Jen Giffen – Voracious Learner

Planning Period Podcast
Planning Period Podcast
Jen Giffen - Voracious Learner

Hello, and welcome to Episode 104 of the Planning Period Podcast, your #EdBreakroom. I’m your host, Brad Shreffler.

This week on the show I am joined by Jen Giffen. Jen is a 19-year educator and self-described “voracious learner.” She is based out of Canada, the York Region School Board. She has done English, Math, Special Ed, Student Success, Literacy, Digital Literacy Consultant, and now teacher librarian. She has bounced around a lot, and I knew she would have lots to add to the show and the conversations we’re having.

Jen and I talk about her raise in understanding about the world of Twitter and PLNs, the weirdness of being involved in the Edu Twitter Space, what it’s like being a teacher, the things that outside people don’t understand about teaching, and the general struggles of teaching and living online.

how we need to personalize more as educators but we don’t know what that actually looks like, how do we actually make that happen in our classes, the pressures teachers put on themselves that stop us from teaching, the power of pushing out of your comfort zones and how that’s different than taking risks, the importance of high expectations.


I would like to take a second to thank our sponsor for this episode, TardEase. TardEase is a new tardy tracking platform that makes it quick and easy for schools to process consequences when students are late to class. TardEase runs as a Google Sheets Add-On, so anyone can set it up, and works by scanning the ID numbers of late students into a Google Form. Then, each night, TardEase sends a formatted PDF of the consequences, with your school letterhead, to be sent home with students for their parents to sign, or given as a detention notice. TardEase is also significantly cheaper than other options on the market, with no special hardware to buy, and no per-student licensing fee. TardEase costs only $600 a year. You can learn more, and start a 30-day free trial now by visiting

So, sit back and enjoy Episode 104 of the Planning Period Podcast, my interview with Jen Giffen.


Jen, thank you so much for joining me on this first part of your two-part episode! I loved our chat so much, I just couldn’t bring myself to cut any. Jen is only the third Planning Period guest to get a two-part episode. Can you name the other two? The first person to Tweet out this episode and tag the two people who already have two-part episodes will get a Planning Period Podcast sticker sent to them!

To connect with Jen, find her on Twitter and Instagram @virtualgiff. Also, you can find her podcast, Shukes & Giff at Or, visit her website at And, of course, do not miss the second part of her episode, which will air next week!

If you have comments or questions about the show, you can always connect with me on twitter, @BradShreffler, and now on Instagram @BradShreffler as well. I love to hear from you there. That’s also a great place to connect if you’d like to be a guest on the show. Or, the Feedback Page on my website gives you options for feedback as well, which you can find at

Until next week, make someone that’s not a teacher better understand what we do as teachers.

Music provided by:

Vicious by Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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