Walden University – Masters in Instructional Design and Technology, Online Learning Emphasis
Cal State Northridge – Teaching Credential (Multiple Subject and Single Subject English)
Connecticut College – B.A. English
California Regional Teacher of the Year, 2004.
San Gabriel Valley Outstanding Computer Using Educator, 2009.
Heather Wolpert-Gawron is an award-winning middle school teacher, writer, and trainer. She is a California Writing Project Fellow at the University of California at Irvine and a member of the Teacher Leaders Network with the Center for Teaching Quality.
She has authored workbooks on teaching Internet Literacy for grades 3-8, workbooks on Project Based Writing, grades 3-8, as well as the upcoming Nonfiction Reading Comprehension for the Common Core, grades 1-8. She is also the author of ˜Tween Crayons and Curfews: Tips for Middle School Teachers, for EyeOnEducation Publishing, and her second book, Writing Behind Every Door: Common Core Writing Across the Content Areas will be published fall 2013.
Heather is a staff blogger for The George Lucas Educational Foundation’s Edutopia.org has contributed to The Huffington Post. She is a member of the Center for Teaching Quality’s Teacher Leaders Network, a Fellow of the National Writing Project, and is devoted to helping teachers regain control of their profession through elevating their practice and educating themselves on policy. She is passionate about educational technology and blended learning, and she works to help tech tentative teachers become more savvy online and off.
She is a professional speaker, appearing at many educational conferences. She also has designed and presented webinars for multiple educational organizations, websites, and publishing companies.
Heather is dedicated to a new educative movement, one that incorporates the most innovative and differentiated strategies from the 21st Century classrooms of today with the online learning strategies students will need for their tomorrows. She believes teachers have a vital role to play in K12 instructional design and implementation. As Designers, Communicators, and Subject Matter Experts, teachers can enter this new chapter of education with a deeper knowledge of the skills students will need to prepare for a future world.
She is wife to Royce, whom she met in 2nd grade, after karate-chopping him at recess. Additionally, she is mom to 7 year-old Benjamin and 2 year-old Samwise (yes, like the Hobbit) whom they call Sam. She lives with all her boys and their boxer/corgy mix, their laughter and chaos, in Los Angeles, CA.
Training teachers and writing for educators helps to recharge her batteries for her real passion in life, that of teaching in the classroom. She has taught 3rd grade – 12th grade, but the fact is, she loves Middle School. Wolpert-Gawron has said, “Middle schoolers are ready to talk and ponder about the big issues, yet still yell, ‘Crayons!’ when the blessed colored wax sticks appear on their desk.Teaching middle schoolers is like working with a herd of wild fillies.You have to rein ‘em in and give them slack, rein ‘em in and give them slack.It’s harder to find a sub in middle schools then in any other grade level. Why? Because they’re crazy.And I love ‘em.”
Currently, Wolpert-Gawron teaches three sections of 8th Grade ELA, two sections of a 7th Grade blended learning class (a hybrid of offline and online teaching), and coaches two sections of a nationally ranked 7th/8th Speech & Debate team. All of her classes are guided by an understanding of differentiated instruction and Project Based Learning. All of her classes integrate technology, for she believes that in technology lays the key to communicate in the 21st Century.
Wolpert-Gawron has taught in many educative models at many different levels. From traditional to progressive, from private school to public school, from a magnet school to an on-set teacher on location, Wolpert-Garwon learns from each location and model so that her current classroom can be as strong as it can be.
She began her own teaching career in a progressive private school in Culver City, learning about team teaching, collaboration, student-centered environments, and curriculum integration.It was there that she was bitten by the bugs of cross-curricular integration and curriculum design as a means to keep engaged as a teacher. If a teacher is bored, so are her students. With that in mind, Wolpert-Gawron began her routine of consistently revising and reinventing her classes and lessons from year to year to keep them fresh for both herself and her students. In Culver City, she began an elementary after-school debate team that integrated the Social Sciences, Language Arts, and Oral Speaking Skills. As for curriculum design: the history unit she worked on, “Colonial Willowsburg,” a role-playing living museum that incorporated History, Technology, Drama, Art, and Language Arts was featured in the Los Angeles Times.
During this time, she also worked on the weekends as the Shakespeare director at the Youth Academy of Dramatic Arts (YADA), directing full-length Shakespeare productions for ages 5-65. Working with children and adults alike, Wolpert-Gawron designed sets, taught stage combat, and incorporated Language Arts and History lessons into many of her rehearsals.
From Culver City, she made her way to a more traditional school up in San Mateo, CA. There, her methods of student-driven teaching and collaborative groupings were balanced by lessons driven by more traditional, facing-forward educational models, and she learned that in a true differentiated society, a teacher must teach using both philosophies.
She then joined a staff at a Microsociety Magnet school in Berkeley, CA where each elective model helped to contribute to the running of a mythical city. Not only was she an upper elementary teacher, she also developed curriculum for Court, which used a student-created constitution as a means to help with the school’s peer mediation program.
From there she joined the staff of a California Distinguished School in Dublin, California.There she taught 7th Grade CORE, honing her passion for curriculum integration and curriculum design into a History/Language Arts/Technology/Character Education unit called “Meanwhile…”She also began a theater company elective that specialized in performing Shakespeare.Her students and programs were featured in both The San Francisco Chronicle and the Tri-Valley Herald.
Upon moving back to Los Angeles, she began working as a middle school teacher in a Title I California Distinguished School in the San Gabriel Valley. Her mock trial team were finalists in Los Angeles County and was featured in The Los Angeles Times. Her Speech & Debate team ranked 3rd in their category at the Nationals in 2006 and continues to rank at the national level.
She currently enjoys collaborating with the hard-working, brilliant members of her staff, and she is happily teaching some of the most fun and dedicated students of her career.