reThink ELA #008: Interview with Shari Gateley

reThink ELA Podcast
reThink ELA Podcast
reThink ELA #008: Interview with Shari Gateley

Design Thinking Shari GatelyWhen I talk to other teacher friends, a common concern seems to be how to get our students engaged in the classroom lessons. So many students seem apathetic about their education, and it’s up to us to be creative in piquing their interest.

One such way to engage kids and to teach them a multitude of lessons they can use in life and in the workforce is to implement project-based learning, or design thinking. In its simplest form, design thinking allows students to explore real-world problems. When researching and exploring, the lessons become more interesting and more personal because these are problems they can see in the world or in their communities with their own eyes. 

My guest today is Shari Gateley, who is an ardant supporter of design thinking as well as an AP English teacher at Putnam City West High School in Oklahoma City. She was named Teacher of the Year for the Putnam City School District, which means she is a 2019 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year finalist. Shari is also a University of Oklahoma alumni.

We had a great discussion about the benefits of design thinking, how she became interested in this platform, and the results she hopes to see in her classroom. We also discuss student empathy interviews, which is a simple way to introduce this idea of design thinking to your classroom.

Resources mentioned in today’s episode:

About: Shari Gateley Named One of 12 Finalists for Oklahoma Teacher of the Year

Stanford University’s Design Thinking Bootleg:



Related topics: Podcast, Student Engagement

About the author 

Michelle Boyd Waters, M.Ed.

I am a secondary English Language Arts teacher, a University of Oklahoma student working on my doctorate in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum with an concentration in English Education and co-Editor of the Oklahoma English Journal. I am constantly seeking ways to amplify students' voices and choices.

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