Meet Jon Mitchell, Partnerships Manager at Goalbook

Based in Brooklyn, New York

Jon leading a Goalbook professional development session at a New York City school

What was your experience prior to Goalbook?

Before joining the Goalbook team, I taught 4th and 5th grade in North Carolina and New York City for six years. I’m grateful for the many opportunities and experiences along my career journey.

In 2010, the Common Core State Standards were introduced. During this time, I worked as a Learning Specialist alongside the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to develop assessment items aligned to the new standards. This exposure broadened my understanding of the many instructional shifts within the new standards — specifically a shift towards more rigorous expectations. I also worked with our district leadership to help develop curriculum maps aligned to the new standards.

I initially came across Goalbook Toolkit while working with my school’s RTI team. We found the scaffolded levels of support and actionable UDL-aligned strategies particularly helpful in supporting students.

Goalbook’s mission personally resonates with me — it guides my work each and every day.

What gravitated you towards Goalbook’s mission?

Research tells us that the role of the teacher is the single greatest factor affecting student learning in the classroom. Goalbook’s mission is to empower educators to transform instruction so that ALL students succeed — this personally resonates with me. Our mission guides my work each and every day.

What is your role, and what are your favorite parts of it?

I’m on the Partnerships team, which means I work with district and school partners to plan implementations and provide support here in New York City and on Long Island. I enjoy meeting and collaborating with passionate educators and administrators. My role also allows me to visit and spend time in neighborhoods I might otherwise never experience.

Jon walking school partners through the Design Thinking Process at Goalbook’s Learning Design Institute

Outside of the role, what are one or two things you love here?

Oh, that’s an easy one — our team.

Our team is made up of many talented individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences. I appreciate our Soul of Goalbook discussions, wherein we meet as an entire team to have conversations that value diversity, inclusiveness, differences, and equity.

I also love the exposure to new ideas and frameworks. After helping facilitate our most recent Leadership Design Institute, I became interested in the design thinking methodology. I’ve since taken a personal dive into Don Norman’s The Design of Everyday Things. Coming from an education background, Norman’s book has impacted the way I view everything from instructional resources to implementation.

How do you work and communicate with your manager, who’s based in California headquarters?

Even at 3,000 miles apart, I feel like my manager is just across the room. We regularly communicate through Google Hangouts, calls and text messages. Our work together is very collaborative.

What are some areas you’d like to continue growing professionally?

I’m always striving to improve my public speaking skill set. Over the past three years I’ve delivered more than 100 professional development and training workshops, as well as school and district presentations. I enjoy studying the structure and captivating nature of great TED Talks.

Meditation has profoundly influenced me. We live in an over-stimulating world with non-stop social media updates, text messages, and emails. I’ve found that taking time to be mindful and slow things down a bit provides clarity and focus.

What personal goals have you set outside of work?

Three personal goals immediately come to mind — being active every day, quality sleep, and meditation. Much of my work involves chatting on the phone or sitting at a computer, so whenever I get a chance, I go for a walk. I strive to walk, jog, or, run at least 10,00+ steps each day. I aim to get plenty of quality sleep each night.

Meditation has profoundly influenced me. We live in an over-stimulating world with non-stop social media updates, text messages, and emails. I’ve found that taking time to be mindful and slow things down a bit provides clarity and focus.

What are some of your favorite spots in San Mateo/NYC?

There are too many to list, but here are a few recommendations from my go-to spots here in New York and when I visit HQ in San Mateo:

San Mateo:

New York City:

What’s your favorite memory during your time at Goalbook?

Many great memories are created each time the entire team comes together at our headquarters in San Mateo, California. My personal favorite is Goalbook Park Day, which takes place each March. The entire team heads out to the park to enjoy the beautiful weather and play games. Our Spikeball games have been known to get a bit intense.