Reflections on Opening Day

Many powerful ideas circulated as the sessions kicked off. One theme: It all begins with the teacher. Attention was given to the importance of teacher training and development and to the necessity of investing in strong teacher preparation programs that will train teachers not only in content areas, but in areas of emotional intelligence and social justice issues as well. This idea was juxtaposed to a stark reality of education: teachers feel under-appreciated and the teaching profession in general does not receive the respect it deserves due to obstacles such as budget cuts.

Later in the day the next session focused on financing and supporting teacher development and questioned, what is the most effective way to support new teachers and help them grow? Attention was also given to the crucial roles teachers play not only in teaching students content, but also in teaching students how to learn and develop a life-long love of learning as well.

The day closed with the official launch of the Teacher Policy Development Guide.

While today’s breakout sessions will not be live streamed, please be sure to watch the live streaming of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary on Thursday, March 17 at 11:00 a.m. CDT and the closing sessions beginning at 2:30 p.m. and 3:10p.m. CDT.

Stay connected to the conference by following all our live tweets at: and the hashtag #ttfmx2016.