Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Experiences with the Center for Teacher Effectiveness

I wanted to post an update on my experience and feeling toward CTE.  I presume you found this rather obscure blog because you're researching Time To Teach and the Center for Teacher Effectiveness.  Good.

It's wise to go into things with your eyes open.  I was skeptical at first. In fact I'm skeptical by nature and teach intense information fluency skills as part of my online teaching work.  I examine online information, look for bias, and have a highly developed BS detector.

I recall when I first got interested in CTE.  I searched and didn't find much. These days CTE has a slightly higher online presence, but it remains a very face to face, person to person organization. There's nothing wrong with that. I was pulled in by the quality of communication and information I got from CTE. Rick has a great business plan and amazing materials. Access to that information and the training it takes to help teachers get time to teach by gaining respectful control of their classrooms  is what it's all about. That's what the training delivers. If you're a dynamic teacher ready market yourself the CTE way, you'll do well.

I'm still associated with the Center for Teacher Effectiveness.  I still endorse their program and back the integrity of the people working with Rick Dahlgren.  Rick is an amazing teacher with a powerful, experience based approach that will create a safe, respect based, learning environment.

I personally think every classroom teacher and all administrators will benefit from this training.  Our schools would be better places to learn if all new teachers were trained in the methods taught by the Center for Teacher Effectiveness.  It took me 25 years of classroom teaching to learn what Rick puts into his materials.

So why am I not actively making presentations at conferences and providing face to face training in schools? CTE is not particularly visible on the web.  They work in the classroom face to face.  I now make my living completely by teaching online and doing e-learning consulting working from my home office.  IF I were willing to go on the road and put the energy needed into marketing this program I have no doubt I could make a good income doing work I am proud of.  Becoming an active associate is one of my back up plans if I need to diversify my career.  At the moment being at home and online is what I love to do!

Here' a quotation from a recent associates newsletter I got from the center that shows the way Rick coaches.

"The CTE Way - Amazing Trainings!!!

Dear Dennis,

We hope this correspondence finds you in good health and happiness.

Two of your Time To Teach colleagues recently concluded trainings and received some of the best reviews we have ever seen.  They are Chad Houck and Roger Miller.  I am so proud of them and wanted to share what the superintendent and teachers said about their Time To Teach training.  But, before I do, let me say that we encountered a shipping problem and the books did not make it to the training!   Even with this - which is not good - they totally ruled the day.  Here is what was said:

"I believe we just don't say thanks enough and I know from first hand experience that you rarely receive positive feedback from services provided to educators.  Let me buck that trend and tell you that Chad Houcks presentation to our middle school staff was a home run!

Our middle school needed a "cultural resuscitation" this year with test scores going down and discipline and absences going up....things needed a change.  With a change in administration, I told the new principal that I had a day long workshop planned before school starts and that he would thank me after it was over.

Sure enough, the teachers comments back to us were amazing, Chad was passionate about his material.  He had credibility as a high school administrator and a dad who implemented Time to Teach with his own kids.

Your materials are great, the presenter was even better.

My only feedback is to make sure materials are in the hands of the district well before the training.  Chad had to copy off the workbook to make the workshop happen.  I am not sure that we have what we ordered yet?

Thanks again for being part of the journey this middle school is on.  I will recommend to other superintendents the need for your program in their schools.


Kevin Silberberg Ed.D
Superintendent Standard School District 
And, from Roger Miller's training:

Thank you so much for coming to Elm Grove.   Your "Time to Teach" training was truly phenomenal.  Word has already gotten to the Board Office about how great the Teacher Academy was.  Numerous teachers expressed how much they enjoyed and commented that is was the best staff development ever.  I received emails Friday evening thanking me for bringing you to Elm Grove.  Here are some quotes:

"Today's Teacher Academy was absolutely awesome. The message was so clear: You are in the wrong profession if you don't LOVE children....haven't felt this happy and motivated in 37 years. Thanks, boss!"

"I want you to know that today's staff development was truly inspiring and beneficial. I'm excited to start the new year. We have several new changes with our staff, which should prove very positive. I believe that when our ENTIRE staff implements these strategies, we will achieve more success than ever! Thank for getting Mr. Miller to our school for a wonderful staff development session and for helping our staff get off to a positive start. I hope you will see all members participating and enjoying the successes."

"Best training in my 31 years!"

I was also told that it was posted of Facebook as "The best Teacher Academy ever."  The Deputy Superintendent was told by a teacher over the weekend that is was the best.  I have also told the Deputy Superintendent and the head of Student Services that this needs to be implemented county wide.  Maybe I will get you some more work.

You are a great presenter and we can tell that you truly care about Time to Teach.  We all enjoyed your enthusiasm and personal stories.  My staff continues to cry and laugh with you.

Hope to see you again soon.  If you are ever back in the Northern Panhandle make sure you stop in.

Thank you!


Richard B. Dunlevy

We are so lucky to be associated with Chad and Roger and all of you who represent us.   

Thank you ALL so much!  I have so many of these from many of YOU, but these just came in in the last few hours and I had to share them with you.   

Rick Dahlgren 


I hope this information helps you on your way! 


Dennis O'Connor
Program Advisor
E-Learning & Online TeachingSchool of Education
Online Professional Development
University of Wisconsin-Stout
Wisconsin's Polytechnic University
530-318-1145 (Cell)
Skype: wiredinstructor2


Greg Ormson said...

Dennis -
Your blog is correct, I am researching TTT to analyze its claims and think about it.
I'd love to talk with you, if possible. If you want to comment back, I could call.
FYI ... I see you work at STOUT. Menomonie is my hometown!
Now, I live in Hawaii and am a semi-retired instructor from the Wisconsin Technical College system. If you care to help me evaluate TTT in more detail, my email is

I'd be happy to call you anytime.

Thank you.

Dennis Thomas O'Connor said...

Greg, I enjoyed talking with you. I wish you the best with CTE.

They are the real deal. I'm glad I could give you an insider's view of how the program operates.


Carol Cervantes said...

I am sure that CTE is a great company and they probably do give great trainings, something that is truly needed in the schools. The only thing I feel that it makes it a scam is that in order for a educator to work for the company you would need to pay $675.00 to be trained. Now I have a problem with this because with any company that you work for the employee never needs to pay for trainings. I also understand that we are independent contractors and that this is looked at as a business but CTE will be making a profit from our sells because they will be setting us up with the schools, selling the program to the schools and the materials. So we are just trainers administrating their program to the teachers and schools. Because of this and because CTE will be making a profit then why should the trainers pay for a training program that will only generate a training fee paid to us by CTE. This is where I think it is a scam. What if we don't get any schools, what if we are the ones who have to hustle to get the schools while CTE gives them the program. There is alot of if's and if we didn't have to pay for the trainings then I would have a different opinion.

Dennis in your research did you come across anyone who has paid for the program and is currently not working the program?

Looking forward to hearing from you



Dennis Thomas O'Connor said...

Carole, I take issue with your use of the red hot word scam when it comes to paying for training. There's nothing dishonest going on. You know about the costs up front.

If you want to make money with CTE you have to be a trained in their methods. That training costs time and money (for them and for the person being trained.)

So no scam, just an upfront cost. If you were opening a franchise donut shop would you expect to be put into the business without any up front costs?