2018 Call for Proposals Guidelines20th National Symposium

Key Dates

Pre-Conference: Sunday, February 11, 2018

Symposium: Monday, February 12 – Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Venue: Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport, Burlingame, California

Proposal Submission Deadline: September 1, 2017

Notification of Proposal Acceptance/Non-Acceptance: Week of September 27, 2017


New Teacher Center (NTC) invites practitioners, researchers, and education leaders to submit proposals for sessions that strongly relate to one of the seven key focus areas and to the participant learning outcomes listed below. We are looking for session proposals that will inspire mentors, coaches, principals and district leaders who are responsible for designing and implementing high-quality induction programs and improving the effectiveness of teachers. Submissions should exemplify best practices and present innovative approaches of incorporating instructional strategies related to the key focus areas into teacher development and teacher and/or principal induction programs. NTC is seeking to create a focused learning experience that represents the geographic and demographic diversity of schools, offers a range of perspectives, and inspires new standards of excellence. Full guidelines for proposal submissions are listed below.

Symposium Session Event Tracks

Teacher Leadership = Student Success (Early Learning, Teacher Induction, & Instructional Coaching)

Teachers are the single most important factor in student success outside of the home, yet teaching is often not thought of as leadership role. One big step in building and supporting the profession is providing teachers leadership opportunities to excel and grow. Currently, leadership roles are more often associated with administrators and principals, leaving teachers few leadership options. Helping to develop teacher leaders is essential to fostering excellence in our schools and elevating the profession as a whole.

  • How can districts empower and build the leadership capacity of teachers in their district?
  • What does teachers leadership look like when it is well-developed in a school, district or program?
  • How can teacher education programs, induction programs and schools/districts position teachers as leaders from the get go?
  • What systemic barriers hinder teachers from viewing themselves as leaders and how can those barriers be removed?
  • Why is mentoring and coaching critical to leadership development? What makes it successful and what is challenging?
  • Given the importance of early learning, what unique development is needed to build the leadership capacity of PreK teachers?
  • What is the optimal role of instructional coaches and how can they offer critical support and build the capacity of new teacher, school and district leaders?

Schools as Change Agents (School Leadership & Culture)

Administrators and school leaders are essential to student achievement. Leading school culture, curriculum, and programs, they develop key supports for students and empower instructional leaders. But, to be successful, they must fully understand what students need and leverage the leadership within their schools to create change that drives student success.

  • How do administrators and school leaders create a system that supports teachers and students?
  • How can school leaders leverage the leadership capacity of their staff to drive student success?
  • How can school and administrative leaders partner to create environments that support to social emotional needs of students?
  • Where should administrators look for research and best practices that could better their own school practices?
  • What are key focus areas administrators should develop in preparing the next generation of instructional leaders in their districts?
  • How do you build strong instructional teams that empower the leadership of teachers?
  • How could the education system be restructured to better support teacher and administrator relationships?
  • What policies (local, state, and national) could better support this restructured system?

From Education to Social Justice (Equity, Advocacy, & Policy)

In 2014, for the first time, children of color became the student majority in our nation’s public schools. Classrooms are more diverse, students are at different learning levels, and educators are being challenged to adapt their instructional practices in order to ensure all their students succeed. Academic success occurs when educators know how to develop a positive community, cultivate resilience, and use strategies that honor the learning profiles of all students. Thus it is imperative that educators, districts, and states promote equity in their classrooms, schools, and districts. But, in promoting equity, it is important to consider:

  • What role do teachers, teacher leaders, districts, and states play in setting the stage for an equitable student environment? What barriers exist to creating this environment, and what programs work to overcome such barriers?
  • How can districts empower and build the leadership capacity of teachers to help students succeed, given learner variabilities and their various skills, needs, and backgrounds, including race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender, sexual identity, rural/urban settings, English as a second language, and disability status?
  • How does a culturally responsive pedagogy support student equity, and is it being integrated into existing teacher support programs?
  • What more could teacher, school, and district leaders do to integrate a culturally responsive pedagogy and social-emotional learning?
  • How is your program, school, or district creating a climate that honors all learners, students and adults? How does instruction and assessment support this climate?
  • In our current political climate, how can we elevate the voices of students, parents and educators to create support for critical programs?

The Future Starts Now (Leadership, Innovation, & Funding)

Public education has seen a transformation in how teachers approach instruction. Teachers are responsible for a wide demographic of students, and their instructional practices have evolved to meet student needs. Personalized learning, project-based learning, education technology, and alternative professional learning models have all been recent additions to the education field. Teacher, school, and district leaders have had to adapt in many ways to accommodate such innovations, but are they, along with charter networks, states, and county agencies, prepared for new, unforeseen innovations to come?

