Houston Session Titles/Descriptions and Schedule:

Thursday, November 1, 2018

7:45 – 8:15
Breakfast/Sign In/Registration

8:15 – 9:15
Welcome: Jimmy Casas
Opening Keynote: Todd Whitaker

9:25 – 10:30
Concurrent Sessions A: Jimmy Casas, Brad Gustafson, Lisa Stevenson, Trevor Greene, Amber Teamann, Dwight Carter, Jennifer Hogan

10:40 – 11:45
Concurrent Sessions B: Jeff Zoul, Brad Gustafson, Lisa Stevenson, Trevor Greene, Amber Teamann, Dwight Carter, Jennifer Hogan

11:45 – 1:20
Lunch and General Plenary Session w/ Todd Whitaker

1:30 – 2:25
Concurrent Sessions C: Jeff Zoul, Brad Gustafson, Lisa Stevenson, Trevor Greene, Amber Teamann, Dwight Carter, Jennifer Hogan

2:35 – 3:30
Concurrent Sessions D: Jimmy Casas, Brad Gustafson, Lisa Stevenson, Trevor Greene, Amber Teamann, Dwight Carter, Jennifer Hogan

Lisa Stevenson

Great Educators Create Equitable Learning Environments

Learn how to use your abilities as an educator to identify, address, and then sustain equitable learning environments for all students and staff. This powerful and practical session demonstrates how to identify practices and policies within your classroom or school that may be reinforcing bias and inequities that negatively affect school culture and student achievement. You will return to your school with steps to identify and address inequalities as well as create sustainable equitable systems. You will have an opportunity to reflect on what it really takes to pave the path to true equitable access for all to the best education possible!

Participants will leave this session with:

  • Understanding of common biased, inequitable school policies or procedures
  • Tools to recognize how identities of our student intersect and why it matters
  • How curriculum, instruction, and assessment can reinforce bias and inequity and what to do about it
  • Topics to address in the larger school community related to inequitable access that affect student outcomes

Great Educators Champion the Assets of Diverse Student Populations

In this session you will learn how to develop a positive, asset-driven mindset as it relates to your work as an educator in a diverse school community. This engaging, hands-on session will demonstrate how pushing for under-represented, less privileged students is crucial to driving school improvement. You will leave this session with a list of resources and strategies to set the wheels in motion to start thinking about the assets and not the deficits of your school’s diversity!

Participants will leave this session with:

  • Understanding of how an asset vs. a deficit mindset impacts school culture & student outcomes
  • Tools to tell the story of your school’s diversity and why it matters
  • Topics to address in the larger school community related to student assets

Trevor Greene

Great Educators Recruit and Hire a Diverse Workforce: What Works?

In a highly competitive market, how do you increase the hiring of “staff of color” and improve the quality of professionals entering your school or system? Do top-quality candidates find your school or district inspiring and motivating? Move beyond written policy and lip-service by seizing this opportunity to implement practices that show your organizational commitment and inspire mission-driven candidates.

Great Educators Decentralize Authority and Centralize Accountability

Attendees will engage in an interactive presentation designed to ensure that each leader is inspired and prepared to develop the leadership skills of those under their stewardship. The presentation will demonstrate effective structures on which a leader can focus to enhance and improve student learning. Growing leadership capacity and centralizing accountability are essential in achieving systemic change and necessary to reach mission-critical targets. Learn how to emancipate the power in others to actualize the vision for the school or district.

Brad Gustafson

Great Educators Know How to Serve on Behalf of the Whole Learner

How might we help students achieve at a high level while creating a culture that values people over numbers. This session cuts to the core of our calling. It will help educators understand how their pre-existing passions and gifts are exactly what students need to be successful. You’ll also learn practical strategies to nurture innovation while ”pausing” auto-pilot mode.

Great Educators Inspire Renegade Leadership Traits in Others

Greatness is not a label, it’s a choice. But how might we help others choose to be truly great for kids? What are the digital-age difference makers?! Learn how to apply positive deviance to your school or district through a powerful pedagogy that starts with relationships.

