Last week I once again attended a conference I have now not missed for over 8 years.  The Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders (MSLBD) has become one of my non-negotiables. If I am able, I plan to attend as long as I can.  There are many reasons why this conference as opposed to others has become near and dear to me, but the number one reason is the people!  The relationships both professional and personal I have developed over the years have been invaluable.

I started attending this conference not long after my son Tyler was diagnosed with fragile X syndrome.  It was also about the same time I increased my work professionally with school systems and families around the world.  I needed to increase my knowledge base as both a parent and a professional.   I needed to amass resources to share with others and MSLBD did not disappoint.  I found an incredible wealth of information upon attending my first conference and every year since it has continued to grow.

In a world that now has information readily available at our fingertips through the internet, there is still no substitute for face to face relationships.  This conference allows participants to directly interact with the key researches in the field of education and provides sessions from amazing practitioners who are daily living in the trenches with some of our most challenging youth.  Most importantly to me, they are passionate about making the world a better place for our kids.

When people share a like-mindedness, it does not mean they agree on everything.  It means that from a philosophical position they agree what needs to be done.  It doesn’t always mean that we agree upon the how.  It is in the respectful discussions and challenging each other’s thoughts and ideas that we grow.  MSLBD continues to challenge me through the interaction with people who believe passionately in making kids lives betters through a support network of professionals who develop others to become leaders and advocates in the field of education.

My strong encouragement to you is find your group.  A group of like-minded professionals that will challenge your thinking.  A group of people who are passionate about what you are passionate about.  A group of people who make you a better person and a better professional.  For me, that group has become MSLBD.  Who is your group?

Tim Geels – SVP of Corporate Implementation and Instruction

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