A Presenter Who “Walks his Talk”
Willy Wood is an educational consultant, speaker, author, and expert on brain-compatible teaching techniques. As President of Open Mind Technologies, Inc., an educational consulting firm, Willy delivers engaging and informative professional development experiences for teachers nationally and internationally.
Willy constantly monitors the latest research in cognitive science, neuroscience, and education and translates those findings into useful, practical classroom strategies that teachers can apply the very next day. He specializes in such topics as increasing engagement, maximizing on-task attention, teaching for long-term memory, using music in the classroom, and raising test scores.
No matter the topic, Willy “walks his talk,” using music, movement, and frequent processing activities to engage his audiences and to model the brain-compatible teaching strategies he covers in his workshops. His motto is, “If they don’t see it and experience it, they won’t do it in their own classrooms.” Teachers will walk away from his workshops inspired, motivated, and armed with the information they need to put their newly-learned strategies to work.
Willy is the co-author, with Rich Allen, of The Rock ‘N’ Roll Classroom: Using Music to Manage Mood, Energy, and Learning (Corwin, 2013). This is a one-of-a-kind book covering seven powerful uses of music in the classroom, supported by research and full of classroom examples from teachers all over the world.
In addition, Willy is the publisher of the e-newsletter, Neuro News, in which he regularly publishes articles about how the human brain learns best and effective teaching practices based on that information.
Willy also runs two annual teachers’ conferences—the Write to Learn Conference for K-12 language arts teachers and the Missouri Early Learning Conference for pre-K through third grade teachers. These two conferences annually bring some of the best educational speakers in the world to the Midwest to share cutting-edge teaching strategies with teachers from the region.
Willy began his journey in education as a high school and university level English teacher, teaching in his own classrooms for fourteen years before serving as the Language Arts Consultant for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for five years. For the past sixteen years, Willy has been a full-time educational consultant, classroom coach, and presenter at numerous national conferences and in school districts across the country.
He lives in Columbia, Missouri with his wife, Debbie, who teaches kindergarten. They have three sons—Mikael, Rory, and Jordan—and two golden doodles—Maizy and Scully.