July 17-19, 2019 Louisville, KY
Pre-conference July 16



Our 3rd Annual Grow Event

July 17-19, downtown Louisville, KY!

Pre-conference on July 16

Join educators from around the world to grow your teaching craft!

Just as with prior years, Grow 19 will be centered around our popular Foundations of PBL Workshop and held at the amazing Frazier History Museum loft. This year we’re pleased to partner with the National School Reform Faculty to offer an optional pre-conference day (July 16) for a deep dive into Rich Inquiry through protocols!

We’ve been excited and honored by the growth of this open-registration professional learning event that has drawn pre-k to post-secondary educators from right here in Kentucky and across the US to places as far as Cambodia, Guatemala, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea!

July 16 pre-conference: “Addressing Elephants”, a day of safely engaging in difficult conversations about topics that profoundly affect our students.

July 17-19 Foundations of PBL: Grow your teaching craft through project-based learning! You’ll leave with a project for implementation in your setting.

Late Registration and Group Pricing Available Until July 9th.

*this event is limited to 70 seats

Eventbrite - TeachThought Grow 19

Registration Has Ended









Briley Habib - Bermuda

Laurie Nave – California

Jesse Young - Tennessee

Guinevere Joyce - Washington

Monique Jackson - Maryland

Carol Medrano - Illinois

Logan Brown - Illinois

Emily Ostler - Illinois

Miecha Walker - Maryland

Lorenzo Hughes - Maryland

Cristin Blunt - Missouri

Kyla Serrano - Missouri

Pamela Burham - Missouri

Kris Hanks - Maryland

Shannon Pugh - Maryland

Mary Tillar - Maryland

Cathy Steen - Maryland

Heidi Oliver-O'Gilvie - Maryland

Elaine Chao - California

Colin Meiselman - Massachusetts

Christina Clark - Arizona

Christopher DiBello - Pennsylvania

Eric Gallegher - Wisconsin

Kim Kelly - California

Victoria Morales - Idaho

Calista Houdek - Idaho

Michele Batten - Maryland

Lucy Langworthy - Tennessee

Rebecca Gordon-Bocklage - Missouri

Vanessa Tompkins - Minnesota

Kelsie Kluender - Minnesota

Jane Hibscher - Minnesota

Dawn Warren - Oregon

Angela Davis - Florida

Phyllis Guarno - Florida

Jill Tomlinson - Florida

Lorne Nannini - Bermuda

Betty Lyn Davis - Oregon

Yitzchak Lurie - Illinois

Cheryl Thomas - Missouri

Mark Werges - Missouri

Scott Cochran - Tennessee

Need to pay after July 1st/new fiscal year?

Choose “pay by invoice” during checkout.


Pre-conference – July 16

“Addressing Elephants” | Rich Inquiry through protocols, in partnership with the National School Reform Faculty

Engage honestly about topics that often provoke strong feelings on many sides of the issue, such as equity in education, high-stakes testing, etc.  Rather than leaping to blame or calling for specific solutions, instead you will be guided to:
  • Really listen for understanding when others present views different than yours
  • Explore more precisely what you feel and why you feel it
  • Articulate thoughts around your feelings in a non-judgmental, non-personal way
  • Reflect on perspectives, stories, and experiences different from yours 
  • Surface common beliefs and values that are shared in a larger group of people
  • Nurture feelings of understanding, respect, empathy, and/or friendliness with others as a result of in-depth,  honest, open conversations.

Lunch – Copper Kitchen

PBL Day 1 – July 17

Focus: Project Design & Planning

You’ll start the day with a unique keynote from a student proponent of PBL before diving into the foundations of PBL and effective project design. Make meaning of the TeachThought PBL Design Levers like “Rich Inquiry” as you explore the critical pedagogical relationship between your Driving Question and the Need to Knows that align with your content and skills. Begin your project ideation and development before getting some peer feedback to help you refine your thinking.

Lunch – All Thai’d Up

Informal Social 5-7pm at Patrick O’Shea’s on Historic Whiskey Row

PBL Day 2 – July 18

Focus: Project Scaffolding & Assessment

After another remarkable keynote that will push you to think differently about teaching and learning you’ll collaborate with your peers to explore and deepen your understanding of “Meaningful Assessment” in PBL.  Grading? Presentations? Products? Rubrics? Yes to that and more! As you start to scaffold and sequence your project you’ll get coaching and feedback to help ensure students are learning through the project. Before the day ends you’ll get more peer feedback as you refine your project towards “Craftsmanship“.

Lunch – Panera Bread

PBL Day 3 – July 19

Focus: Project Implementation & Management

Energize your brain with another extraordinary educator keynote as you head into the homestretch of project development. Today you’ll refine your project design with practical activities examining PBL management issues like student grouping, accountability for individuals/teams, and tools to help keep your project flowing and growing the “Aligned Thinking and Learning” you’re after. Finish your day with a tuning protocol to help you give and get peer feedback deepening your understanding of PBL.

Lunch – Crave Cafe

Michele Mattoon

Michele Mattoon

Director, National School Reform Faculty

Co-facilitator for July 16, pre-conference

Michele Mattoon has been the director of the National School Reform Faculty (NSRF) since 2010.  She works with schools and national facilitators across the country and overseas to implement Critical Friends Trainings, strategic planning sessions and other work relating to collaborative learning.  Michele has been a national/international facilitator with NSRF for over 15 years and has been a coach since 1996. She has developed many protocols, activities and trainings for Critical Friends Group (CFG) work over the years. Michele is the primary editor of the latest CFG Coaches’ Handbook that is used in all of NSRF’s trainings.

