Passionate + Flexible = Key Traits of Great PBL Teachers

Bulldog Tech is a wall-to-wall project-based middle school that is part of the Evergreen School District in San Jose, California. Randy Hollenkamp, Site Director and educator for over 25 years, has truly (along with his staff and students) created an ideal space for project-based teaching & learning. Educators at Bulldog recognize that in order for students to be prepared for their futures that they can’t wait to give students meaningful, authentic and real-world experiences – they have to do it in their classrooms today.
In this podcast, we talked with Randy as well as with teachers and students from the school. Randy, Jim Conway (Art) and Kelly Gosalvez (8th grade Language Arts) and 3 students shared qualities and characteristics of great PBL teachers and why they think learning through projects is powerful.  There are many voices on this podcast, but it is remarkable how they share similar thoughts and ideas about teaching and learning. It is clear there is a commitment to a similar vision.
Listen for these messages they share:

  1. Good projects require lots of iteration and feedback – “You don’t only have one shot, you get lots of shots”
  2. We need to prepare students for their current world now and whatever their future holds – “Knowing a direct object these days is not going to get you a job these days, at least not in Silicon Valley”
  3. Great teachers are team players and are open to feedback – “Teachers have to be passionate and want to be here. We even get feedback from the students”
  4. The whole staff has to be bought into the ‘why’ and committed to PBL – “If you are going to sustain it, you have to have the whole staff committed to come around the table”

Consider supporting Bulldog Tech and the Evergreen School District.
Mentioned in this podcast:

This blog is part of “It’s a Project-Based World” series. To learn more about this series and to learn ways that you can contribute, click the icon below to go to the Project-Based World page.

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Join in the conversation at #projectbased.

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Photo courtesy of Bulldog Tech website

Emily Liebtag

Emily Liebtag, Ed.D., is Education Reimagined's Senior Partner for Systems Transformation. Formerly, Emily served as the Vice President of Advocacy at Getting Smart.

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