Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Learning Forward Texas 30th Annual Conference
Updated: Feb 16
If I have seen farther than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.
~ Sir Issac Newton, physicist
Across your career in education, whose shoulders have you stood on?
Which education giants have helped you become the educator you are today?
How are you passing this gift of professional learning onto others?
What kinds of shoulders do you need at this stage in your career to continue your professional growth?
Which giants can empower you to face challenges and be more resourceful in tackling problems confidently?
For 30 years, the Learning Forward Texas Annual Conference has helped Texas educators stand on the shoulders of giants. In 1992, LFTX first brought Texas educators together to learn from each other so that all students could benefit from our community’s collective knowledge. And every June since 1992, educators who are passionate about building capacity in themselves and others have continued to gather at the Learning Forward Texas Annual Conference, discussing cutting-edge research about professional learning and school effectiveness, sharing solutions to problems of practice, and constructing professional knowledge together. This tradition serves as a vehicle to achieve LFTX’s mission, vision, and core values.
Connect, inspire, and empower educators through quality professional learning to positively impact classroom practice.
Every student is served by educators who engage in profound, high-impact professional learning daily.
So, who are the giants that come together for this annual learning event? They include famous thought leaders and education gurus with expertise vital to the education community. They also include scholar-practitioners who do not recognize themselves as giants but lead innovative and important work in education settings. These quiet giants have achieved their noteworthy stature by wrestling with and finding solutions to the complex problems facing educators today.
There’s yet another group of giants found at the LFTX Conference - educators who believe we are all smarter and stronger when we function as a learning community. These giants have a passion for connecting Texas educators to build and share our collective intelligence. They plan, organize, and host the conference and its many networking opportunities to maximize knowledge sharing and conference fun.
Here’s the important thing: Each of these giants believes in you and your capacity to achieve amazing results for the children and adults in your school or district. They offer you their shoulders to support your personal learning journey as an educator and education leader. When we join this annual gathering of education leaders and attend the practical and engaging conference sessions that Learning Forward Texas is known for, we tap into the expertise of all of these generous giants. And when we share our own ideas and perspectives in this setting, we too become giants that help lift up colleagues so that we all become better at the vital work of serving students.
Let me introduce you to a few of the giants you will meet at this year’s conference.
Which of these giants is already part of your personal network of support and inspiration? Which of these giants has shoulders of expertise and experience that you want or need to stand on?
Click on the conference speakers’ names to go to their Twitter profiles.
Notice their passions and areas of expertise.
Follow them to begin tapping into this knowledge base.
The Giant In You
The work we do today and tomorrow is built on professional knowledge that began with others. When we acknowledge the contributions made by others to our own learning and success, we become part of a learning community that stands together in this moment and across time with the goal of making the world a better place through education.
This year’s Annual Conference is a celebration of the legacy given to us by the many Learning Forward Texas giants of the past 30 years. It is also a chance to pay this legacy forward by linking arms and strengthening our collective knowledge. You contribute to LFTX’s collective brainpower when you dialogue with others during conference sessions and networking opportunities. Whether you are a principal, assistant principal, instructional coach, dean of instruction, teacher leader, or district leader, you’ll have the chance to connect with others who share your role and your passions and to walk away from these encounters with fresh ideas and perspectives on your work.
You can also share your own professional knowledge with colleagues from across Texas and beyond by presenting at the conference. Now through February 18, you are invited to submit a proposal to present a professional learning session at this year’s conference.
High-quality professional learning is energizing and inspiring. It can reignite your passion for education.
~ Stacy Winslow, Superintendent of Derry Township School District, Hershey, Pennsylvania
Invest in Yourself
How will you invest in yourself this coming summer? How will you build your own capacity as an educator and education leader?
The 30th Annual LFTX Conference aspires to kick us all out of our comfort zones, to help us to look at our problems of practice from new vantage points, inspiring the courage to try new strategies. It aims to help us re-envision what is possible and re-establish high expectations for ourselves as well as the teachers and students we support. The Conference is designed to help us accelerate professional learning within our schools and districts so we can provide all students with powerful learning opportunities every day.
Think of the Learning Forward Texas Annual Conference as a broad and sturdy set of shoulders you can stand on to become your best self and achieve all that you can dream of and more. We hope you’ll join us in Irving on June 20-22 to stand on the shoulders of education giants and to lend your own shoulders to our common mission.
Sue Chapman is a professional learning consultant and author of MathVentures: 33 Teacher-Coach Investigations to Grow Students as Mathematicians. Learn more about her at SueChapmanLearning.com and connect with her on Twitter at @SueChapmanLearn.