About Dave Nagel & NZJ Learning

Who is Dave Nagel?

Thank you for asking. My career has been solely in education since I left Ball State University with a degree in teaching science at the secondary level. I taught middle school science and biology for eight years before moving into building level administration. I served as a middle and high school assistant principal for 4 years and then as the coordinator of credit-recovery and graduation requirements for one of the largest high schools in Indiana. During this time frame we raised the graduation rate over 14%. Finally, I finished my administrative career as an associate principal and then began my career as an author / consultant serving clients throughout the United States, Canada, and Bermuda in 2003. I have continued to do so as a full-time professional development associate since 2008.

I always strive to generate a learning environment with each and every audience I am privileged to work with providing an environment similar to a quality classroom setting that is energetic and encourages a focus on learning not teaching. An environment I would hope for the in classrooms of my three boys: Nicholas (13), Zachary (7), Jacob (6). (Hence the name of my company NZJ Learning!!)

I firmly believe educators must be allowed to learn in an environment that stimulates their creativity and helps them apply new knowledge into their existing beliefs and schema. We must help teachers and school level leaders adapt not adopt new ideas and concepts.

I will not simply tell teachers and school leaders what works! I believe in helping schools learn from their own existing evidence to best determine what is already working best in their schools and classroom. I truly aspire to always create an environment where there are high levels of support and accountability that stem from teachers and school leaders working together to create high levels of positive interdependence. When this happens, the sky is the limit for teachers to accomplish amazing things with their student’s learning and achievement.

Some additional Nuggets about Dave:

  • I do not consider myself an academic: I am a teacher. The strength I feel I bring to clients is taking the research and knowledge embedded within the evidence of what best impacts both teacher and student learning and making it practical, pragmatic, and provide teachers and leaders the ability to replicate the key actions and strategies that will have an immediate impact in their school or classroom.
  • truly love the work I am privileged to do with clients. I love meeting new teachers and school leaders and helping them find the best questions to ask first! Once the best questions are formulated, the answers to the these provide potential ways to best impact student learning.
  • I strive to make two things happen during professional learning with ALL of my clients:
    • Become more efficient
    • More effective (by being targeted and decisive!)

There is a common myth that the powerful actions schools need to take to raise the learning of their students have to be drawn-out and complicated. All of the ideas, concepts, and strategies I teach and present on site and share on this website are designed around these three goals.

  • I am committed to ensuring that the goals and results we establish together come to fruition. That CANNOT happen through drive-by-staff development. You will see early on my commitment to developing a partner-ship approach that continues long after the end of the engagement day when we are face-to-face.
  • I have experience working in schools with some of the lowest socio-economic counties in our country – as well as some of the highest and in both cases and everyone in-between and helped them see stellar results.
  • I will help guide your teachers and school leaders around the of avoiding two pitfalls many schools / districts fall into:
    • Stagnation where perseverate over every possible move they could make or lament about everything they don’t have to make it work perfectly.
    • Ready-Fire-Aim-PRAY: Focusing only the desire of assuming if you don’t see immediate results and they often abandon actions before they even have a chance to have impact.

So Let’s adhere to the motto: “Don’t get it right, get it started”

I am the founder and owner of NZJ Learning (INC), but I am a currently a full-time author/consultant for Corwin Professional Learning, and therefore have been certified by some of the most influential thought leaders from around the world, including Professor John Hattie (Visible Learning), Julie Stern (Making Sense of Learning Transfer), Larry Ainsworth (Common Formative Assessments 2.0), and Russ Quaglia (Student Voice and Aspirations).

If you would like to get in touch, please use my contact form. If you have a question about teaching, learning, leadership, or anything even remotely education-related, ask here. You can count on a detailed response within 48-hours.

And finally, if interested in any new research updates, strategy tips, as well as a chance to win a free signed copy of one of my books, please subscribe to my mailing list in the footer (below). I’ll always include tips, tools, as well as inspiring case stories to make your teaching and leadership more effective and satisfying!

Dave Nagel Bio