Whole Brain Teaching, LLC - Milestones
1999:In the small Southern California town of Yucaipa, three instructors, Chris Biffle (college), Jay Vanderfin (kindergarten) and Chris Rekstad (4th grade) spend a year designing a radical new teaching system based on three principles: the system should be brain based, fun and free.
2000:Thirty Yucaipa teachers meet in Biffle’s living room. The educators are uncertain which aspect of the new system they love the most ... the cost (zip) or the potent chunks of educational tomfoolery.
2001-2006:Biffle, Vanderfin and Rekstad host monthly free Power Teachers conferences on classroom management, reading and state standards at Crafton HIlls College in Yucaipa. Seminar attendance ranges from 20-40. The three heroes ask themselves, “What’s the Golden Key? How can we reach way more teachers and spread, across the land, the music of task focused laughter?”
2007:The Golden Key is discovered. Focus on teaching challenging students! A core seminar is designed, “Teaching Challenging K-12 Students (and the rest of your class, too!)” Desperate, fun loving teachers pour out of the woodwork. Seminar attendance skyrockets from 40 to 400+.
2008:The not-exactly-technologically-hip trio discovers YouTube and TeacherTube. In 14 months, Power Teachers videos receive 500,000 views. Teachers in every state of the Union and 20 foreign countries study Power Teacher's short movies. Thousands of pages of free Power Teachers materials are downloaded from a collection of sites. By the end of the year, with the wondrous assistance of programmer Jason Pedersen, a single website, this one!, is designed. All of Power Teaching's resources, videos, testimonials, message boards, calendar, free downloads are available under one electronic roof.
2009:Biffle, Vanderfin and Rekstad, ask themselves ... What's our next goal? The answer: to become one of America's leaders in brain based education. And so, in the summer of '09, Power Teaching becomes Whole Brain Teaching, LLC, a limited liability corporation. New name. New vision. Same great prices!
2010: WBT conferences continue to set attendance records. In the small town of Hemet, California, over 900 teachers register for a presentation in an auditorium that seats 400! In April, WBT reaches out to an international audience with webcasts featuring lively, and live!, introductions to a host of brain friendly teaching strategies. In August, views of WBT videos on YouTube and TeacherTube top 1,000,000.