  • What new innovations could/should districts and schools prepare for?
  • How are districts, schools, and school networks prepared to manage new, future innovations? What role do states and counties play to support them?
  • What barriers do these groups need to overcome to successfully implement such innovations?
  • How can we empower teachers to lead innovation, now and in the future?
  • How do you optimize the role technology in personalized learning?
  • How can we leverage learning from innovators to influence wide-scale implementation?
  • What is the classroom of the future and how are teachers trained to lead in it?
  • What are the various funding models schools and districts can look to support these new innovations?

Who Attends?

District and school leaders, induction leaders, beginning teachers, mentors, coaches, teachers, university faculty/supervisors, professional developers, researchers, and induction coaches.

Participant Learning Outcomes

Participants will:

  • Gain new ideas about what constitutes quality mentoring and about the components of high-quality teacher induction programs
  • Develop a deeper understanding of how the changing instructional landscape is influencing teacher and principal development and practice
  • Learn how equity is key to fostering excellence in education
  • Learn how induction programs and mentoring practices can support instructional innovation
  • Access cutting edge professional development strategies that supports the implementation of state standards, fosters social and emotional learning and learning differences, and helps realize the potential of blended learning
  • Renew the commitment to transform the profession through advancing the effectiveness of teachers to improve student learning
  • Build educational leadership capacity by contributing to the symposium community of learning, strengthening relationships, and serving as a thought-partner and resource to other participants

Proposal Criteria


All sessions are 90 minutes long.


  • Clearly addresses one or more Symposium four key focus areas
  • Reveals depth of content knowledge
  • Demonstrates compelling thinking (new contributions to the field, deepening understanding of a concept, interesting use of tools, approaches, research, etc.)


  • Connected to, supports, and/or informs the work of mentoring or instructional coaching
  • Includes practical content
  • Builds capacity of teacher leaders
  • Addresses relevant issues/topics in the field (policy, standards, SEL-LD, evaluation, etc.)


  • Articulates a viable scope and sequence (logical flow, enough time for activities planned, appropriate amount of information for session length)
  • Designed with effective professional development strategies
  • Demonstrates understanding of adult learning principles and different learning styles
  • Engages participants and allows time for reflection and participant engagement
  • Addresses all aspects of the request for proposal

Session Title

The session title (10 words or less) should concisely convey the session topic and content. NTC reserves the right to edit session titles for the Symposium registration brochure and program.

Detailed Session Summary

The detailed session summary should accurately list the session connector/introduction, specific learnings and participant engagement, and processing time. Session presentations must reflect the activities outlined in the submitted proposal.

View a sample proposal (PDF) here.

Session Description

The session description (75-90 words maximum) should provide a succinct description of the proposed session. The description should include the types of learning activities in which participants will be engaged, intended participant outcomes, and how the presentation relates to one particular focus area. Descriptions should be written in third person dialogue. View a sample proposal (PDF) here. NTC will not accept sessions that involve selling a specific program, product, or approach. NTC reserves the right to edit session descriptions for the Symposium registration brochure and program.

Primary and Secondary Presenters

Each session must have one primary presenter (a.k.a. the session lead), and may have additional secondary presenters. The primary presenter will serve as the contact for all correspondence regarding session proposal acceptance, scheduling, changes, room notification, and audiovisual requests. It is the responsibility of this person to communicate in a timely manner all information to all secondary presenters listed. As primary presenter, do not list individuals as secondary presenters on the proposal submission form unless there is a firm commitment.

Registration Discounts for Presenters

NTC will provide a reduced registration fee for a maximum of two presenters per session. The registration fee will be $400 each, Symposium only (Pre-Conference registration is a separate fee). Additional presenters will pay the regular registration fee (Symposium only, Pre-Conference registration is a separate fee) of $550 for early registration or $600 for registrations received after January 4, 2018. 

Proposal Submission Deadline

Proposals may only be submitted online, and must be submitted by September 1, 2017.

Proposal Selection and Notification

Upon acceptance of your proposal, NTC will contact the primary presenter regarding various details of your presentation. Primary presenters must provide electronic files of their presentation materials in mid-January 2018. Presenters are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses.


If you have any questions, please contact NTC by phone at 831.600.2277, or email at: symposium@newteachercenter.org.