Kim is an energetic, empowering, inspiring speaker—she’ll help teachers remember their “why,” rediscover their happiness, and return to the classroom with confidence and courage!
Genius Hour

Keynote #1

Genius Hour: Bringing Creativity and Innovation Back to the Classroom

Genius Hour is taking the education world by storm! It is a movement that allows our students to explore their own passions and interests, and it encourages creativity in the classroom by providing students a choice in what they learn during a set period of the school day.

The Genius Hour concept is based on one of Google’s practices: they require that 80% of their employees’ work-week be spent researching, investigating, and exploring a topic or passion of personal interest, one that is not tied to their job description. As a result, they’ve found that 80% of their best ideas come from that 20% of independent work.

Genius Hour empowers students to wonder, to explore, and to create; it is our job as educators to encourage critical thinking and inspire creativity—skills that are needed for the 21st century learner. It is no longer about compliantly sticking to a scheduled curriculum of memorization and recall. Learners come alive in Genius Hour, motivation levels skyrocket, and students are completely engaged. The future belongs to creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers and meaning makers, artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, innovators, and big picture thinkers—and Genius Hour is where it can all begin.


  • What is Genius Hour and why do our students need it?
  • Introducing Genius Hour to your students
  • Create procedures and processes that structure a successful Genius Hour
  • How to connect your standards and your curriculum to Genius Hour
Genius Hour

Keynote #2

Growth Mindset: Increasing Achievement and Boosting Motivation

There are two mindsets that have a MAJOR impact on our ability to learn, grow, and achieve our goals.

GROWTH MINDSET: You believe that your skills and intelligence are things that can be developed, cultivated, and improved—that you DO have the capacity to learn and grow. Skills are built through effort and everyone can change.

FIXED MINDSET: You believe that your skills and intelligence are carved in stone and that you DON’T have the capacity to develop, cultivate, or improve them. You are born with a certain aptitude and intelligence and can’t do much to change them.

Research shows that a growth mindset can foster grit, determination, and work ethic within students, athletes, and people of all ages. Carol Dweck’s extensive research of the topic also shows that people with a growth mindset learn, grow, and achieve more than people that have fixed mindsets.


  • 1. Establish Growth Mindset Beliefs
  • The brain is like a muscle that can be strengthened
  • We learn by doing, experiencing, and practicing
  • The more we do, the more we learn
  • Growth comes from productive struggle
  • Skills are BUILT not born—and they are yours if you earn them
  • 2. Our Words Influence the Culture
  • The connection between ability and accomplishment
  • Negative labels and how they work
  • The dangers of praise and positive labels
  • 3. Create a Growth Mindset in Students
  • What makes a great teacher?
  • Messages about success and failure
  • Tools for creating a growth mindset classroom
Remembering the Why

Keynote #3

Remembering Your Why: Meaning, Purpose, and Passion in Education

As someone who has experienced moments of powerlessness in my personal life, as well as in my career as an educator, I’m all too familiar with how easy it is to feel helpless. Teachers, in general, are struggling right now. Educators feel they are working in a time of chaos; they are over-worked, overwhelmed, and over-stressed. Some have lost a lot of their joy. And what concerns me most is the toll these feelings are taking on them and how it’s affecting their lives, their classrooms, and their students.

But I believe that sometimes it’s out of chaos that solutions cry out. Teachers need to be reminded of their “why”—and they need tools to help them navigate the ever-changing landscape of this profession.

I’m determined to help teachers rediscover their passion for teaching, but more than anything, I want them to reclaim their lives and stand proud on this path they have chosen. I want to empower them, because they are the ones who step in our classrooms 180 days a year and hold great influence on our children. What they do matters greatly, and the fact that they feel called to teach … well, this is truly a service of the heart.


  • What we do MATTERS
  • What’s your WHY?
  • How to Reclaim Your Profession and Joy
  • Relationships Matter
  • Culture and Climate
Monster Teacher

Keynote #4

Becoming a Monster Teacher: Reigniting Your Passion To Teach

We all know we’re supposed to be passionate about teaching, and we feel guilty when sometimes that passion just isn’t there. We all truly want to help our students grow and succeed. But how do we find and maintain our passion for teaching on those days (or topics or content standards) that we don’t really feel joyful about?

The answer lies in the three types of passion in teaching: Content Passion, Professional Passion, and Personal Passion. When you’re passion filled, you’re more personally fulfilled as an educator, and you become a magnetic teacher who is firing from all circuits. There’s an electric juice that flows through your veins and reignites your life purpose of educating students.

In the midst of this passion, we, of course, must abide by our state’s policies. But we haven’t lost all of our freedoms. We can reclaim our POWER as teachers when we rediscover our PASSION. By bringing creativity back into our classrooms and incorporating specific strategies, we can readjust our own mindsets and reignite the monster that lives inside each of us.


  • How to become a Monster Teacher
  • Integrating creativity into our classrooms
  • How to reclaim our power as teachers
  • 3 Steps to Increasing Your Love of Teaching
  • Finding more joy in teaching
Science of Happiness

Keynote #5

The Science of Happiness and Its Impact on School Culture

For the past 20 years, I’ve studied and researched the topics of Happiness and Positive Psychology, which is the study of happiness and how we learn to thrive in both our personal and professional lives.

