Season 4, Episode 8 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Elizabeth Jorgensen

by | Feb 13, 2023 | 0 comments

6 min read

Hacking Student Learning Habits with Elizabeth Jorgensen  

This is Season 4, Episode 8 of FocusED, and it features our guest, Elizabeth Jorgensen. It was originally recorded live for a studio audience in Delaware, provided as a professional development experience in collaboration with the Delaware Department of Education, the Delaware Academy for School Leadership, and The School House 302. Don’t miss what Liz says about student learning habits, process-based assessments, writing for an audience, making connections outside of the classroom…and so much more.


Elizabeth Jorgensen Brings Tons of Experience to FocusED Listeners

Elizabeth Jorgensen has been published in many popular journals, including the English Journal, Edutopia, Teachers & Writers Magazine, Azalea: Journal of Korean Literature and Culture (Harvard University), Brevity, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Writers Who Care, Ohio Journal of English Language Arts, Wisconsin English Journal, Skinny Poetry Journal, and Gyroscope Review, and more. 

Her book on process-based assessment, Hacking Student Learning Habits, was published by Times 10 Publications in 2022, and her most recent book was released in October 2022, Gwen Jorgensen: USA’s First Olympic Gold Medal Triathlete, which was written to help young people follow a dream and to focus on the process

She has presented for the National Council of Teachers of English, National Council for Social Studies, Wisconsin State Reading Association, Wisconsin Writers Association, East Asian Studies Center at Indiana University, The Ohio Council of Teachers of English Language Arts, and The Illinois Reading Council, among others.  

She is an award-winning writer and teacher and sought-after speaker. 

Just to name some of her accolades: 

She was named one of 20 of America’s Most Inspiring Educators with an award called The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation Teacher Innovator. 

She has been the Arrowhead Union High School Teacher of the Year, the Graduate of the Last Decade from Carroll University, the Lucille S. Pooley Award winner for Successful Techniques in Teaching Composition in the Schools of Wisconsin, the Jarvis E. Bush winner from the Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English, and a recipient of the PBS Innovative Educator Award.

You can learn more on her website:


FocusED Show Notes with Elizabeth Jorgensen  

Mark Barnes found her on Facebook and through her articles he felt like she had a book, which was the inception of Hacking Student Learning Habits. 

Don’t miss what Elizabeth says about authentic purpose, and writing for an audience. 

We need to find a purpose for the assignments outside of the grade. 

Elizabeth uses examples for authentic assessments from across the content areas. It’s all about the process and real-world ways that we connect students’ assignments to actual problems outside of the school. 

The audience has a lot to do with how authentic we can make the students’ work—who will see their work outside of the teacher and the grading system? 

It was really cool to hear Elizabeth talk about Sijo, a Korean form of poetry. The way she connected her love of learning poetry to her students’ interests is amazing. Check out her book about it, Sijo: Korea’s Poetry Form

Listen to Elizabeth talk about inspiring young people to set goals, including her story about there not being enough books about athletes for girls. 

You can’t miss what she says about the limitation of rubrics for process-based assessments. 

Elizabeth: One thing that administrators can do to support teaching, learning, and risk-taking is to connect like-minded teachers in the school around a particular topic

As always with our guests, Elizabeth mentions Twitter as a go-to place for learning. She also mentions using a thought partner, for her, it’s her mother, who is a former teacher. 

One focus that shines through in the podcast is the notion of relationships and making connections with people outside of the classroom, including parents and the local community. 

Joe highlights some of the things that Elizabeth is explaining on the show: risk-taking, making connections, asking questions, being vulnerable, etc. 

Listen to what she says about the present, and staying in the present…to show…and do our best. 

Elizabeth ends the conversation with advice to administrators to say “yes” whenever possible. Allow teachers to take risks whenever possible. 

Thanks for listening to FocusED, an educational leadership podcast brought to you by TheSchoolHouse302 @ where we publish free leadership content. Go to the site, subscribe, and you’ll get all of our content sent directly to your email. 


FocusED is your educational leadership podcast where our mission is to dissect a particular focus for teachers and school leaders so that you can learn to lead better and grow faster in your school or district with more knowledge, better understanding, and clear direction on what to do next.


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