George Lucas Educational Foundation

Heather Wolpert-Gawron

ELA Teacher, Middle School, Curriculum Coordinator TOSA

Heather Wolpert-Gawron is an award-winning middle school teacher and PBL coach. She was the 2013 Department of Education Profiled Connected Educator as well as the San Gabriel Valley Computer Using Education TOY for 2009. 

She is the author of Just Ask Us: Kids Speak Out on Student Engagement (Corwin/AMLE), which shares the results of a nationwide survey of 6th-12th graders and what engages them as learners.  She is also the author of DIY for Project Based Learning for ELA and History (Routledge)DIY for Project Based Learning for Math and Science (Routledge)Writing Behind Every Door: Teaching Common Core Writing in the Content Areas (Routledge), and ‘Tween Crayons and Curfews: Tips for Middle School Teachers (Routledge). She has been a staff blogger for Edutopia since 2008. She has also been a proud member of the California Writing Project since 2008 and was selected as a National Faculty member for the Buck Institute for Education in 2017. 

Heather is passionate about Project Based Learning and believes the Maker Movement for teachers is in curriculum design. Heather believes curriculum design itself should tell a story, and she helps her students craft the tale.

Heather lives with her husband and two boys in Los Angeles where they play Dungeons & Dragons every week, building their cross-over stories and adventures together. 

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  • School Climate

    Supporting a Gay-Straight Alliance in Middle School

    A GSA club in middle school can provide a safe, supportive space for students at a critical point in their lives.
  • Professional Development

    The Importance of Choice in PD

    Providing effective, impactful, differentiated professional development is vital to the well-being of the teaching profession.
  • Student Engagement

    Generating a Buzz About Learning

    Entry events aim to get students curious and excited about a new unit of study right at the outset.
  • Teacher Leadership

    Every Teacher Needs a Mentor

    Find that person who challenges, advises, and celebrates you—and be that person for someone else.
  • Teacher Wellness

    Teachers: Move On Before You Burn Out

    Have you moved on in order to keep from burning out? Have you changed a subject or grade you taught, or even your school? Sometimes this is the best choice.
  • Inquiry-Based Learning

    What the Heck Is Inquiry-Based Learning?

    Teachers use inquiry-based learning to combat the “dunno” -- a chronic problem in student engagement. Check out these four steps for creating inquiry-based curriculum.
  • School Leadership

    When Administrators Keep Teaching

    Teaching keeps school leaders connected to students and other teachers and lets them feel the effects of their own decisions.
  • Parent Partnership

    An Appeal to My Child’s Kindergarten Teacher

    Educators face challenges, funding issues, and problems beyond their control. But for each student and family, it’s all about the relationship they will have with their child's teacher.
  • Back to School

    Building Trust With Parents

    Suggestions for how to make back-to-school night a hit for you and your students’ parents.
  • Student Engagement

    Kids Speak Out on Student Engagement

    A while back, I was asked, "What engages students?" Sure, I could respond, sharing anecdotes about what I believed to be engaging, but I thought it would be so much better to lob that question to my own eighth graders. The responses I received from all 220 of them seemed to fall under 10 categories, representing reoccuring themes that appeared again and again. So, from the mouths of babes, here are my students' answers to the question: "What engages students?"
  • Student Engagement

    The Case for Electives in Schools

    Electives give students avenues for choice and can function as vehicles for core content standards.
  • Project-Based Learning

    What the Heck Is Project-Based Learning?

    In project-based learning, students show what they learn as they journey through the unit, interact with its lessons, collaborate with each other, and assess themselves and each other.
  • Teacher Leadership

    Equation of Success: Top Ten Responsibilities that Students Must Own

    Middle-school teacher Heather Wolpert-Gawron says requiring students to take responsibility in their own academic success is an important part of the school reform equation.
  • Technology Integration

    Drones Can Be Fun—and Educational

    Check out a variety of ways schools might use drones as a teaching tool.
  • Education Trends

    What the Heck Is Restorative Justice?

    With the right training and support, restorative justice can prove more effective than traditional discipline measures in building a stronger school community.