We here at Classical Conversations love our leaders! In this blog post, Mary Neukam (a Support Representative) and Jenifer Spears (an Area Representative) share their perspectives on the Classical Conversations Learning Forum.
Jenifer’s Perspective on the Learning Forum
Becoming a Classical Conversations leader has been one of the biggest blessings of my CC journey. I have never worked for a company that not only regularly prays for its employees and contractors but also offers yearly training and support in performing their jobs. The annual Learning Forum for Area Representatives, Support Representatives, and Product Sales Specialists is one way I determine that our company cares for us. Why should one attend Learning Forum yearly, you may ask?
What Is Learning Forum?
AR/SR Forum is one of those trainings to equip and encourage leaders to train, equip, and encourage Directors, which in turn inspires Directors to train, equip, and encourage families, both parents and students. Forum helps CC leaders grow in three areas: spiritually, relationally, and professionally.
Learning Forum helps us spiritually.
We receive a scripture book each year at the forum, coinciding with the theme for the year. This year, the theme is “heritage and hope,” and the book is Paul’s epistle to the Romans. Each morning at the forum, we are afforded time to read a chapter and pray together with our team. It is always a sweet time of fellowship with the Lord and with our team members. This models for the SRs an effective way to meet with their directors when they are back home again to continue the growth and fellowship with their team of Directors.
Learning Forum helps us relationally.
The time spent at the forum without children (except for nursing mothers, of course) is vital to building our relationships with one another, especially when we are far away from our teams distance-wise during the rest of the year. My team is spread across southern Alabama, so the time spent visiting at Forum is precious to bond and further build strong ties with one another. We use our free time to explore the area, play games together, and swap stories of family and communities.
Learning Forum grows us professionally.
The leadership and training team have worked diligently to provide a binder with all the information an SR needs to perform their duties. This is a useful tool in the day-to-day operations once back home and in the trenches. We are also given the opportunity to role-play the various challenging situations we may encounter as leaders. This time to brainstorm and discuss in a safe place is a vital practice for ARs and SRs. Time to practice away from the throes of the daily grind gives them a refreshing and soothing balm for their souls. They leave Forum encouraged and prepared to face the challenges of leadership.
Learning Forum equips leaders.
CC learning forum is one way that Classical Conversations encourages and equips its leaders. If a leadership position is open in your area, I would urge you to consider applying. It will be a blessing to you personally, spiritually, and professionally. You will grow closer in your relationship with the Lord as you lean into Him to do your work as unto the Lord and not to people. (Colossians 3:23)
Then, if you see me at Learning Forum next year, make sure to seek me out to say hello!
Discover more articles on how you can make an impact on your community.
Mary’s Perspective on the Learning Forum
Seasons and times of the year feel differently to me.
I experience giddiness on the first day of school/CC community and can barely sleep the night before. Summers feel like oldies music! Sunday mornings seem full of rest and peace, even when rushing out of the door to worship with my family. The end of October holds a similar promise to me, as since 2016, it has also meant I was going to be expertly trained by CC for my role as a Support Representative.
My first training was during a presidential election. My roommate and I bonded over tears of joy in the early hours of the morning as our candidate won. Both of us remember Mary Alphs, an impactful former CC leader, proudly wearing her candidate’s color in a bold dress choice for the day.
My roommate and I are both still Support Representatives and friends and connect regularly to check in on each other.
Learning Forum trains us.
Training this year was no different. With great anticipation, a different SR friend and I drove down to Florida for an elongated training time. I was thankful and felt my feedback had been heard, as training was an extra day long this year, which felt like a gift of time to learn, plan, and be refreshed with my teammates. Classical Conversations always takes time to pour into its leaders, and the additional day felt like a little lagniappe blessing!
At training this year, we were privileged to hear from Leigh Bortins several times. She encouraged us with our leadership theme of the year, in our roles as daughters of the King, mothers, wives, and teachers, and she poured out her heart to us with the new The Math Map. This year at Leadership Forum, Leigh took it to an entirely different level by speaking often, speaking candidly, and speaking from her heart. Especially with the launch of The Math Map, having so much time and emphasis placed on understanding and walking through this new large dream of Leigh’s helped me feel valued and seen as a Support Representative.
We heard from Sarah Hirengen, who has always been a CC hero of mine as the Lord has used her time and again to train with words of wisdom that I would need in the next season after that training. This year, she encouraged us in our roles to be proactive, to focus forward instead of looking back, and to work with wisdom as we seek out the leaders the Lord would use in our areas. By planning well, we can be better able to tackle whatever lies ahead peacefully.
Robert was another leader who shared from his heart. I was greatly impacted by hearing him share about the cultural impact that CC is having, as well as how the current events in the Middle East have impacted him and his family. I am thankful for a leader who is willing to boldly stand for our company, our freedoms, our faith, and our family. When Robert shares, I perceive a man who leads with integrity and honesty while coming alongside us as leaders to hear from us and learn how he can help us in our roles.
Learning Forum refreshes us.
Leadership Forum satisfies our needs to learn and plan but also brings refreshing ideas to us as leaders. One year, at a Director Licensing Orientation that I was holding, one of my Directors asked me if I was treated well like they were being treated by me. I was able to gush that Classical Conversations has taught me how to treat my team, as they lavish me with care, delectable food, a beautiful setting, and, this year, I can add, a restful schedule when we train.
The additional day at training allowed my teammates and I to not feel rushed to get everything accomplished in such a short span of time. We were able to work through our planning needs, digest what we had learned, and also enjoy each other’s company while in beautiful surroundings, which is such an important part of teamwork. I am grateful for the training atmosphere that CC cultivates and encourages us to replicate with our local teams.
Thankful for Learning Forum.
Classical Conversations has, time and again, impressed me with the way that they pour into leaders. From my first Leadership Forum in 2016 to the one I attended in 2023, I am thankful to be connected and a part of a leadership team that knows me, seeks to teach me, helps me to plan, and immerses me in a restful leadership atmosphere. I look forward to next year’s Leadership Forum and the feelings of excitement I know that I will get in anticipation as the days draw near!