With the Teaching | Learning | Coaching Conference (TLC) right around the corner, we’re getting excited by diving into the work of this year’s great lineup of presenters. One presenter we’re particularly excited about is Bill Sommers. He’s no stranger to TLC, having presented last year and several times before that, but this year has been like no other before. We can’t wait to experience what he’s got in store for TLC, and this Thursday at 4pm CDT, Bill and Jim Knight will discuss the importance of professional reading and why Bill is “the most well read person [Jim] know[s]” as part of ICG’s Coaching Conversations series on Facebook Live. In the meantime, let’s catch up with what Bill has been up to.


Bill Sommers, TLC 2020 presenter

Bill Sommers is a Marshall Goldsmith certified Stakeholder Centered Coach and has been a consultant for Cognitive Coaching, Adaptive Schools, Brain Research, Poverty, Habits of Mind, Conflict Management, and Classroom Management strategies. He was also on the Board of Trustees for five years and President of the National Staff Development Council now called Learning Forward. Dr. Sommers is the former Executive Director for Secondary Curriculum and Professional Learning for Minneapolis Public Schools, and a school administrator for over 35 years.



He has also co-authored over ten books, including The Principal’s Field Manual (2009) as well as his most recent publication, Nine Professional Conversataions to Change Our Schools (2018).

In January 2016, Bill and his colleague Skip Olsen launched the website learningomnivores.com which includes educational posts, new rules (changes in attitude and behavior we educators must exhibit to survive in our world of surprising changes), and book summaries.

Dr. Sommers regularly contributes blog posts to the site covering topics ranging from honoring effective and inspiring leaders such as John Lewis to student engagement in the time of COVID-19. The site also offers an ongoing list of fantastic reading recommendations, Principal Time Savers (for creating internal or external communications, combining announcements with reflection prompts, inspirational quotes, and learning activities), and examinations of Stakeholder Centered Coaching – when a leader or team is committed to the courage to confront honest information, the humility to listen and learn, and the discipline to follow through with behaviors to attain the goal.

“My belief is that if I’m not learning, the people around me are not going to learning either.” – Bill Sommers

Beyond his constant sharing of resources and his deep wealth of experience consulting, Dr. Sommers’ habit of coming out of retirement  to put theory into practice as a principal serves as a prime example of his dedication to improving the lives of educators and students everywhere. We are extremely lucky to welcome him as a TLC presenter this year, and even more fortunate to have the chance to catch up with him as we prepare for the conference.


Don’t forget to tune in to his Coaching Conversation with Jim Knight this Thursday, 9/10 at 4pm CDT.


Bill’s top picks – September 2020

Bill’s bibliography master document, books 1-78, September 2020



We’re happy to announce that Bill Sommers will be presenting two sessions at this year’s Teaching Learning Coaching conference! Learn more about his breakout session below and register today to attend the biggest virtual conference designed for instructional coaches.

Responding to Resistance: Leveraging Conflict to Increase Learning

The book Responding to Resistance: 30 Ways to Manage Conflict,  has ways to mediate, gain common goals, and keep relationships while disagreeing on the process. There is even a chapter on what to do when nothing is working. These strategies are presented as an easy to reference drawing from education and business and will work at multiple levels; individual, small groups, and large groups.

The goal of this session is to expand your repertoire, give you more agility in difficult interactions, and reduce the amount of time in conflict.


Nine Professional Conversations: A Dashboard of Options

Face-to-face conversational skill is a fundamental foundation for establishing effective relationships and collaboration in an ever-changing environment. Technology can keep those relationships meaningful and strong while physical distancing is still required. Physical distancing doesn’t have to mean social and emotional distancing.

You will learn:

  1. Nine conversational strategies designed to promote collective teacher efficacy
  2. Strategies to focus on student and staff learning that can be used in real time