Inspiring educators to lead more compelling, engaging classrooms.
Using storytelling, giving examples from the classroom, and sharing proven and effective practices- Trevor inspires educators to lead a more compelling and engaging classroom. In the past few years, Trevor has traveled the globe giving keynotes and workshops to a variety of educators, including leading the Design Expedition at Fontys University in the Netherlands, a talk about the need for Soft Skills in Bogota, Colombia, giving a TED Talk at TEDx San Antonio, and training teachers in Project Based Learning in rural Iowa. Trevor offers the perspective of an author, speaker, project based learning expert, and most importantly- a classroom teacher, to help teachers find more ways to engage their students and transform their classrooms.
From short, day-long, and multi-day workshops to keynote speeches and in-classroom coaching, Trevor gives concrete tools, ideas, and inspiration to both educators, non-educators, and students.
Frequently Requested Keynotes/Workshops:
“Make Learning Epic: Teaching With the Power of Story”
Is there any point in learning something if you’re just going to forget it?
And this raises a bigger question: if learning is not memorable, should it even be considered learning?
Trevor shares how educators can design and shape learning experiences to be unfolding stories with real heroes who solve real problems. Using the power of storytelling, brain science, and the principles of Project Based Learning, teachers can achieve real student engagement, and in return, learning that is permanent and memorable. When students are empowered to solve authentic problems and teachers become designers of meaningful learning experiences, school becomes a place where everyone can thrive.
Through stories, research, and even some spoken word poetry, this talk can help any teacher, in any subject area, and in any grade level learn practical and proven practices to transform their classrooms into settings where students are engaged, challenged, and transformed.
"Launching Rockets – Making Connections with Challenging Students”
Some students’ stories have made them hard to connect with and difficult to reach. They are often written off as “bad kids” or “too far gone.” However, by finding authentic ways to engage them in the classroom, as well as learning their stories and building relationships, connections can be made with the most difficult students. This talk is part inspirational and part instructional as it shares teaching practices that create an engaged and meaningful classroom for all students.
“Stop Calling Them Soft Skills!”
Most employers say the top reason people are fired or never hired in the first place is that they lack soft skills: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, adaptability, and confidence. People lack these skills not because they are incapable of learning them, but because they never had a reason to. So much of the education system is focused on technical knowledge and "hard skills," and very little on these essential skills.
Trevor talks about helping students find purpose in their education and work and use that purpose to develop the skills needed to succeed. When we have a defined purpose, a goal that would cause us to self-destruct if we did not achieve it, we will obtain whatever skills necessary to overcome any obstacles to fulfill that purpose. With purpose, anyone can then move from fired to thriving in the modern education system, workforce, and society.
“Epic Project Based Learning 101”
Trevor’s Epic Project Based Learning 101 workshop was developed after years of working in a New Tech project based learning school, as well as his experience as a Buck Institute National Faculty member. Through this engaging and learning-intensive program, Trevor teaches any educator from any grade level how to implement project based learning in their school and classroom.
Epic Project Based Learning (PBL) at its core is about making learning- content and skills- authentic. PBL adds authenticity and real world challenges to the work students accomplish, and in the process making learning more engaging and memorable. This workshop gives concrete methods, practices, and resources to create a standards-based, skills and content rich classroom in an innovative project based learning model.
In the half-day workshop, teachers leave equipped with a strong understanding of what project based learning is and how it can transform their classroom. They will also leave with the tools to brainstorm, plan, and implement projects in their own classes.
Full Day: The goal of the Full Day workshop is for teachers to leave feeling empowered and able to plan and execute projects in their own classrooms. Along with the understanding teachers gain as described in the half-day workshop, participants will begin planning their own projects based on standards from their specific grade level and content areas.
During the Full Day, teachers will
- Understand ‘main course,’ meaningful project based learning
- Become familiar with project design, project management, and assessment resources
- Begin drafting a standards-based PBL project
- Learn protocols to critique and strengthen their own as well as peers’ projects
2 Day: Building upon the Full Day, teachers will fully plan a project based learning project for their students. Using the provided tools and resources, participants with collaborate with their peers as well as Trevor (workshop facilitator) to design a complete project for their classes. The goal of the 2 Day is for teachers to leave with a fully planned, standards-based project ready for students, as well as confidence to plan further projects outside of the workshop setting.
Consulting/Coaching: Once teachers have a firm grasp on planning, launching, and managing project based learning projects, consulting provides sustained support to deepen PBL practice in the classroom. Trevor meets one-on-one or with small groups of teachers to ensure their success. Consulting is based on the specific needs of teachers, but often covers subjects such as:
- Brainstorming project ideas
- Creating authentic connections to content standards
- Designing authentic assessments
- In-class coaching on project launches
- Coaching on project management
- Project reflection and making iterations
"Using Technology to Make Your Curriculum Authentic"
Technology for the sake of having technology is pointless and a waste of time and resources. However, when ed technology is used to make learning authentic, it has an essential purpose in the classroom. This session is about how certain technologies can be used to enhance authenticity in the classroom, assist students in meaningful work, and teach them skills they will need throughout life.
