Imagine the energy in the building as more than 250 high-performing educators gathered for a day of learning and collaboration, punctuated by inspirational keynote speakers and topical content sessions. This was the scene on Saturday, February 4th as Teaching Trust hosted our 2017 Alumni Network “Leading to Impact Summit” at the George W. Bush Institute. This year’s theme was “Transformation Takes Trust,” offering our current Leadership Program participants and alumni school leaders new perspectives and actionable strategies to develop trust in schools and in their daily lives through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Teaching Trust’s CEO, Patrick Haugh, welcomed attendees and reflected on the immediate need for leadership, noting, “now is precisely the right time for educators to convene and engage in these topics on behalf of students and families.”
Beverley Alridge Wright, founder of Dallas Dinner Table, kicked off the day with an inspirational speech expounding on the foundational importance trust-building. She also helped set a growth mindset for the day, reminding those gathered that leadership is “not about perfection; it’s about progress.”
Participants spent the day engaging in breakout sessions led by experts from organizations such as Momentous Institute, Border Crossers, TNTP, Teach For America - DFW, Relay Graduate School of Education, and Teaching Trust alumni. Kim Marshall, editor of “The Marshall Memo” and educational thought-leader, led sessions on critical strategies to improve classroom instruction including giving effective feedback and differentiation.
Dr. Michael Sorrell, President of Paul Quinn College, concluded the Summit with a powerful reminder to all Teaching Trust leaders working to improve the lives of students across Dallas-Fort Worth: “The needs of the community supercede the wants of the individual. You don’t get to be selfish when you choose to lead.” Dr. Sorrell noted the inequities and injustices that persist in the communities we serve and challenged participants to consider and embrace their role as agents of change.
The large, dynamic community of educators investing a full Saturday at the Summit highlighted the commitment of our growing network of Teaching Trust alumni leaders to improving their own practice and building trust with their staff, students, and families.
The impact of the day’s lessons were not limited to Teaching Trust’s work in schools, but they have broader implications for the future society that our leaders are shaping. One alumni leader reflected, “It was so powerful and important to have sessions on trust and speakers like Dr. Sorrell in our current world. Thank you for addressing our civic responsibility in growing authentic trust in our work.”