Learning Forward Texas Annual Conference
day 1 - june 15

Dr. Joe Sanfelippo 

Creating a Culture of YES 

(Admin, Instructional Coaches, PL Leaders)

We’ve all walked down a hallway or stepped into a room where we know getting what we want is going to be a struggle. In these times we tend to shut down. Many times people won’t even enter into a conversation unless they are convinced the outcome will be favorable to them. This mindset completely inhibits the opportunity for growth. Creating a culture of YES helps leaders see the opportunities for those they lead as opposed to the reasons why ideas won’t work. Developing an environment where trust and YES are the default can transform the learning for students and staff.

Katie Bazzani and Arden McLean

Light the Spark: Engaging Students Online

((Admin, Instructional Coaches, PL Leaders)

Want to add to your toolkit of online learning techniques and improve instruction for students in digital classrooms?  During this session, participants will experience multiple strategies focused on student engagement that can easily be replicated and used with confidence in their own classrooms.  Join us for 3 hours of fun & interactive learning that will boost the confidence & skills needed to engage students in the virtual realm. Participants will:

  • Recognize 3 critical keys of high quality online classrooms

  • Learn strategies to foster a virtual learning environment that meets the physiological, social/relational, and learning needs of students

  • Experience brain-friendly, online techniques to capture & hold students’ attention and increase retention

  • Engage collaboratively with peers in various free online processing tools

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contact us to bring this great training to you!

Diane Sweeney

Coaching After Covid-19

(Admin, Instructional Coaches, PL Leaders)

The role of the instructional coach was dramatically impacted by Covid-19. With the sudden shift to remote learning, many coaches initially spent their time serving as resource providers. This included helping teachers set up online libraries, figuring out the Learning Management System (LMS), and making sure that students had access to the necessary technology. At the time, this made sense given what teachers were facing. The issue arises when this is the only role that a coach plays. This may diminish the impact of the coaching program since these forms of support are not anchored in enhancing student learning. Now that we are moving beyond the pandemic, it’s time to reset the coaching role so we can ensure that it is student-centered and outcomes-based. This session will focus on:

  • Defining what Student-Centered Coaching is and isn’t

  • Helping teachers and school leaders to understand why coaching matters

  • Resetting the expectations for participation in coaching cycles

  • Providing additional support through unpacking curricular units and lesson planning

Romain Bertrand 

Reimagining Learning Beyond COVID 

(Admin, Instructional Coaches, PL Leaders)

COVID-19 exposed many of the inequities in the traditional school model.  With a growing push to “stop learning loss” and have all students back in the building, it is essential we take the time to reflect and consider, “What are we going back to?” Normal wasn’t working for most students. Without taking steps to address how we will make engaging, meaningful learning accessible to every child, we are likely to fall back into the patterns that created inequalities in the first place.

After over a year of trials and innovation, what should schools look like next? Join BetterLesson experts and instructional leaders in this vision-casting session to reflect the lessons we’ve learned during this pandemic. Begin planning for the 2021-2022 school year and beyond, keeping in mind the upcoming challenges like learning gaps, SEL concerns, and learning modalities.

Marcus Miller and Edna Phythian

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: The Elephant in the Room

(Admin, Instructional Coaches, PL Leaders)

Words like diversity, inclusion, and equity hold different meanings for each person depending on our individual experiences. These words are often used interchangeably creating confusion and a lack of clarity. As educators, we must create shared language, understanding, and goals, and build collective responsibility. Participants will: examine the impact of inequality in schools and workplaces, and the importance of targeted work; build shared language and ability to use terminology related to diversity, equity and inclusion; and cultivate a collective responsibility for all students. This is a train-the-trainer workshop; participants will leave with the resources to turn around this 2-hr workshop within their organization. This includes an editable copy of the slide deck, agenda, and facilitator guide.

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contact us to bring this great training to you!

Sue Chapman and Elita Driskill

Changing Minds: Coaching for a Learner Mindset

(Admin, Instructional Coaches, PL Leaders)

As coaches and administrators, we know that educators operate from a learner mindset when they continually build their instructional practice and bring out the best in students. This session offers skills for coaching self and others towards active mindset awareness and navigation. Participants will acquire strategies for coaching teachers to reflect on their unconscious beliefs and take steps toward adopting a learner mindset.

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Jim Knight

Leading Yourself: Start with Why

((Admin, Instructional Coaches, PL Leaders)

As Brené Brown has written, “who we are is how we lead.” This is why it is extremely important for all leaders to pause and ask, “How am I leading myself?” In this session, participants will learn about the importance of purpose, the power of habit, the life and death necessity of managing time, and the similarly important necessity of taking care of yourself. Participants will also have the opportunity to explore these very important topics through a series of reflection activities and small group conversations. This workshop is designed to help you imagine a better life, and anyone who participates in this session should leave with a clear plan on how they can move closer to the life they really want to live.

Eric Sheninger 

Leadership in Unprecedented Times

(Admin, Instructional Coaches, PL Leaders)

The world has radically changed in unprecedented ways.  Educational leaders are now tasked with navigating uncharted waters that continually fluctuate as a result of COVID-19 and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.  Even with all of these challenges, opportunities have arisen to take education in a different direction to create a new normal that better meets the needs of learners and teachers alike.  The time is now for leaders to be nimble and lead sustainable change in ways that empower people to embrace innovative pathways including remote, hybrid, and personalized learning. Join Eric to investigate   practices that leaders need to model in order to usher in a reimagined educational experience.

