The IFT South Orange County Think Tank is hosting the Strength-Based Education Summit 2.0 today and tomorrow (June 9-10, 2017). Teachers, with school community members, will discover the greatness in our school-communities, dream what a strength-based ...


Strength-Based Education Summit 2.0 and more...

Strength-Based Education Summit 2.0

The IFT South Orange County Think Tank is hosting the Strength-Based Education Summit 2.0 today and tomorrow (June 9-10, 2017).  Teachers, with school community members, will discover the greatness in our school-communities, dream what a strength-based teaching and learning environment will look like, design a strength-based school community and deliver on Creating a Culture of Success for All.  

Parts of the Summit will be presented LIVE on Facebook (10:00 am to 4:00 pm each day). 

If you would like to view the Strength-Based Education 2.0 Summit LIVE, go to the IFT Facebook Site. 




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Calendar of LiveStreaming Events  

To view the IFT events, GO TO:

May 22, 2017……….12:15 pm to 12:45 pm

Moreno Valley Think Tank Discussion

Teacher Mikki Cichocki and Dr. Henry Yzaguirre present and discuss the San Bernardino Restorative Youth Court IFT Grant.  

The San Bernardino Restorative Youth Court is the first program of its kind in the city of San Bernardino and the only school district-based court in the State. A community response to student misconduct, its primary aim is to hold the offender accountable for his/her actions within a positive social network of support. The youth court format we have adopted is the adult judge/peer jury model. The court is facilitated by an adult judge community volunteer and driven by student jurors, clerks and bailiffs. Positive peer pressure is leveraged to increase the offender’s awareness of the impact his/her actions have had on the community. The heart and soul of SBYRC is about kids helping kids and fostering positive youth identity. 

May 23, 2017……….12:15 pm to 12:45 pm

San Diego Think Tank Discussion

Teacher Emalyn Leppard  presents and discusses the Montgomery Middle Comprehensive Health and Wellness Project IFT Grant.  

Montgomery Middle School launched a successful Comprehensive Health and Wellness Program in 2015. Our proposal aims to strengthen this successful program in three ways: (1) Install aquaponics in the school’s garden-enabling students to actively learn how to raise edible fish along with fruits and vegetables in an integrated system;  (2) Provide nutrition and cooking classes -- engage students in healthy learning and living strategies, for themselves and families, while simultaneously building mutually supportive peer-to-peer relationships and a positive work ethic; and (3)  Strengthen school-wide and school community relations-use the garden and education about food, nutrition and cooking as means to foster a positive, forward-looking culture of healthy living on and off campus.

June 9 - 10, 2017  Time - TBD

IFT South Orange County - Appreciative Inquiry Strength-Based Education Summit 2.0

Seven Factors Driving A Creating a Culture of Success for All


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The 2017 CTA-IFT Teacher Innovation Expo was a very inspirational day for participants and presenters. The Expo showcased a number of innovative Strength-Based Teacher Driven Grants.  The message is clear!  When given the opportunity, teachers know what it takes to create a culture of success for their students.  

Click to Check-Out How You Can Apply for an IFT Grant!


Charles Taylor Kerchner, professor and research scholar at Claremont Graduate University. attended the Expo and described why we need more opportunities for teacher to invent, create and produce great learning activities for California’s students.  Kerchner writes: 


Want more innovative teaching?  I know the secret sauce.  Find teachers who already innovate, get out of their way, give them a little money, and invite them to share the results with other teachers.  That's what I witnessed last week at a gathering of the Institute for Teaching.   


Professor Kerchner goes on to ask the question, Is the Expo real unionism and answers by commenting, "For more than a quarter-century, I've advocated joining bread-and-butter unionism, political action, and organizing teaching as a profession. With organizations such as the IFT   .   .   .   there's a better chance that unions will initiate changes rather than block them."   Continue reading.


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The Appreciative Inquiry Model and Strength-Based Public schools

Can teachers think their way into creating a public school system based on talents and strengths?  According to the Appreciative Inquiry model, the answer is “yes.”  Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a method for studying and changing social systems (public schools) that advocate collective inquiry into the best of what is to create new and desired futures. 

For Strength-Based Teacher Driven Change, Appreciative Inquiry asks teachers to imagine what could be, followed by the collective design of a desired strength-based public school.   Appreciative Inquiry encourages an environment of mutually shared commitment and support.    Continue reading to find out more about Appreciative Inquiry.



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What is Strengths-Based Education? by Edward “Chip” Anderson

Strengths-based education involves a process of assessing, teaching, and designing experiential learning activities to help students identify their greatest talents.  In essence, strengths-based education involves educators discovering their own talents and developing and applying strengths as they help students do the same in learning and completing academic tasks to optimal levels of personal excellence.   Continue reading.



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