Jeff Zoul

Great Educators Personalize Professional Learning

The more eductors learn and grow the more our students will learn and grow. School leaders must find innovative ways to help those they lead grow and get better. In this session, we will explore innovative ways to personalize learning for all educators. We will examine what practices we should start, stop and continue doing when it comes to professional learning.

Jimmy Casas

Great Educators Know What to Stop & Start Doing Today

Every day administrators are faced with certain challenges that come with the role of an educator. However, it is how we respond to these challenges that can determine our effectiveness as building and district leaders. In this session attendees will hear and discuss practices that we should consider stopping today and other practices we should start doing tomorrow.

Amber Teamann

Great Educators Motivate Their Staff for Empowered Changes

Leaders that build authentic relationships help teachers feel encouraged, supported and empowered to be innovative thinkers. How do you ensure that everyone on your boat is paddling in the same direction? You include and involve them in a variety of measures and activities. From learning their work “love languages” to capitalizing on strengths, leaders that know how to tap into building up their staff allow risk-taking, innovation, and ultimately, student growth and academic gains. It’s hard to drill holes in your boat, if you have everyone paddling in the same direction!

Participants will leave this session with:

  • Ideas to help leaders build authentic relationships with all staff members
  • Strategies to help leaders feel comfortable learning and valuing the team they want to build
  • Actions to help create a culture of GREATNESS

Great Educators Change the Way You Think About Leadership

Why does the word administrator have a negative connotation? The position of principal or leader carries a weight of responsibility that can impact an entire campus or district. Recognizing that education itself is different than it was even just 10-20 years ago calls for also recognizing that the way we look at the role of “administrator” needs to change. Our evolution is the catalyst for the the changes we want to see happen in education. Like with most other decisions made in a school, it starts and can stop right at our door. How can you be an agent for change as a leader in education today?

Dwight Carter

Great Educators Take Control of Our Attitude and Actions

Why settle for good when you can be G.R.E.A.T! In today’s high demand culture of education, it’s easy to get bogged down by initiatives, mandates, and other constraints, but there are two things we can control: our attitude and actions. Come learn five ways to shift your mindset to be G.R.E.A.T every day. (It’s an acronym for Grateful, Relational, Enthusiastic, Authentic, and Teachable.

Participants will be able to identify two strategies to improve behavior and skill development.
Participants will be able to list five strategies to create a safe and orderly learning environment that enhance positive social attitudes and effective interpersonal skills.

Great Educators Take Steps To Understand Today’s Learners or Generation Z

Today learner’s or Gen Z, want and need redesigned learning environments that meet their needs, increase creativity, and support their development of global skills. They think differently, want and demand choice, and need to be heard. and they want to make a difference. Come learn ten tips to better understand Generation Z so you can enhance your school culture and climate.

Jennifer Hogan

Great Educators Seek Connections with ALL Kids

From the motivated to unmotivated, engaged to disconnected… students all along the spectrum walk through school doors each day. Accepting the challenge of connecting with all students is courageous work and a moral imperative in today’s world. In this inspiring session, participants will hear powerful examples of connection and learn easy-to-implement, practical strategies to “see” and connect with hard-to-connect students or those who may “fly under the radar.”

Great Educators Draft a Championship Team

“It’s lonely at the top” is a common phrase used to describe leadership. In today’s world, lonely leadership is only by choice. In this session, participants will be inspired to create a supportive team using online tools in order to promote personal and professional growth as a leader. This session will explore leadership myths, the ways to connect digitally, and how to sustain online relationships. From the tech-savvy leader to the tech novice, if you value teamwork, this session is for you.

Todd Whitaker

Opening Keynote

What Great Leaders Do Differently

What are the specific qualities and practices of great leaders that elevate them above the rest? This session reveals what the most effective leaders do differently than their colleagues. Participants will focus on what the most successful leaders do . . . that others do not. Everyone will leave knowing what great leaders do differently, why these things make them more effective, and learn how to immediately implement each of these into your own classrooms, schools, and districts.

Lunchtime Plenary Session

Great Educators Lead Change

Make positive and immediate changes in your classroom, school, or district. This session will explore concrete steps for getting colleagues to champion and work toward the changes we need to make to continuously improve. We will look at specific strategies for overcoming resistance, building cooperation, and recruiting hands-on help.