Could This Be One of the BEST Edu Conferences of 2015? #WGEDD

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Could This Be One of the BEST Edu Conferences of 2015? #WGEDD

Could This Be One of the BEST Edu Conferences of 2015? #WGEDD

Could This Be One of the BEST Edu Conferences of 2015? #WGEDD

What Great Educators Do Differentlyclick here to connect to the conference homepage –

I’ve always been “addicted to” professional learning. I was fortunate that during my first year of teaching my principal strongly believed in growing new teacher’s skills and confidence. During this year, I attended our state’s annual reading conference, Kagan professional learning 5 day workshop, several Lucy Calkin’s writing workshop sessions, numerous district level conferences, and received private coaching from some of the nation’s top educational consultants. Since my first year of teaching, I’ve grown to understand the importance of high-quality professional learning. I would not be the educator I am today without the many mentors who have guided and shaped my practice throughout the years.

Professional Learning Varies…

Some of the best professional learning comes directly from your own building. I can’t say enough about the positive benefits of learning from great teachers directly down the hall. Each time I get to visit and observe educators in our elementary, I take something away that my students can benefit from. There’s just something magical about seeing dynamic teachers in action…

With all aspects of life, I think balance – or at least variety – is essential in effort to continue moving forward. With that being stated, I always encourage fellow educators to not only see the great teachers within their own buildings but also to attend conferences outside of their districts. I am always inspired when I attend conferences around the country and find out about incredible practices other districts are doing to transform teaching and learning for their communities. These ideas are gems that I’m able to take back and share with my own colleagues so that our students may also benefit.

This year I have attended and will continue to attend some terrific conferences and workshops. However, I am always excited when a new conference becomes available. When three of my dear friends and educational mentors told me they were hosting a conference, I couldn’t have been more proud but most importantly… anxious to attend. These three mentors were educators who I knew from their body of work far before ever meeting them in person. Their work has inspired thousands of educators around the globe, and I know their conference will help to spread their ideas even further.

Who Exactly are Todd, Jeff, and Jimmy?
Your conference hosts, Todd Whitaker, Jeffrey Zoul, and Jimmy Casas are three of the nation’s top educational leaders. Their newest book shares how being connected can help to transform your practice through practical strategies you can start today!

Dr. Todd Whitaker has been fortunate to be able to blend his passion with his career. Recognized as a leading presenter in the field of education, his message about the importance of teaching has resonated with hundreds of thousands of educators around the world. Todd is a professor of educational leadership at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana, and he has spent his life pursuing his love of education by researching and studying effective teachers and principals.

Prior to moving into higher education he was a math teacher and basketball coach in Missouri. Todd then served as a principal at the middle school, junior high, and high school levels. He was also a middle school coordinator in charge of staffing, curriculum, and technology for the opening of new middle schools.

Prior to moving into higher education he was a math teacher and basketball coach in Missouri. Todd then served as a principal at the middle school, junior high, and high school levels. He was also a middle school coordinator in charge of staffing, curriculum, and technology for the opening of new middle schools.

One of the nation’s leading authorities on staff motivation, teacher leadership, and principal effectiveness, Todd has written over 30 books including the national best seller, What Great Teachers Do Differently. Other titles include: Shifting The Monkey, Dealing With Difficult Teachers, 10 Minute Inservice, The Ball, What Great Principals Do Differently, Motivating & Inspiring Teachers, and Dealing With Difficult Parents.

Todd is married to Beth, also a former teacher and principal, who is a professor of Elementary Education at Indiana State University. They are the parents of three children; Katherine, Madeline, and Harrison.

Dr. Jeffrey Zoul is a lifelong teacher, learner, and leader, currently serving as Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning with Deerfield Public Schools District 109 in Deerfield, Illinois. Prior to working in this capacity, Jeff served as a district administrator in Rock Island, Illinois, and a school improvement specialist with Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), the nation’s largest and oldest non-profit school improvement network. Jeff also served as a principal with Forsyth County Schools in Cumming, Georgia, and with North Shore School District 112 in Highland Park, Illinois.

Before serving as an administrator, Dr. Zoul was a classroom teacher for 18 years in the State of Georgia, teaching elementary school, middle school, and high school English.

Dr. Zoul is also the author of several books, including Improving Your School One Week at a Time: Building the Foundation for Professional Teaching and Learning and The 4 CORE Factors for School Success, co-authored with Dr. Todd Whitaker. Jeff has also served as an adjunct professor at North Georgia College and State University, teaching graduate level courses in research and assessment. In 2014, he was awarded the Bammy Educators Voice Award as the School Business Officials of the Year.

Dr. Zoul earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from The University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Master of Science degree in education from Troy University. In addition, Zoul earned an Education Specialist’s degree from The University of Southern Mississippi and a doctoral degree from The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Jimmy Casas is in his 20th year of administrative leadership. He currently serves as principal at Bettendorf High School in Bettendorf, Iowa. An experienced administrator at both the middle and high school levels, Jimmy brings a vast knowledge and understanding of school improvement reform initiatives, critical changes required to improve academic performance for all students, and the positive impact shared leadership has on the educational process. His passion for teaching and learning coupled with a vision for developing a community of leaders has procured a culture of excellence and high standards for learning amid a positive school culture for students and staff.

Jimmy’s core purpose lies in serving others. He continues to give back to his profession by presenting both at the local, state and national levels, including SAI, ITEC, ISTE, and NASSP. Jimmy was named the 2012 Iowa Secondary Principal of the Year and was selected as one of three finalists for NASSP 2013 National Secondary Principal of the Year. Most recently, Jimmy was awarded the 2013 Bammy Educators Voice Award as the Secondary School Principal of the Year. Finally, he is the Co-Founder & Co-Moderator of #IAedchat, moderating the on-line discussion every Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. CST.

Why Attend This Particular Conference?

Two weeks ago I was asked about great conferences to attend. This, of course, was on my list of a few I suggested. I was asked a follow up question: “When you attend a large conference, how do you know which sessions to attend?” This question is one I think everyone struggles with answering. We often select sessions based on the catchy title, the detailed description, where our friends are headed, what relates to our grade level, or who the speaker is. Because our time is limited at conferences, it is imperative that we select wisely. I’m sure we have each had a mild sense of disappointment after attending a session we thought would be more relatable to our practice. I can tell you that I have personally seen 9 out of the 11 speakers at this conference, and they are each some of the absolute best in their fields. You simply can’t go wrong when selecting a session.

A Special Gift for Kleinspiration Readers:

I asked my three friends if I could share their event with my readers and if there was anything special I could offer. They graciously donated autographed copies of their NEW book, What Connected Educators Do Differently, to the first 10 individuals who email me after registering (or just click the “contact page” at the top of this blog). Additionally, those 10 will receive something special at the conference in Chicago this October… how exciting!


Mother. Teacher. Keynote. Author

Erin Klein is an award winning educator, national keynote speaker, author, and mother.

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