Reimagine your professional development experience with McREL’s professional learning academies and workshops. In our dynamic sessions, you’ll dig deep into research-based instructional and leadership practices that positively influence achievement and help to transform your teaching and leading. Our consultants travel the world to bring our latest insights and professional learning resources to you. Browse our upcoming academies, workshops, conference presentations, and social media events to find ways to connect with fellow educators, add to your professional toolbox, and grow your professional learning network.

Do you need onsite professional learning or are you looking for a dynamic, engaging, and inspiring speaker for your workshop or conference? Download our press kit to learn more about whom to contact regarding our cadre of presenters, and contact us for more information.

Contact Us

by phone
by email

by web form

Professional Learning
Classroom Instruction That Works
March 25–26 | Denver, Colorado

K–12 educators in all subject areas, staff developers, curriculum instructors, building administrators

Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works


Led by Cheryl Abla, coauthor of McREL’s Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works and an expert Classroom Instruction That Works (CITW) coach, you’ll learn how to use each of the strategies in your classroom, choosing the right strategies for specific situations to help engage your students in high-quality learning. You’ll leave the session with a powerful instructional framework that can help you strengthen your lesson design and delivery, and tools to help you create engaging learning activities for your students.

Whether the nine CITW strategies are new to you or something you already use every day, this workshop will help you raise your level of effectiveness using them to boost student achievement.

Two-day workshop includes Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works book, activity guide and other materials, plus beverages and lunch.

Classroom Instruction That Works — Authorized Facilitator Training
March 25–28 | Denver, Colorado

Instructional coaches, principals, district-level professional development staff, regional education service agency trainers, professional association trainers, and other educators who would like to deliver CITW workshops in their local area.

Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works


Register now to attend this four-day training session to deepen your understanding of the nine CITW categories of effective research-based instructional strategies and how to present effective CITW workshops on your own.

  • Get a toolkit of CITW workshop materials and associated classroom activities.
  • Learn how to help teachers apply the CITW instructional strategies to their lesson design and delivery.
  • Get best practices for leading effective adult learning and professional development.
  • Practice delivering lessons and participate in quality assurance steps to become an authorized CITW facilitator.

Upon successful completion of this training, McREL will authorize you to deliver multiple CITW professional development workshops to educators in your school district or education service agency area (BOCES, ESCs, ESUs, RESAs, etc.) for a period of one year. Annual re-authorization is available.

Four-day workshop includes includes Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works book, all participant materials, facilitator’s guide, and authorization, plus beverages and lunch during all four training days.

Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works: 51 Activities and Tools for Increasing Student Achievement
June 18–19 | Denver, Colorado

Teachers, instructional coaches and mentors, principals and assistant principals, central office PD leaders

Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works


Join Cheryl Abla—teacher, instructional trainer, coach, and coauthor of the popular book Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works—for this two-day professional learning session to gain valuable insights, tools, and strategies for crafting dynamic learning activities supported by the best research on effective instruction, including the nine categories of instructional strategies and 51 practical and engaging teaching activities, strategies, and tools for:

  • Creating a classroom environment for learning
  • Helping students develop deeper understanding of content
  • Helping students extend and apply their new knowledge to other challenges
  • Classroom tech tools for engaging and meaningful learning

Two-day workshop includes Tools for Classroom Instruction That Works book, related workshop materials, and daily lunch and refreshments.

Curiosity Works: Moving Your School from Improvement to Innovation
July 30–31 | Ann  Arbor, Michigan

K–12 principals, school leadership teams, central office administrators



Learn why curiosity is an important lever for learning and how to cultivate it in teachers, leaders, and learners using the innovation pathways found in McREL’s Curiosity Works approach to school improvement. You’ll leave this engaging, interactive 2-day session with tools, tips, and strategic advice you can put to use during the 2019–20 school year.

