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While everyone else spends their summer having fun and “chilling,” a true Teacher Nerd sees the summer for what it really is: An opportunity to LEARN MORE!!

With that in mind, I’m thrilled to announce two major learning opportunities I will host for teachers this summer. They are both going to be held completely online, so you never have to leave your hammock!

2016 Summer Book Study



My book pick for this summer is Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools. I’m so excited about the possible long-term effects of having lots of teachers read this book–it could change the lives of so many girls. For anyone interested in culturally responsive teaching, this book is a must-read.


Update: My review of Pushout, along with my interview with author Monique Morris, is published! Read it here.


JumpStart: A Technology Mini-Course for Teachers



If you know your tech skills could use a boost, but you’re not sure how to do it, JumpStart would be the perfect way to start. It’s a hands-on, project-based, 10-module course I created to accompany my book, The Teacher’s Guide to Tech. Normally, the course is entirely self-paced, but for the month of July, I’m offering teachers the opportunity to go through the modules as a group.

I’ll be setting up a private Facebook group where I will set deadlines for the course assignments and hold weekly Q&A sessions to help you navigate the modules. You’ll also have the support of your classmates and be able to see their finished products. Aaannnnd…I will also add in a couple of fun bonus tech challenges that aren’t included in the course to take your skills up a few extra notches!

The JumpStart group is now closed. I’m so sorry if you missed the deadline! If all goes well this summer, I will be repeating the group next year! Join my mailing list and you’ll be notified next year if we do it again!




  1. Heather L says:

    Jennifer, I love your website, the podcast, and the materials you have created, because of the positive impact they have had on my teaching. A question about the summer learning: If we previously purchased Jump Start, but have been too busy to complete the coursework, are we eligible to join the summer group? I am more likely to use the material with specific deadlines and a community of teacher nerds. Thanks!

    • Yes!! Absolutely. Anyone who has the course can join, regardless of when they purchased it. I’m so excited to help push you through it!

  2. Maria Sansalone says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to read Pushout as part of an online summer book study! I purchased a Kindle copy so I can take it with me on a summer road trip.

  3. Pamela Hurley says:

    Hi Jennifer. I, too, purchased the JumpStart tech course through TPT last year – and haven’t used. I’d like to join,however, this link to be put on the waiting list shows a pop up that states the page is created yet. Is this correct? If so, what date should I check back to have my name in the waiting room? If incorrect, could you advise how I can work around this? Thanks. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your posts!

    • Hey Pam! I just changed the group settings, so you should be able to go over and put in a request to join. Thanks for letting me know!!

  4. Pamela Hurley says:

    OOPS! previous post should state “….states the page ISN’T created yet.”….

  5. Jennifer says:

    I tried to join the facebook group but it said that the content was currently unavailable. Does that mean I am on the waiting list? I bought your materials earlier but haven’t finished them. I need the accountability of a group.

    • Hi Jennifer! I just went in and changed the group from “Secret” to “Closed.” You should be able to request to join now, and I will start letting people join right away so we don’t have any problems. Thanks for letting me know!

  6. carol says:

    I know that technology is my weakness. I am a bit shy about joining this but know it would be good for me. How strict will the due dates be? How will it be run? We need to join Cult of Pedagogy on fb?

    • Hi Carol!

      There’s a link above to click on that will take you to the JumpStart group. In order to take the course, you need to purchase the course and the Teacher’s Guide to Tech. The Facebook group will be our way to communicate with each other. The deadlines will just be a guideline to help you stay on track. If you are able to stick to them, you’ll get more support from the other students, because that way everyone will be working through the same issues at the same time, and I will be answering questions about the modules as we go. But there are no grades or anything, so if something happens and you start to fall behind, the information will still be there in the Facebook group after our July session. Does that help? If you have more questions, please ask!

  7. Lisa says:

    I’m so excited to read Pushout with you! A friend suggested it and soon after I saw it was your summer book pick. See you in July!

  8. Penny says:

    Hi Jennifer! I bought the 2015 version of the Guide to Tech-is the 2016 version significantly different? I will purchase the Jump Start course regardless 🙂 Love your stuff!!