"Discovering Your Purpose: Finding a Reason to Overcome Anything"
A Keynote for Students
People don't quit because something is too hard. They quit because the hard work was not worth it. At the heart of overcoming seemingly impossible obstacles and developing perseverance despite difficult challenges, is having purpose. Trevor talks about helping students find purpose in their education and work and how to use that purpose to develop the skills needed to succeed. When we have a defined purpose, a goal that would cause us to self-destruct if we did not achieve it, we will obtain whatever skills necessary to overcome any obstacles to fulfill that purpose. Using storytelling, humor, research, and even some spoken word poetry, Trevor helps students discover purpose so they can thrive in education, career, and life.
What do you and your staff need?
Trevor can create a keynote and/or workshop to fit your school or conference’s needs. Want a project based learning workshop that focuses on the use of technology? Or how about a standards-based grading session that also talks about service learning?
If you have an idea that is not listed on this page, just send an email of what you’re thinking and we will make it happen.
“By far the best session I attended! Trevor was amazing and delivered such a great reminder about the power we have as educators. I could have listened to him tell stories all day.”
This was one of the best keynotes I’ve ever seen. Trevor made us laugh; he made us cry. And I left with tools to really put his ideas into practice in my own classroom.
— Maria Stevens, Teacher, Boyne City, Michigan
Every teacher wants to have the kind of impact that Trevor is talking about. Every teacher wants to create the kind of experiences in the classroom that he’s laying out. Today we’re learning how to do that. So we’re excited all of our faculty are exposed to this, so we can go back to our schools and recreate the same thing.
— Craig Hammond, Executive Director, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
Recent and Upcoming Speaking Events
January 3: Keynote and Workshops, Blessed Trinity Catholic School, Roswell, Georgia
January 7: Keynote and Workshops, Val Verde School District, Val Verde, California
January 8: Keynote, Paul Mitchell the School Temecula, Temecula, California
January 13 & 20: Workshop, WMCAT, Grand Rapids, Michigan
February 28: Workshop, Michigan Association for Non-Public Schools, Lansing, Michigan
March 2: Keynote, Paul Mitchell the School Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina
March 3: Keynote, Paul Mitchell the School Gastonia, Gastonia, North Carolina
March 6: Workshop, Creative Montessori Academy, Southgate, Michigan
March 7: Keynote, Mid-Year Celebration for the New Teacher Network, Lansing, Michigan
July 21: Featured Sessions, Frisco ISD Symposium, Dallas, Texas
August 4: Keynote, Personalized Learning Summit, Minneapolis, MN
November 9: Opening Keynote, The National Convening of Personalized Learning, Milwaukee, WI
January 7: Keynote and Workshops, Lipscomb Academy, Nashville, Tennessee
January 22: Opening Keynote and Workshops, Freeport Schools Winter Kickoff, Freeport, Illinois
January 25-27: Keynote, Timber Wolf Lake Young Life Weekend, Lake City, Michigan
February 15: Featured Speaker, Learning and the Brain Conference, San Francisco, California
February 22-23: Featured Speaker, Notre Dame STEM Forum, South Bend, Indiana
March 8: Keynote, Michigan Reading Association Annual Conference, Grand Rapids, Michigan
March 27: PBL Workshop, Troy Elementary, Troy, Michigan
April 18: Keynote, Sallie Jones Elementary, Punta Gorda, Florida
May 2: Keynote, Michigan Occupational Special Populations Association Conference, Boyne, Michigan
May 4: Featured Speaker, Paul Mitchell Schools Education Leadership Training, Los Angeles, California
May 10: Keynote, EPIC Project Based Learning, Grand Rapids, Michigan
June 6: Keynote, AppleMania Conference, New Palestine, Indiana
June 7: Keynote, The Innovative Exchange Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana
June 12: Keynote, MSD Decatur eLearning Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana
June 17: Keynote, EPIC Project Based Learning, Grand Rapids, Michigan
June 21: Keynote, The Lead Learners Summer Institute, Warsaw, Indiana
July 9-10: Keynote & PBL Workshop, Upstate Technology Conference, Greenville, South Carolina
July 31: Keynote, South Back to School Kickoff, South Bend, Indiana
August 5: Keynote, Stafford Schools Fall Kickoff, Stafford, Virginia
August 7: Keynote & Workshops, Newport Grammar Back to School Kickoff, Newport, Tennessee
August 20: Keynote, Haslett Public Schools Back to School Kickoff, Haslett, Michigan
August 26: Full day Workshop, Kingsbury Country Day School, Flint, Michigan
September 9 & 11: Keynote and Workshops, Michigan Association of Independent Schools, Ann Arbor & Saginaw, Michigan
September 15-16: Workshops, Paul Mitchell the School, Jacksonville, FL
September 27: Keynote, New Year Kickoff, Forest Hills Public Schools, Ada, Michigan
October 8: Workshops, Paul Mitchell the School, Detroit, MI
October 9: Featured Sessions, BAISD Ed Tech Fall Conference, Bay City, Michigan
October 11: Keynote, District Professional Development, Old Rochester, Massachusetts
October 14: Keynote and Workshop, Ironia Professional Learning Day, Randolph, New Jersey
October 16-17: Keynote and Workshops, Universidad De Los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
October 20-21: Keynote, Paul Mitchell Schools Summit, Newport Beach, CA
October 28: Keynote, Kalamazoo Young Life Banquet, Kalamazoo, Michigan
November 2: Keynote, Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan
December 7: Workshops, Forest Hills Central High School
December 12: Keynote and Workshop, Region 14 ESC Gathering of Professionals, Abilene, Texas