Designed for principals and school leadership team members, the session topics and learnings include:

  • 17 tools to support your school’s improvement journey.
  • Understanding the differences between inside-out, curiosity-driven innovation and outside-in or top-down approaches.
  • A process for crafting strong, well-articulated school values, mission, and vision statements.
  • A plan to support peer coaching as a professional learning structure in your school or system.

While individual school leaders can register and attend this session on their own, it is strongly recommended that multiple members of your school leadership team attend this session together, to maximize strategic visioning and planning for the 2019–2020 school year.

Two-day workshop includes all participant materials, book, plus beverages and lunch each day.

Conference Sessions & Keynotes
Presentations | Texas Rural Schools—Spring Conference
March 1 | Georgetown, Texas

Hosted by Region 13 Education Service Center, the Texas Rural Schools conference brings educators from rural schools across the state together to share successful strategies, innovative tools, and strategies for immediate application in their schools. At this year’s conference, Bryan Goodwin will present two sessions related to McREL’s Curiosity Works research and resources:

Curiosity: A Simple (and often overlooked) “Hack” for Learning
Curiosity is an untapped resource for many schools that conencts with what McREL research has found to be two key traits of rural schools that “beat the odds”: creating a culture of caring for students and retaining teachers by supporting and empowering them to engage in innovative practices.

Leading with Curiosity in Mind
Learn about simple shifts brave leaders can take to “flip the script” on improvement efforts—starting with what’s inside every student (and teacher) and waiting to come out: their curiosity. You’ll get a simple tool―steeped in decades of research―that you and your teachers can use for inquiry-based professional learning and, collaboratively, identify your next step toward innovation.

Presentations | ASCD Empower19 National Conference
March 16–19 | Chicago, Illinois

Join McREL staff and thousands of educators from across the U.S. and around the world in the Windy City to explore new perspectives on education and strategies for teaching, leading, and school improvement. Review the latest McREL books, resources, and services at our booth in the Exhibit Hall, and join us for the following conference sessions:

Preconference Institute* | The Reflective Teacher: Becoming an expert, one problem at a time
Presenters: Bryan Goodwin, with Alisa Simeral
Thursday–Friday, March 14–15, 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
*Preconference institutes require separate registration.

Concurrent Session | Leading from the Inside Out
Presenter: Bryan Goodwin
Saturday, March 16, 8:15–9:45 a.m.

Concurrent Session | Classroom Instruction That Works: Moving from Research to Practice
Presenters: Cheryl Abla, with Matt Perini
Saturday, March 16, 3:30–5:00 p.m.

Concurrent Session | School Improvement that Works: From Improvement to Innovation
Presenter: Kris Rouleau
Sunday, March 17, 8:15–9:45 a.m.

Keynote Presentation | Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association—Spring Conference
April 4 | Phoenix, Arizona

McREL CEO Bryan Goodwin will deliver a keynote on using the science on effective learning and professional growth to create, or improve, your district’s talent development system. Sharing key ideas and strategies, Bryan will identify simple shifts that HR and PD leaders can make to their district’s human capital management systems to ensure that they don’t simply evaluate educator performance, but actually grow their expertise and unleash their talent.

Social Media Events

Twitter Slow Chats

Looking to grow your professional learning network? Join us for our weeklong Twitter slow chats, where participants share best practices, strategies, and common (or uncommon) struggles and successes. Our WEEKLY chats begin Monday at 9:00 a.m. and continue through Sunday at 9:00 p.m.

Follow us on Twitter and use the hashtag #McRELchat to share your thoughts and ideas with other educators.


Feb. 18–24 | Who is your favorite president and why?
Feb. 25–Mar. 3 | How has a student impacted your teaching career?
Mar. 4–10 | How do you educate students on healthy choices such as diet, alcohol, nicotine, exercise, etc.?
Mar. 11–17 | How do you celebrate Pi Day (3/14) in your classroom or school? Also, what’s your favorite pie?
Mar. 18–24 | What extracurricular activities did you participate in when you were in school?
Mar. 25–31 | How do you help students build social awareness skills? Please share examples.