** Connections to Digital Leadership published by Corwin will be made.

day 2 - june 16

Katie Bazzani and Arden McLean

Motivation Magic

(Administrators, Teacher Leaders, Professional Learning Leaders, Instructional Coaches, Counselors)

Do you wish you could wave a magic wand and motivate everyone on your campus—teachers and students alike?  While there is no single “trick” to motivation, this engaging and research-based session will explore theory and practice about what motivates us and how to apply these principles to teacher effectiveness and student achievement.  No smoke and mirrors, but strategies that work to cast a spell of inspiration over your campus and classrooms.  

Diane Sweeney

Coaching for Equity

(Admin, Instructional Coaches, PL Leaders)

The pandemic has created gaps that have especially affected our most vulnerable students. If we are strategic, coaching can play a role in filling these gaps. Coaches can work with teachers to formatively assess and create plans for the students we are striving to serve. By helping teachers build intentional relationships with their students, we are also able to facilitate the creation of a close up view of how they are progressing as learners and what additional support they might need. This session will focus on:

  • Supporting teachers to build asset-based relationships with their students at the start of the school year

  • Using student evidence to provide a strong foundation in formative assessment

  • Co-planning high quality lessons that meet the needs of all students

  • Working with teachers to provide students with choice, voice, and agency through self-assessment

Romain Bertrand and Monica Washington (Texas Teacher of the Year in 2014) 

Learning Losses and Learning Gains, Build an Equitable Approach to Accelerate Growth Post-COVID

(Admin, Instructional Coaches, PL Leaders)

Learning loss has been a hot topic over the past few months. With the pressure to “stop the slide,” there is a growing movement to get all students back in the building for remediation as soon as possible. But if we’re honest, opportunity gaps persisted well before covid. As we prepare for re-entry, how might we use what we’ve learned during the pandemic to avoid making those same mistakes again?

 

Join BetterLesson experts and instructional leaders to unpack how to put equity at the center of your plan to identify and close gaps. Reflect on common practices that contributed to inequities pre-pandemic and what you have gained as a result of the disruption. Examine your current practices to identify how they may exacerbate inequities and learn how to structure your planning to avoid these pitfalls. Leave with a framework and tools you can use in upcoming conversations.

Marcus Miller and Edna Phythian

Culturally Responsive Relationships

(Admin, Instructional Coaches, PL Leaders)

The most important responsibility as an educator is to build positive, collaborative relationships with students, families, and colleagues. We must be able to respond empathetically and respectfully so that the identity and views all stakeholders are honored. In this session, participants will: examine issues of identity, diversity, beliefs, biases, and values, how they shape our decisions and behaviors, and impact our interactions; build a personal toolkit for removing roadblocks to inclusive relationships; and, connect these conversations to their daily work and organizational priorities. This is a train-the-trainer workshop; participants will leave with the resources to turn around this 2-hr workshop within their organization. This includes an editable copy of the slide deck, agenda, and facilitator guide.

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contact us to bring this great training to you!

Sue Chapman and Mary Mitchell

Measuring Impact: A Lab Approach to Instructional Coaching

(Admin, Instructional Coaches, PL Leaders)

The ability to examine the link between specific instructional practices and student learning requires that teachers build new understandings, skills, and mind frames. Learn about a coaching and professional-learning process which increases teacher effectiveness through formative assessment aligned with research-based instructional practices and curriculum standards. Plan for implementation of this lab approach in your own setting to build teacher efficacy and power up student learning.

Participants will:

  • Consider links between instructional practices and student learning behaviors in effective face-to-face and remote classrooms.

  • Learn about a coaching and collaborative professional learning process which increases teacher effectiveness through ongoing formative assessment of student learning aligned with research-based instructional practices and curriculum standards that can be enacted in face-to-face and online settings.

  • Identify the understandings, skills, and mind frames teachers must have in order to see the impact of their teaching actions on student learning and consider ways of growing these critical teaching proficiencies.

  • Generate data-collection tools and processes for use in their own contexts to support teachers in measuring their effectiveness and maximizing student learning.

  • Consider how this flexible but targeted coaching and professional learning processes can help teachers and leaders to take direct action toward equity at the classroom and school levels and address the unique challenges of an evolving education environment.

Jim Knight

Leading Others: The Courage to Serve

(Admin, Instructional Coaches, PL Leaders)

In the traditional model, leadership is one person creating a vision and motivating a team of others to commit to pursuing that vision. Such a top-down model of change might look attractive in movies, but it is too simplistic for the complex world of schools today. Now, leadership is about unleashing the intelligence of everyone in a school, not just the leader. The work in schools is much too challenging for just one brain. Everyone’s intelligence is needed. In this session, you’ll learn specific strategies you can use to amplify other’s gifts, manage change, create alignment across a system, and make great decisions. In 2021 every educator is a leader, and this session is designed to help every educator be a more effective one.

Eric Sheninger

Supporting All Learners Through Personalization

(Admin, Instructional Coaches, PL Leaders)

The pandemic made us all uncomfortable and, in the process, unveiled a golden opportunity to create an equitable learning culture for all students through personalization.  It’s not about just putting kids in front of a device, but instead giving them what they need when and where they need it to improve learning. Eric will dissect the competencies and practices that leaders need to embody, in order to usher in a personalized experience that will benefit learners now and well into the future. Attendees will not only be exposed to an array of examples from K-12 classrooms around the globe, but also leave with practical strategies that can be implemented immediately regardless of the challenges faced. 

choose one session each day