Here is what people have said:
Heart of Education/7 Keys Williams Lake, BC
- Many teachers have expressed how exciting and inspiring your presentation was. I found your words a reminder of what I know to be solid and worthwhile practice, but don’t always follow. Thank you.
Heart of Education in North Battleford, SK
- My background has been in sports and coaching, so I have spent a great deal of time in the US, in Kelowna and Vancouver at clinics where some of the best coaches in the world have spoken. There are too many to say but the point is some are better than others and some are great. The good news is you are as good as the best of the best.
Assessment Conference in Corner Brook, NL
- Have to say Tom, without a doubt, in my twenty-eight years as an educator in NL, your presentation today would certainly rank among the top three of all I’ve had the opportunity to attend and listen to in the nearly three decades.
- Having risen at 5:30 am to be on the road by 7:00 am, your presentation was more than worth it. You exude such positivity, such exuberance, such enthusiasm for life, such optimism, the very components with which I do my best to live each day, focusing on the now.
- I just wanted to email to say what an amazing and inspiring session you presented in Corner Brook, NL at the Professional Development day for the Western School District. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment and have found myself telling countless people of you. As a student teacher I was very fortunate to be able to attend this PD day, and you completely inspired me.
Qikiqtani Conference in Iqaluit, NU
- Hello Mr. Hierck. I just wanted to tell you a story about teaching and teachers. This story resulted in a question that made me confused for many years till I saw your presentation last Tuesday at Inuksuk H.S. in Iqaluit. The night of my first day as a teacher, my family threw a party. At the party I was sitting with three teachers, each of them had more than 30-year experience. The discussion was about: Define (TEACHER) First one said: “The teacher is like a train. Keeps going back and forth on the same track, and at the end becomes scrap.” The second one said: “The teacher is like the number zero. gives value to all other numbers while remains a zero.” The third one said: “The teacher is the one who accepts you the way you are, and helps you find out how great you can be.” That was 13 years ago. I was confused about which description was the right one. Two events inspired the right answer. First, when you gave a presentation after breakfast at Inuksuk H.S. in Iqaluit. After you finished, everyone attended your presentation stood up and applauded you. Two days later, the Premier of Nunavut gave a presentation exactly at the same place. When she was done, we all applauded her but no one stood up for her. I felt as if a lightning struck me. Being a teacher can be greater than being a Premier.
- “Tom, you held the audience for an entire day. The message was inspirational; it came from both the heart and the head. Your credentials as a teacher shone through and your empathy, compassion and beliefs about success for each student shone through. As one with many years experience in education, I can safely say, your talk was hope-filled and fact based. You showed not only that students are success stories waiting to be told but that the same is true for teachers.”
- “I really appreciated how you encouraged our teachers to reflect on their current practices in the classroom and in particular how you were able to cause our staff to realize that both their success and that of their students truly does depend on their ability to foster positive relationships. Our teachers were very much moved by your message and thoroughly enjoyed your presentation style. Your message was powerful and crucial.”
- “This was the best professional development I have ever attended. Thanks for reminding me why I’m a teacher.”
- “I thought I was too old to learn something new about being a teacher. You inspired me to be the person I know I can.”
From Planning Chair
- “I’ve had many positive formal and informal comments re: your presentation. It has made a big difference in our Area.”
- “My wife and another teacher had been talking with their principal who had attended your session. She came home all excited that her principal had said today that staff meetings are not ‘for all that administrative stuff’ but we ‘should have some time to talk as a team about learning’. Step by step. Thanks for helping us along the journey.”
- “I enjoyed the passion you brought to the role. We need to see such models of vitality and knowledge, especially those that have walked the talk and show the way because they are just a little further up the path. I am hoping our district will build upon the common knowledge of head, heart and hands that you presented about PLC’s.”
- “I enjoyed the expertise, the personal nature, the great interactive skills & the continual optimism you exude!!! We are at a turning point in Nanaimo – and I think your workshop was a great catalyst to get us moving.”
From participants (What was the most valuable aspect?):
- “Tom’s use of personal anecdotes and illustrations was helpful. He is an excellent presenter.”
- “The combination of appropriateness, excellent background, knowledge, humour, and interaction! Super job!”
- “Tom is very passionate about learning and engaging all of us in the passion of teaching.”
