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Aug. 10, 2021

44.0 Big Talk: Facilitating Meaningful Discussions with Jennifer Gonzales

44.0 Big Talk: Facilitating Meaningful Discussions with Jennifer Gonzales

Jen Gonzales, a TTELT Board member and an EL Fellow shares insights on how to engage your students in meaningful and authentic conversations - "Big Talk". In contrast to "small talk", Big Talk develops deeper discussion skills, for real-life application.

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Jennifer Gonzales

Consultant

Jennifer Gonzales is an independent teaching and learning consultant working in K-18 environments. She has over 20 years of experience mentoring and coaching educators and administrators through individual and systems-wide professional change initiatives related to assessment, instructional approaches to inclusion, continuous professional development, and school-wide behavior supports. She has worked with indigenous populations throughout the United States to promote learner-centered primary education that respects cultural practices using data to guide instructional decisions, and strategies to implement a whole-child approach to learning. In Tennessee, she worked with rural and urban schools to facilitate full inclusion models for students with disabilities, build district-wide positive behavior support systems, and train educators on using assessment and research to improve classroom instruction. Jennifer has also developed and administered a graduate teacher education program for art educators at Memphis College of Art and ran Number: Inc., a regional non-profit and contemporary art publication distributed throughout the Southeastern U.S. While living and working in Namibia, she trained teachers and education officials in learner-centered approaches to literacy instruction and methods for implementing the National Continuing Professional Development program. One of her greatest achievements in Namibia was leading a $74,000 State Department pilot program to train Teachers, Peace Corps Volunteers, and Senior Education Officers to implement learner-centered literacy strategies for primary English Second Language learners in low-resource environments. As an English Language Specialist and Fellow with the U.S. State Department Office of English Language Programs, she collaboratively led the development of two textbooks for the Ministry of Education in Djibouti. Jennifer approaches all education development through a lens of literacy, social justice, accessibility, and creative problem-solving.