About Jeff Utecht

Educator consultant Author

Jeff’s Story

The child of two teachers, Jeff’s been rethinking education since his teenage years working his local farm in the Spokane Valley. His first mentor, a fourth grade teacher, agreed to let Jeff serve as a volunteer teacher at the age of 17. From these very first experiences in the classroom, Jeff understood how critical it is for learning to authentically honour learners.

Jeff’s experiences as a volunteer served as a catalyst for his career. Early on in his educational practice, Jeff’s passion and commitment to student learning led to him being awarded a Bill and Melinda Gates Grant, the Technology Leadership Project. Jeff’s curiosity about the evolving role of technology in education pushed him to experiment with blended learning, network literacies, and digital collaboration during a time when very few schools were savvy to the coming shift.

Jeff’s dedication to students drove him to document his learning as an educator, an instructional leader, an administrator, and a consultant to technology startups. Sharing his insights through his blog and podcast, he caught the attention not just of local leaders, but of leaders around the world. In 2010, Jeff was invited by the Prince of Bahrain to participate in conversations to reimagine teaching and learning. In 2018, Jeff was invited by the UN to share his thoughts at the Global Knowledge Summit in Dubai. 

Today Jeff has upskilled more than 55,000 educators around the world. He’s been a keynote speaker at dozens of events globally, and he’s consulted with over 200 School Districts. He’s founded an international consortium of consultants, and he’s developed professional learning pathways that have created sustainable change for modern learners. 

Unwavering is Jeff’s personal mission to ensure schools prepare students for their future, and not our past. He has never stopped learning, and he has never stopped volunteering his support for students. Jeff is currently working on a new book, new professional learning pathways, and a new podcast series from his home in Seattle where he lives with his wife (a fellow educator), and his two cats (who most definitely want to pursue a future in education as well).

Highlights

Teacher

Jeff was a classroom teacher from 1999 until 2012 when he made the change to full time consulting. He still holds a valid teaching certificate in Washington State today.

Podcaster

Jeff loves to talk. It’s what he do best. So podcasting is a natural fit for sure. Jeff loves podcasting and has been podcasting since 2007 on multiple different channels. Find him on the  Shifting Our Schools podcast that comes out weekly.

Keynoter

One of Jeff’s favorite things to do is to motivate people. It was his favorite part of the classroom and is his favorite part of being on stage. Being able to tell stories and get others to think about their teaching practice.

Author

Jeff’s first book “Reach” in 2010 was all about helping teachers see the power in connecting to each other and building their Personal Learning Network (PLN). His most recent book co-authored with Chrissy Hellyer and Kim Cofino is all about connecting classrooms for learning.

Consultant

Whether it is talking with school boards, school communication teams, administrators, teachers or students, Jeff loves engaging in conversations with educators and helping to move systems forward.

Blogger

Jeff started blogging in 2005 on my blog The Thinking Stick and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share his thinking. He spends more time podcasting today than writing but he does still write a blog post every once and away and it truly is his portfolio of learning.

Links to some current projects

Moses Lake School District

“Education is not the preparation for life;

it is life itself” ~ John Dewey

Let’s Work Together

Please reach out at any time and let me know how I can be of service to you.

Please note that my calendar does fill up about 3-4 months in advance. So the earlier you contact me the better the chances we can find a mutual date that works.

Let's Chat