Conference Speaker - Tom Cody


North Dakota Council for Exceptional Children

Thursday, October 4th, 2018 ~ Conference Speaker
Oak Park Theater, Minot ND
8:00am - 3:30pm

Tom Cody

“Discovering the Power of Choice: Creating a Healthy, Positive Learning Environment”

Tom Cody, a co-founder of Top 20 Training, shares his unique witticisms, insights and wisdom gathered from 40 years in the classroom. His professional life has been committed to education, serving as a grade school and high school math teacher and character ed teacher from 1974 until his retirement from teaching in 2014.  Tom now devotes his professional life to Top 20 Training.  He has been instrumental in developing innovative curricular programs and processes at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St Paul, Minnesota. He has coached several successful boys and girls athletic teams and was a newspaper sports columnist for over 20 years. A graduate of Colorado State University, Tom is a crossword puzzle fanatic and a deeply committed baseball fan. He and his wife Judy, also a teacher, have three sons; one is a high school math teacher.


   Top 20 Teachers Live Above the Line: How Our Thinking Governs Our Experience

This session focuses on becoming aware of our thinking so we know when it is working and when it is not working. It explores (1) the conditions that come up in our life that invite us to go Below the Line, (2) indicators telling us when we are Below, (3) how to handle Below the Line experiences with more grace and dignity and (4) how to trampoline back Above the Line.

   Top 20 Teachers Know How to See Things Differently: The Frame

The Frame helps people understand why they are getting the results they are getting out of life. The session examines (1) the tendency we have to blame others when we are not getting the results we desire, (2) how our 'need to be right' activates blame, (3) how curiosity helps us to get better results, and (4) what we can do to see more or differently.

   Top 20 Teachers Create a Top 20 Culture

Top 20 teachers create a culture that develops the potential of students and colleagues. This session presents four components of a Top 20 culture: (1) help others succeed, (2) communicate ‘you matter,’ (3) honor the absent, and (4) see the problem, own the problem. It also presents a tool for assessing the degree to which these components exist in a culture.


   Top 20 Teachers Keep Stupid in the Box: Eliminating Student Roadblocks for Success

Based on research from students and adults, this session identifies (1) five causes of stupid, (2) responses students make when they feel stupid, and (3) what teachers can do to minimize the negative impact stupid has on kids.

   Top 20 Teachers Help Students Learn from Mistakes and Move Outside Their Comfort Zone

This session focuses on (1) the beliefs students form about themselves from the messages they receive from others when they make a mistake, (2) what keeps students stuck in their comfort zone, and (3) more effective ways of responding to our own mistakes and the mistakes of others.

   Top 20 Teachers Engage Students through Three Rs:  Realizations, Relevancy and Star Qualities

This session examines three ways by which we can better engage 21st century students: (1) moving from memorization to realization, (2) answering the relevancy question: What’s in it for me, and (3) developing Star Qualities in all subject areas.