Teaching Learning Leading K-12

Episode 89: Jennifer Gonzalez and the Power of Being a Dork

February 17, 2016


Jennifer Gonzalez is a former middle school language arts teacher who earned her National Board Certification. 

After a break to be a stay at home mom, she took a position at a college where she works with pre-service teachers.

She is a podcaster, blogger, professional speaker, coach, trainer and author.


I reached out to Jenn after hearing her podcast Episode 31-The Power of Being a Dork (Cult of Pedagogy).  I love the story about the trombone player and the song by Chicago.

Jenn notes,  “to demonstrate an infectious love of learning the kids will roll their eyes and they will call you a dork…whatever…  but it’s going to kind of sink in, even if it is later in life.”

Her commentary focuses on three ways “Dorking Out” can change the world:

1.      Being a dork teaches other people to love learning.

2.      Being a dork frees the dork in others.

3.      Being a dork puts a dent in the status quo.

Her thoughts about teachers needing to release that inner dork and why is just too cool.


Also, check out our comments pertaining to her book that she co-authored with Mark Barnes called Hacking Education: 10 Quick Fixes for Every School. She talks about her favorite Hack- The Pineapple Chart.

Additionally, we discussed what her ideal classroom would look like and she referenced a segment of her blog that she calls Classroom Eye Candy.

By the way, check out an article she wrote called “Find Your Marigold: The One Essential Rule for New Teachers.” She says that it is her most downloaded post.

Hope you enjoy today’s interview.

Oh yeah, check out her book, Hacking Education: 10 Quick Fixes for Every School. I’ve read it. It’s filled with great ideas that you could put to action in your school or classroom, tomorrow.

Take care.



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