Cult of Pedagogy is run by a team of people committed to making you more awesome in the classroom.

Jennifer Gonzalez,
Editor in Chief

Jennifer Gonzalez

For seven years, I taught middle school language arts. Half that time was spent in the greater D.C. area, the other half in southcentral Kentucky. I earned my National Board Certification in 2004. Then, after having my first child, I left teaching to be a stay-at-home mom, knowing there was no way I could do both jobs well.

In 2008, I was hired by a local university to teach pre-service teachers. This work gave me new passion for preparing and supporting educators. When I was in the classroom, I felt alone in my nerdiness. The teachers’ lounge was never a safe place for me emotionally or intellectually, and finding others to share my real thoughts and feelings with took a lot of work. I learned to stifle the urge to gush about some new strategy I was planning to try or to open up about a struggle I was having with my students. I came to expect that my genuine questions would be met with sarcasm.

With this site, I hope to create what I did not have myself: a vibrant, encouraging, stimulating community of teachers, supporting each other toward excellence. I believe if we can reach across the limits of geography and find each other, there’s no limit to the amazing things we can accomplish.

Debbie Sachs,
Customer Experience Manager

DEBBIE SACHS

I am so happy to be a part of Cult of Pedagogy! In 2015 I retired with a couple of Masters (Elem Counseling and Computer Ed) and 32 years of teaching experience in both 5th and 1st grade combined. I knew it would only be a matter of time before I found that next “thing” which would put me right back where I needed to be…a place where other dedicated teachers like myself (you know, the ones with a little bit of teacher nerd inside!) just can’t seem to get enough when it comes to growing their craft. My passions gravitate toward literacy, integrating expectations through high-leverage lesson planning, and building relationships.

I grew up in the midwest enjoying the quiet of a big backyard, but I also love visiting big city life and all the diversity it brings. I have 2 “kids” who live and work in different cities—that makes my husband and me empty nesters except for our two very different dogs, a rottweiler and a maltese. I enjoy reading, solving the daily newspaper puzzles, watching Friends reruns, and working out at jazzercise or taking a good long walk, oftentimes listening to one of Jenn’s podcasts. Imagine that!

Holly Burcham,
Customer Experience Manager

HOLLY BURCHAM

I am an Adjunct Instructor of English at a private college in Georgia and hold an MA.Ed. I teach two intro levels of composition: “freshman comp” and Composition & Literature. My freshman comp course focuses on argumentative texts and writing, and I recently incorporated graphic novels–turned out to be a wonderful move! My lit course has gone through quite a few changes, but now we’re all about Harper Lee. I strongly believe in discussion-based classrooms, engaging students on their terms, and the idea that it’s ok to be nerdy.

I’m a pastor’s wife, have a dachshund named Gunther, and am an amateur baker. I love watching The Office, reading Cult of Pedagogy posts, and recently began listening to podcasts. I really enjoy lesson planning and am excited for where my career will take me. I love my college freshmen and seeing their faces when they learn just why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.

Barbara Paciotti,
Content Curator

After 15 years as a homemaker, I resurrected my B.S. in Social Science/Physical Science/Secondary Education by teaching biology, chemistry, and physical science for 9 years in an at-risk alternative high school. After certifying as a School Librarian (MSLIS) I moved to middle school and remained there 13½ years. Alas, in 2013 I had to retire for health reasons. I love to help people find answers, so curating for Cult of Pedagogy social media is the perfect way to continue supporting teachers and students.

My “techy” side began with Fortran in college. (OMG, nearly 50 years ago!) In the 90s I hit the Internet—email, listservs, creating the school’s first Website. Into the new millennium, I continued to show teachers how to integrate new multimedia and cloud computing tools and resources through my Library Lessons with students. Now I’m arduously keeping up with the latest and greatest technology so I can better serve our Cult of Pedagogy followers.

I love home DIY—sewing, painting, plumbing, electrical, construction—but I hate housework, so even though I’m retired, I still have a cleaning lady every other week!