Before becoming NSRF’s director, Michele taught school for over 20 years and was the elementary coordinator for Harmony School for 3 years.  She was awarded the Hoosier Educator Award in 2000 and the Dorothy Johnson Award for Excellence in Education of Young Children in 2001.

Michele is also the president and owner of Coltrain Group, a consulting firm that brings collaborative training to businesses and other organizations outside of the education arena.

Eric White

Eric White

Facilitator and Coach

Co-facilitator for July 17-19

Eric is an educator who, above all else, is devoted to student and teacher empowerment. He has performed many roles in education that include serving as a classroom teacher, department head, instructional coach, and Title I / CTAE coordinator. During his tenure, he co-founded multiple academies that focused on design thinking, blended learning, and project-based learning. Eric has presented at many state and national conferences on innovative learning approaches and continues to provide professional development in this area. He also provides coaching and professional learning to assist districts and schools with 1:1 initiatives. In addition to having his blogs published by the Partnership for 21st Century Learning, he co-authored “Design Thinking and the Shift From Refrigerator Projects” for UnBoxed: A Journal of Adult Learning in Schools. Eric was also featured for his work with project-based learning in Edutopia’s Schools That Work series in 2011.

In his spare time Eric loves to go fly fishing, but he admittedly catches more trees than fish.

Drew Perkins

Drew Perkins

Director, TeachThought PD

Co-facilitator for July 16, pre-conference and July 17-19

As TeachThought’s Director of Professional Development and co-host of the TeachThought Podcast Drew helps design and deliver workshops and learning both on-site and virtually as well as coordinating PD work with our other Specialists. A graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in Political Science in three years, he was decidedly against the idea of being a teacher. With a mother and grandmother both educators, a stint as a substitute teacher lured him back to earn a teaching certificate in secondary social studies. Thus began a journey that includes 15 years in the classroom and leadership in Michigan, California, Texas and most recently Kentucky and spanned middle and high school, Special Education to Advanced Placement and basketball and golf coaching.

Formerly with the Buck Institute for Education and the Collaborative for Teaching and Learning he has designed and contributed to several PBL models, including the TeachThought PBL Model. Drew continues to deliver professional development and speak internationally. He has been light-heartedly referred to as a professional thought stretcher due to his emphasis on leading through inquiry and questioning.

Featured Keynote Speakers

July 18

Kennita Ballard

KCTE Middle School Teacher of the Year at Olmsted Academy North, School Startup Mentor, Grow 18 alumnus

July 17

E Wen Wong

Year 11 Student, passionate environmental advocator, innovator, and founder of plastic pollution organization, P.S. Our Beaches. Watch her TEDx Talk: How Project Based Learning is the key to sustainability

July 19

Tim Simpson

Morehead State University professor of education. He teaches the history and philosophy of education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Guest on The TeachThought Podcast Ep. 162 What Do We Really Mean By “Deeper Thinking And Learning”?

Hotels & Attractions

$129 Group Rate

635 West Market Street

Louisville, Kentucky, 40202


$150 Group Rate

800 West Market Street

LouisvilleKentucky 40202

+1 502 583-2552

Fairfield Inn & Suites Louisville Downtown

SpringHill Suites Louisville Downtown

$129 Group Rate
100 E Jefferson
Louisville, Kentucky 40202

+1 502-569-3553

The connections I made with other like-minded teachers from various parts of the world will create powerful learning experiences for our students. We can't wait to see what global PBL collaboration might look like!

-Rachel Kinsey, MS teacher

Great experience; I expected to find roadblocks in the development of PBL products within Mathematics. I now understand the use of PBL.

-Nello Thomas, Math Department Chair

I had an amazing time.

-Samantha Rankin, Vice-Principal

You need to go to this training. It is a transformational experience.

-Eric Terrell, MS math teacher

If you are ready to change students' lives come to this conference.

-Deana Ellis, lower school technology and science teacher

It was a great event that is empowering to teachers.

-Kara Owens, elementary teacher

I would encourage others to go if there is a #Grow18.

-Grace Nafziger, HS science teacher

If we are going to do what is best for students and have their learning be authentic, this training is essential!

-Dylan Wince, social studies teacher

Go, go, go!

-Stephanie Hansen, HS history teacher

Had the opportunity to start interdisciplinary planning because PBL starts to open your eyes to cross curriculum work that you don't realize exist until you are seeing all the ideas on the table!

-Jeff Bracken, high school social studies teacher

I had already developed a good mindset, but this event will help me make it happen in our school. PBL is about learning and growing and connecting with the world, and that is what I want for our students.

-Elizabeth Butler Hinkebein, librarian

This was the best professional development opportunity I have had in years. I left feeling inspired, encouraged, and challenged and I truly believe having a greater understanding of PBL has changed the way I will teach.

-Sarah Harris, 3rd grade teacher

From the greeting committee the first day throughout the workshop, everyone was focused on sharing ideas and developing a deeper understanding of PBL.

-Dirk Fogg, Associate Professor,  College of Arts & Sciences

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