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10 Oct 2017

2017 Teaching Learning Coaching Conference

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I am so glad I attended the 2017 Teaching Learning Coaching (TLC) Conference held in Indianapolis, Indiana from September 26-September 28.  This was my first TLC conference and I will definitely be making it an annual event.  Next year’s conference is in Las Vegas and its theme is: Courage!This year’s theme was: “It’s all about the kids.”  Woven throughout the conference, this reminder of why we were all coming together from around the globe was important.   As a newcomer to TLC, I really didn’t know what to expect from this conference.  However, the energy, passion and openness to learning struck me from the minute I entered the venue.  This, perhaps, should have been expected from a gathering of coaches, but it was the positivity and desire to do better ‘for the kids’ that really spoke to me. Not only was I inspired and engaged throughout the three days of pre-conference, keynotes and learning sessions, but I also learned a ton from the other participants I connected with on and off-line during sessions, lunch or in the evenings. As a Canadian researcher and practitioner, I was thrilled to join the many coaches, administrators, professors, policy makers and teachers who have a shared interest in the role coaching plays in teaching, learning and professional growth.

It was made clear throughout the conference that it was not only the invited presenters who have expertise and an interesting story to share.  Of course Jim Knight & Corwin Press gathered some truly incredible presenters and keynotes (who also happened to be super approachable and helpful) who inspired and challenged me, but I was equally impressed by the quality of the conversations I had with the other researchers, writers & practitioners in attendance.  I appreciated the many opportunities I was given to connect and dialogue with these other participants who were equally engaged in teaching, learning and coaching.  Being encouraged to ask questions from a place of genuine curiosity and really listen, I discovered so much about different coaching contexts and approaches.  In essence, I experienced how professional growth can be achieved through better conversations, professional learning, trust and partnership.  At its heart, coaching is about making a difference in the lives of teachers and students. I leave the 2017 Teaching Learning Coaching Conference empowered as a coach and re-energized to engage in ways to enhance teaching and learning in my own context.

In the next four blog posts, I will share my key take-aways from the four learning sessions I attended.  I know I tend to write like an academic note-taker, but I hope they may be useful to someone other than me.  I really wish there was a way to have video captured all the sessions- it was so hard to choose which session to attend!

Throughout the conference, people were also engaging online at #TLC_2017. There is so much good stuff on there and I have used @storify to capture and curate key tweets and learning.  See the story here

Finally, I wanted to send a special shout out to Michael Bungay-Stanier for giving each participant a copy of his new book.  This is one of my all-time favourite coaching texts (now down to 5 key questions!).  This is a must-read & I am pretty thrilled he also signed my copy.

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