families, or colleagues. Love liberally provides “do overs,” giving others a clean slate without holding grudges. It doesn’t take the behavior of others personally.
  • Love looks for the positives in students, parents, and peers instead of focusing on their weaknesses. Love encourages a “can-do” posture and doesn’t give up on children (just like God never gives up on us.)
  • Love never dies. All curriculum, textbooks and pedagogy will pass away, but only love will remain forever.

1 Corinthians 13: If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. (NIV)

You are loved and appreciate for your faithful response to God’s calling! You are the cream of the crop!! You are truly influencers for the Kingdom!

Here to serve YOU!

Dr. Cindy Barnum, EE Senior Coordinator, Eastern Division




EE Leader Connect


Connect each month with other early education leaders, be encouraged through devotions and prayer, and have conversations about a relevant topic. If the time does not work for you, the sessions are recorded and are available in your EE Leader Connect Community.


ACSI Leadership Networks: Early Education Leader Network

4th Wednesday, 2:00 p.m. (ET)


Network with Dr. Penn on the fourth Wednesday of each month. These meetings provide early education leaders with the opportunity to informally share ideas and challenges and engage in building a biblical community. This professional learning community (PLC) analyzes evidence-based leadership and instructional practices that are informed by current data. We use shared knowledge to cultivate expertise, guide our decisions, and enable early educators to make changes quickly based on the needs of young learners and their families. We will also review best practices in implementing each of the Flourishing School Culture domains with industry experts. Attendance at the live meeting is eligible for CEUs. Recordings are available in ACSI Leadership Network – Early Education Community.


Spring 2023 EE Leader Network Meetings – EE Administrative Competency Aligned Leader Network Meetings.  Earn CEUs while learning adaptive leadership skills. 


  • March 22, 2 pm EST Here I am! Send me! Best Practices in Human Resource Management
  • April 26. 2 pm EST Pedagogical Leadership-Achieving (ESOs) Child Development Milestones
  • May 24, 2 pm EST Keys To Organizational Resilience And Financial Sustainability
  • June 28, 2 pm EST God’s Design For Growth: Promoting Health, Safety, And Nutrition Best Practices

Contact Dr. Penn for additional information regarding the EE Director’s credential.





  • Mar 8, 3 pm EST           What Does the Bible say about Social Emotional Development? with Dave Hill
  • April 12, 2 pm EST        Dramatic Play in Early Ed with Rachel Scroggins

Webinars are recorded and added to the Resource library for on-demand member access.  Register online at www.acsi.org/ee to attend FREE webinars and earn CEUs! 



New MAX Events: Maximize your learning with a One- to Three-Day event www.acsi.org/maxevents


  • HR and Employment Law for Christian Schools – Day 1
  • Flourish Deeper: Sustainability – Day 2
  • ACSI Early Education Workshop – Day 3


Cultivating Resilience - A Designed to Flourish event

Prepare for a full day of professional development designed specifically for Christian early educators. Engaging expert presenters bring relevant information from a biblical worldview to support educators in their continued growth and development for the roles in which they serve. Interactive sessions allow for deeper understanding of topics for social/emotional learning, fostering spiritual development of the child, growing your leadership, supporting language development and more. Earn up to 6 clock hours of biblically integrated professional development.  www.acsi.org/ee



EE Workshop

Orlando, FL

Dr. Barbara Sorrels, Connected Kids


EE Workshop

Atlanta, GA (Bethlehem)

Dr. Barbara Sorrels, Connected Kids


EE Workshop

Columbus, OH

Dr. Barbara Sorrels, Connected Kids



SAVE THE DATE for EE Events in 2023-2024