…Like Ice Cream to the Cone

That phrase just might describe the many connections, moments, and relationships that were initiated, re-united, and acknowledged at the Ontario Tribes Learning Community Consortium conference this past weekend in Stratford, Ontario, Canada.

More than 130 Tribes TLC trainers and teachers attended, along with keynote speakers Dr. Michael Fullan and Dr. Barrie Bennett …and the woman who started it all, Jeanne Gibbs.

Both Dr. Fullan and Dr. Bennett acknowledged the Tribes TLC process as vital to creating and sustaining the culture…for exciting innovating learning experiences for all students as well as for instructional intelligent design.

Dr. Fullan pointed out that ‘education’ is ‘to call forth with care’ (Latin).

In “choosing the right drivers” for collective capacity, he says “the real driver is culture; learning is the work.

Barrie Bennett and Jeanne Gibbs

Barrie Bennett and Jeanne Gibbs

Michael Fullan and Jeanne Gibbs

Jeanne Gibbs and Michael Fullan

Dr. Bennett likened the Tribes process to the bottom of a wedding cake, or the thread that holds the quilt together.  In ‘positioning the pieces’ for instructional intelligence,  Dr. Bennett provided a visual showing that Tribes TLC drives the five basic elements of cooperative learning (the process of cooperative learning) and structures for cooperative learning.

Both of these amazing authors and scholars sold out any books they brought along, and I encourage you to read anything by either or both of these gentlemen.

By far the most precious moments of the conference were watching the interaction between Jeanne Gibbs and her mentors and friends, Michael and Barrie.  Add to that the amazing support and social contact with all the Tribes-minded participants…and let’s just say the result was overwhelming.

Jeanne’s closing included the words. “I’ve waited 40 years for this!”

“This” is the recognition for Tribes TLC, the power of seeing so many dedicated educators, and the knowledge that, in the words of Maya Angelou “you can do it…I know what was done for me.”