- “We’ve been a PLC school for four years. After your presentation I finally feel like I understand how I can make a difference” (shared verbally after the session)
From the committee chair:
- The presentation that Tom gave to our Family of Schools (500 staff). The audience was completely engaged…………from silence to laughter and even perhaps tears. The feedback from principals (secondary and elementary) and teachers alike was incredibly positive and enthusiastic. Tom made us reflect on the “heart of education” and our key roles in providing student success.
- He didn’t pull any punches and at one point said that “if you don’t believe that all children can succeed and that failure is not an option then you should get another job.” Tom’s presentation made an incredibly powerful impact on the hearts and minds of staff!
From a committee member and participant:
- We need to thank you! Your presentation/message is sending “shock waves” across the county. As soon as my superintendent walked in today, he said that he heard it was just a fabulous presentation already. Today staff continued to talk about what a fabulous job that you did. Best of luck in all of your endeavours. You have the opportunity to continue to make such a positive impact on the hearts & minds of educators. Continue the amazing work!
From Participants (“Valuable to me because…”):
- “Tom was energetic, knowledgeable with a sense of humour – wish the session was longer.”
- “explained and conjured with creativity and passion; a very sensible and meaningful, honest presentation.”
- “I felt Tom was very effective and competent in knowing what’s important and how we need to support kids in school.”
- “Tom was a very dynamic presenter that conveyed to the audience his enthusiasm, commitment, and philosophical viewpoint in relation to students. This was paralleled with a sense of unconditional acceptance. It must be an honour to work with an individual with such insight and dedication.”
From Participants (What do you feel was the greatest strength of this conference?):
- “The workshop given was so interesting and practical that I could have spent my entire two days and felt quite satisfied. A lot of worthwhile information and too little time.”
Rotary Youth Leaders (ages 19-25) – Styles of Leadership/Motivation
From Participants (Why did you find the session useful?):
- “He taught us that everyone can choose their life and destiny regardless of certain circumstances.”
- “Hearing his beliefs inspired everyone in the room. Everything he said was true and he was easy to listen to. His talk about each and everyone one of us having a personal mission in life supporting our goals to achieve great heights. He was amazing.”
Effective Behaviour Support – Promoting Positive Schools, Fort Providence (NWT), Vanderhoof, Bella Bella, Brandon, Bridgewater
From Participants (What was the most positive aspect of the session?)
- “Presenter came across as genuinely caring for students with practical and tried ideas. You’ve “walked the talk” and I feel that is important.”
- “I feel the session has put our staff on the same page and only good things can happen now. It focused on the positive. There has been a negative tone around here lately. I feel there is a light at the end of the tunnel now.”
- “All the points Tom presented are attainable. The presentation was lively, honest, and passionate.”
- “I found Tom to be very motivational and practical – his experience shows! He also provided some good ideas for tangible things to implement immediately. His sense of humour and stories were great.”
- “Thank you sooooooo much for the work that you do to remind us, as educators, of the influence we have in children’s lives. Your message is so much of what I believe in, in terms of showing kids that we care and giving them hope. Too often we can get hung up on where they come from and say “well, they don’t have a chance”. I sincerely believe that every child does have a chance and it’s our job to do the best we can while they are at school. Hearing you speak passionately about what appears to be such a simple message, is so inspiring. I hope you continue to reach out and speak to as many people as you can. In today’s world, we need more people who care and know that it’s important to pass that on. Your presentation was humorous, thought provoking, inspiring and something that has reaffirmed what I am doing.”
Making Connections – Richmond
From Participants (“I really liked…”)
- “Tom Hierck is a very compelling speaker.”
- “Tom’s presentation was great.”
- “Emphasis on team building and positive change.”
- “Tom’s session had the practical combined with the literature.”
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Victoria
From Participants (Did the trainer’s presentation reflect the principles?)
- “Yes, in every way.”
- “Tom is a great role model for this program. He lives by the principles presented.”
- “Tom is my Principal and it was enjoyable to experience this time with him in this role. He very much reflects the principles presented in the program.”
Heart of Education – The Pas
- “Just to let you know how much I appreciated the enthusiasm and candor you shared at the Northern Administrators Summer Conference in The Pas last week. I feel a renewed commitment to do my best in giving students a chance to succeed and I hope I can make a difference in students’ lives.”
IDC Symposium – Laval
From Participants (General comments)
- “Tom Hierck was great, inspiring, motivating!”
- “Ton Hierck was wonderful – light, positive presentation full of terrific reminders of what we need to keep learning.”
- “Keynote speaker especially touched my heart.”
- “Tom was inspiring to listen to. He was honest, practical and realistic, and shared real life situations.”