The Happiness Pie Chart breaks down the three factors that influence our happiness:

  • A whopping 50% of happiness is genetic—which seems to run counter to the idea we have the ability within us to actually make ourselves happier! And it’s a valid concern when you think of some of the people and personalities we encounter in our daily lives.
  • 10% of happiness is based on individual circumstances: your job and its challenges; how much money you make—or don’t make; your material possessions, like cars, homes, shoes, etc.
  • Here’s the really fascinating section of the pie chart: the remaining 40% is up for grabs. This means that 40% of our happiness—be it personal or professional—is changeable. WE can create happiness! There are many activities and behaviors we can adopt to make this happen.

Happiness researcher, author, and speaker Shawn Achor explains it best: “Happiness is not about being blind to the negatives in our environment; it’s about believing we have the power to do something about them.” In other words, it’s not necessarily reality that shapes you, but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality.

Mr. Achor also says, “What the science of happiness has found is that if we can change that lens, not only can we increase personal happiness, we can also affect positive change in education and business outcomes”. This is exactly what I feel called to do for educators.

So, how does this transfer to the classroom? Educational guru Robert Marzano says, “The single most influential component of an effective school is the individual teachers within the school.” I wholeheartedly believe this. We know which classrooms students are excited to step into each day—and which ones they’re not. The Science of Happiness can help transform your classroom into one where students love to learn and are able to thrive.


  • Two characteristics students are looking for in a teacher
  • The Happiness Research
  • Training the brain to be positive
  • Relationships with students and with co-workers
  • Creating more joy in your profession
  • Taking our power back
Positive School Culture

Keynote #6

Positive School Culture: How Choosing Happiness Fosters Success

Frequently, I hear from teachers about negativity in the workplace. It often comes in the form of fellow teachers who are so caught up in the politics of education and the “busy-ness” of the school year, that they’ve lost the joy that led them to choose a career in teaching. They have a negative attitude—and it’s starting to affect everyone around them.

A 2013 Gallop poll found that only 13% of the workforce is happy in their jobs, which results in a cost of $500 billion annually, in the US alone. When the workforce in question is comprised of teachers, the loss may be felt more than just monetarily. Lessons suffer, learning suffers, students suffer.

But happiness researcher Shawn Achor has found that when employees work with a positive mindset, their performance undergoes a positive transformation, as well, improving productivity, creativity, and engagement. Further, Achor says, “People who cultivate a positive mindset perform better in the face of challenge.” Which means, even if you work with a bunch of Negative Nellies, you can still be a Positive Polly!

All of us in the education field have a choice to make. We can focus on everything that’s broken about the system—or we can choose HOPE. We can refocus our energies and find ways back to doing what we know in our hearts is truly RIGHT for our students—beyond the standardized tests and professional politics. We can show up for our students in the ways they need us to—with a positive mindset and a joyful heart.


  • How to be the positive outlier
  • Negative Nellies and Positive Pollies
  • The Power of Positive Energy
  • How to change the lens through which we view challenges


Kim believes all teachers have the ability to make a difference in the life of a child and devotes her time, energy, and knowledge to helping make that happen. She helps teachers to incorporate the “Three R’s” into their lesson plans:


Kim demonstrates how creating a positive environment with a strong sense of connection is critical in education.  “The most powerful predictor of student achievement is the quality of relationships among the staff.” (The Harvard Principals Center)


Kim helps teachers and administrators create cultures of high expectations with rich instruction, where students are provided with the support necessary to help them achieve at high levels in their learning.


Kim believes lessons must be meaningful every single day and relevant to the 21st century student.  Additionally, engagement is of vital importance when examining content and approach to learning.


  • Kim Strobel is a dedicated educator who understands what teachers need. Her magnetic personality and genuine presentation style captivate audiences everywhere she goes. Her enthusiasm is contagious. You’ll love her!

  • The buzz sweeping the education world about Kim Strobel is real. And, it’s no surprise that teachers and administrators are lining up to see her presentations. Simply put, she’s absolutely fantastic. Not only is she a thought leader and expert in her field, but more than that, she’s deeply passionate about helping teachers make a lifelong difference in the lives of students.

  • Kim is so energetic and enthusiastic that she won us over from the very beginning. She is refreshing and her knowledge and ability to explain is wonderful. I left feeling motivated to reenter the classroom, and summer has just begun!

    B. Arnold, Elementary Teacher
  • I’m telling you, this literacy trainer is awesome! If you have a chance to attend yourself and/or get teachers to go, it would be extremely worth it. I contracted with her several times when I was the professional development coordinator for the Southern Indiana Education Center, and the teachers and literacy coaches who attended couldn’t get enough of her!

    R. Moore, Director of Education in Indiana
  • Simply put, I have never worked with a consultant that so completely wins over all teachers and so quickly influences their thinking and teaching strategies

    P. White, Superintendent