Unleashing Teacher Leadership: What's New at the 2024 NIET National Conference

January 10, 2024

Unleashing Teacher Leadership: What's New at the 2024 NIET National Conference

The NIET National Conference brings together educators annually from all over the country who share a mission to build strong instructional practices and improve student achievement. The 2024 NIET National Conference will occur on February 29 and March 1 in Dallas, Texas. Over 1,500 teachers and teacher leaders, school leaders, administrators, and policymakers will gather to celebrate and advance best practices in educational excellence. 

This year’s conference, with the theme of Unleashing Teacher Leadership, will offer hands-on, interactive training sessions that provide time for educators to collaborate and learn with NIET specialists and peers. Every session across five learning strands will provide educators with tools and techniques they can use right away in their classrooms, schools, and districts. Here’s a preview of this year’s conference strands. 

Strand 1: Unleashing Collaborative Structures

Collaborative learning is most effective when it is an ongoing process guided by a teacher leader who is an expert in instructional practice and adult learning. Sessions in this strand will explore ways to maximize collaborative learning to strengthen teaching and learning. Participants will learn new tools, protocols, and structures to ensure their school’s collaborative learning moments are relevant, timely, and tied directly to student needs.

Strand 2: Maximizing Individualized Coaching

Effective coaching conversations build a teacher's understanding of how instructional practices influence student learning. In this strand, participants will sharpen their skills in connecting changes in instruction to gains in student learning, and learn how to coach teachers to strengthen strategies for supporting individual students.

Strand 3: Implementing Evidence-Based Practices

At the core of teacher leadership is a deep knowledge and understanding of evidence-based instructional practices that result in student achievement. Sessions in this strand will provide opportunities for participants to hone their skills in using student work analyses, high-quality instructional materials (HQIM), and instructional practices that drive student learning growth.

Strand 4: Creating Positive Learning Environments

Teacher leaders who establish trust, demonstrate knowledge, and earn credibility are most effective. When these characteristics are present, teacher leaders can build a professional learning environment that supports improvements in teaching and learning. The sessions in this strand will share practices that establish a positive environment to enhance instructional excellence and student performance.

Strand 5: Bridging Early Career Support

Transitioning from preparation to practice requires proficiency in instructional practices and the disposition to continue growing as an educator. Sessions in this strand address foundational structures and practices that support teachers entering the profession for the first time. Participants will examine strategies that build instructional excellence and learning environments that support all students and promote reflective practices.

Bubble Sessions and Interactive Sessions

This year’s conference will also include opportunities to attend “bubble” sessions in which participants can observe fellow district and school leaders model best practices in collaborative meetings. Interactive Sessions will allow participants to learn from their peers about high-quality curriculum implementation, how state initiatives can support districts, and best practices from award-winning schools and districts.  

In addition to the many learning opportunities, the NIET National Conference also includes general sessions that spotlight stories of success and share ideas and successful practices behind student learning gains. General sessions will feature reflections from NIET Chairman and Founder Lowell Milken, NIET Chief Executive Officer Joshua Barnett, and NIET partners from across the country. During the conference, the NIET Founder’s Award will be presented to a top-performing school and the NIET District Award of Excellence for Educator Effectiveness to a top-performing district. Participants will also get a first look at NIET’s new book, Unleashing Teacher Leadership: A Toolkit for Ensuring Effective Instruction in Every Classroom

We look forward to seeing our partners in Dallas on February 29 through March 1. Look for takeaways on social media using the hashtag #NIET2024.