    • Hi Penny! JumpStart was updated to reflect the new page numbers of the 2016 version, but the course material is the same. If you purchased the 2015 version of the Tech Guide from Teachers Pay Teachers, you can go right into “My Downloads” and you’ll find the 2016 version there. If you didn’t get it from TPT, let me know.

  9. Just recently found your website (I guess I was living under a rock?), and am so glad I did! Culturally responsive teaching is something that I believe is integral to understanding our students’ needs and being able to provide equity (equitable aspects for all students) across the curriculum! I am a true teacher nerd, and plan on joining you in July!

  10. Joe McDonough says:

    Very excited to be doing this. I too am someone that benefits from “structure” in my learning. I will be teaching a hybrid class/online course to young adults in a college level extension school and want to make sure that I have some kind of system for manging all the technology that we will be using. Thanks Jennifer!

  11. Fairlygoodmother says:

    … Am wondering if the content of the course is suitable for Aussie teachers as well? It appears to be, but am just wanting to check.

    • If you’re referring to the JumpStart course, then yes, as far as I know. Because I am only familiar with the U.S. system, I can’t say for sure, but I believe the tools we cover are available everywhere, and the concepts we talk about that relate to teaching are generally applicable to classrooms everywhere. Have you taken a look at the course preview? That might help you make your decision.

  12. Lori Stephens says:

    How do I purchase “the course”?

  13. Hi Jennifer!
    What would you recommend that I submit to my Human Resources to see if they will accept the 35 hours? (about 2 credits I believe).
    Ok… I’ll put in my website, but it’s my first one and I just made it last week!

    • I would submit the whole course PDF to them, so they can see what it includes. Be sure to direct them to page 37, which breaks down the estimated number of hours each module takes.

  14. Lisa B says:

    Will the PD hours be eligible for me to use towards keeping my license active? I currently am subbing and looking for a full time teaching position.

    • Lisa, that depends entirely on your state. My guess is that if your state, like mine, requires graduate hours to keep up your license, then this would not fulfill those requirements. Each state requires its teachers to get a certain number of PD hours, and these hours are approved differently depending on the district and stat you’re in. I would recommend you speak to someone in charge of licensing for your state.

  15. Kirsten says:

    Hi Jennifer! I am interested in joining the group in July but will be away/not near internet for about 1.5 weeks. Would it still make sense to join this group? Thanks!

    • Hmmm…I’m not sure. Will it be the first 1.5 weeks? You could certainly catch up and you might also be able to work ahead these next few days. I just published a course calendar in the Facebook group. I think if you’re going to be available the first few days, you’ll probably be okay.

  16. Krystal L. Smith says:

    Hi Jennifer! Your blog is so uplifting and positive. I can’t get enough! I’m so glad I found it. I am a self proclaimed nerd. I often refer(-red) to myself as a cool nerd because I am/was “cool” with everyone from the jocks to the bookworms. I was somewhere in between the two extremes growing up. I feel the same way today as a professional. I often feel as if I don’t fit or as if I’m a little alone. For example, if I suggest doing a book study with colleagues, I’m net with excuses such as I don’t have time to read, or I just want to chill over the summer. I get it. I often feel the same way. But I also don’t like feeling as if, “This is it.” More specifically, dealing with same struggles and complainrs and lack of positive changes or professional growth over time. I need more from my career. Some people are already where they want to be. I guess I recently learned that I am not, because I feel as if there is something more. Your blog is showing me that. I don’t feel bad that I feel like a misfit. In fact, I’ve learned to embrace it. Your blog had shown me I’m not alone, and that I no longer have to hold back. “Teacher Nerds, UNITE!” I love it. I’m interested in the book study of Pushout, and I’m considering reading it. I recently signed up for Angela Watson’s 40HTW, and cannot wait to begin. Thank you for being the educator you are!

  17. Shayne Swift says:

    Hey Jennifer,

    I will not get my book until early July.

  18. Sarah M Schultz says:

    Hi, Heather!

    Will you be doing a Summer Study for 2017?


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