The above video is a segment from an ongoing faculty workshop on mentorship and discipleship. The faculty and staff at Hillcrest are going through a two pronged teaching from Principal Isaac as they continue the task of intentional discipleship at Hillcrest Academy. The two teachings are Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges' series Lead Like Jesus and Jeff Myers' series Cultivate.
Many school districts are employing a "one-for-one" initiative. These programs seek to place each student with a laptop or iPad to enhance cross-cultural communication, classroom learning and facilitate students to communicate with the newest technology.
A local educator spoke of the "one-for-one" initiative stating, "(iPads) will increase sustained interracial contacts and improve educational opportunities designed to close the achievement gap." These technologies are said to "promote literacy and mathematic skill development as well as provide other individualized academic interventions."
Hillcrest seeks to accomplish similar goals through their intentional faculty and staff development. Believing students are made in God's image, the staff development seeks to facilitate greater engagement for staff members. The continued emphasis on mentorship continues to refocus HLA staff in building meaningful relationships that will mentor students to understand God, build interracial friendships and facilitate students to cross any achievement gaps.
The staff at Hillcrest believe students need instructors to explain and equip students to use technological tools for appropriate communication. Mentoring students to understand God's design for mankind facilitates a greater awareness of how to communicate appropriately. From here, students are equipped and discipled to continue effective and appropriate communication through mentor relationships with their teachers and peer relationships with friends. Instructors and peers engage in these relationships through both classroom interaction and social media.
The staff and faculty development is a time consuming process that requires a great deal of discussion and energy. However, it is the most effective way to walk students to understanding the academic subjects and their application in social contexts. The challenging work in the classroom transitions to the social environment at Hillcrest, helping students move from immaturity to maturity. The mentor-style relationships at Hillcrest Academy equip students with so much more than a diploma at graduation.