Throughout the NASP convention people came up to me and raved about the opening general session and your keynote presentation. You hit it out of the park and set a warm and reinforcing tone for the rest of the week. THANK YOU. Thanks, too, for taking the time with us on Tuesday to learn more about NASP and school psychologists and for making yourself so open to meeting the many attendees who wanted to connect with you. I'm glad it was as fulfilling for you as it was a treat for us.
"Every child needs someone to be crazy about them." These are the words of Salome Thomas-EL, award-winning teacher and principal, and nationally recognized educator. They shape his life-long commitment to answering the question, "How do we ensure that every child achieves their greatest potential?" This question lies at the heart of the national dialogue on education policy, the day in and day out work of school personnel, and the hopes of every parent. Central to this challenge is how we succeed with children who are facing the most serious barriers to success: poverty, violence, neglect, and low expectations.
For over 20 years, Principal EL has taken on this challenge with the absolute belief that every child can and will learn as long as adults in their world care enough to not give up. Starting as a teacher and chess coach at Vaux Middle School and through his years as principal at several traditional public and charter schools, Thomas-EL has transformed the attitudes and strategies of school staff, parents, and members of the community to help hundreds of troubled children not only graduate from high school but go on to earn higher degrees from major colleges and universities. He brings to the process a powerful combination of passion, caring, and leadership to craft a refreshing, common-sense roadmap to help kids achieve their dreams, no matter the odds.
Salome Thomas-EL is an award-winning teacher and principal, and internationally recognized speaker and educator. Principal EL believes that resilient leaders make courageous decisions, take risks, and challenge the status quo. They are able to bounce back from adversity to become innovative and transformational to ensure all teachers and students achieve their dreams, no matter the odds. Transformational leaders shift mindsets and inspire others to effect change. In his thought-provoking presentations, Principal EL shares how we can change school cultures and foster a positive school climate so teachers and leaders can focus on the protective processes that build resilience in all of our students.
Featured Keynote Programs
Candid and Compassionate Feedback
Transforming Everyday Practice in Schools
Too often educational leaders are caught in a “culture of nice,” finding it difficult to give teachers and staff the critical feedback needed to improve practice in schools. In this session, we identify the reasons why candor is so uncommon, and we learn to overcome the “candor cancellations” that plague school culture in too many systems across the country. The authors of Candid and Compassionate Feedback: Transforming Everyday Practice in Schools are joined by the inspiring Principle EL to deliver this engaging session on shifting the culture of schools toward that of compassion and resilience through faster and more accurate uses of feedback cycles. Any instructional leader who wants a stronger culture through the use of informal feedback to teachers, shared decision-making in PLCs, and more capacity among teacher leaders, will enjoy this fast-paced session with outcomes that you can use immediately in your school or district when you return back after the conference.
Participants will understand the misconceptions about candor and how it works to improve school-based practices faster than any other strategy.
Participants will reflect on the feedback they give to teachers and peers as well as the level of discourse in PLCs and for capacity building with teacher leaders.
Through the use of scenarios and role play, participants will come away equipped with stronger precision with the use of language for improved feedback.
Access + Agency = Equity
It’s often misunderstood that equity issues in schools are all about equal access to quality programs for all students. While this is certainly true, it’s only the first step in the equation. Equity is not just about access, it’s about outcomes. For stronger outcomes, students need agency. Real equity only occurs when learning takes place in a culture that supports the “whole child” through meaningful, self-initiated choices. In this session, leaders will learn that passionate leadership requires a fundamental understanding of the problems we face in schools and a new approach to solving them. Participants will come away with both the inspiration to lead in new ways and the practical next steps to take for better student outcomes. The authors of Passionate Leadership: Creating a Culture of Success in Every School will facilitate this session, and you’ll feel the energy and enthusiasm before you even enter the room.
Participants will come away with a model for building trust in the classroom for stronger student-teacher relationships.
Participants will learn about and develop questions to help understand students’ dispositions around learning and school to facilitate deeper connections in the classroom.
Principal El spoke at our Kick-off Institute. He energized, encouraged and empowered us all to build champions of our future! It will be hard to find another speaker to top him this year.
"It was exciting to see over 1500 educators from around the world, immediately rise to their feet to give you a resounding standing ovation at the conclusion of your keynote. I continue to hear comments from my staff as well as conference attendees that your message touched them personally and was by far one of the best they have ever heard!"
"Principal EL's speeches are amazing and we love having him be a part of the work that Franklin Covey is doing around the world. He has a unique way of motivating teachers and students alike that is unparalleled. I wish we all could speak like him."