A nationally recognized presenter, author, and humorist, Jack Berckemeyer began his career as a middle school teacher in Denver, Colorado. After only two years, he was recognized as the outstanding educator at his school and in his district. Then in 2003, Jack received the Outstanding Alumni Award from the Falcon School District. Jack has also served as a judge for the Disney American Teacher Awards and has served on the selection committee for the USA TODAY All-Teacher Team. Jack has a master’s degree in Middle Level Education as well as an administrator’s degree.
For 13 years Jack served as the Assistant Executive Director for the National Middle School Association. He is the owner of Berckemeyer Consulting Group where he has presented in hundreds of school district and conference settings both nationally and internationally. Jack is known not only for his keynotes and workshops but is also highly regarded as one of the best long-term professional developers in the country. Jack is best-practice focused and research-based. He is in high demand and enjoys working with districts that truly want to see measurable changes. As the former owner of NUTS and BOLTS—the Never Boring Conference for Educators Jack continues to support and promote this amazing conference so that realistic and practical hands-on tools and best practices can be offered to educators and schools throughout the country.
He is the author of Managing the Madness: A Practical Guide to Middle Grades Classrooms; How to Do Virtual Teaching Even If You Have a Face for Radio; The What, Why, and How of Student-Led Conferences (with Patti Kinney), and H.E.L.P. for Teachers (with Judith Baenen); along with numerous educational articles. His book, Successful Middle School Teaming, was released fall of 2022 and is the companion guide to, The Successful Middle School: This We Believe. In addition, he is the lead author of the comprehensive professional development curriculum: Elements of Effective Teaming. His most recent book, Deliberate Optimism: STILL Reclaiming the Joy in Education, co-authored with Dr. Debbie Silver, was released in early 2023.
Jack lives in Denver, Colorado and has no pets or plants.
A rekindled passion for teaching and learning! Best conference I’ve ever been a part of! I can’t wait to implement all the things I learned.
Interactive and entertaining presenters who gave real practical ideas that will be easy to implement. Loved that the presenters shared free information online. Best precessional development!
I gained a few new skills to put in my toolbox as a teacher! This has been an invigorating professional development experience!!!!
Nuts and Bolts is like a southern tent revival for teachers. I know I can come here and get motivation from the presenters and other teachers to energize me and make me more excited to go back and be a better teacher for my kids.
Your "Deliberate Optimism" philosophy is parallel to my beliefs. I have worked at perfecting it. There have been days I have had to fake it. There have been dark days but with optimism I have been able to overcome and move forward.
Livingston Parish School System in Louisiana brought Jack Berckmeyer, Mark McLeod, Debbie Silver, and Sharon Faber to present for our own conference for 380 middle school teachers in January. It was a great way to start the New Year before our teachers began the second semester of school. Our teachers learned new teaching strategies, had a blast, and were inspired. Quite a few were not looking forward to the day before it got started...they had never experienced this before, but by the end of the day they ALL were glad they attended. One teacher said that she had been to three sessions and kept thinking that the next session couldn't be better than the one she just heard, but she said it just kept getting better. Here are some comments from the teacher's evaluations; this was the sentiment from everyone: "This was such a great day filled with laughs, motivation, and great ideas." "Thank you for valuing us enough to have these speakers come." "Do this again, just what I needed." "Loved the speakers! Amazing energy and information." "Inspiring and thoroughly informative and truly applied to me!" "If I couldn't be in my room, this was the best alternative I could ask for." "Loved it!"
"We have worked with Jack for the last three years, starting with an “opening day” presentation that was done in by a hurricane and presented in March with the same inspiring impact and continuing with consultations with our teams over a number of days during the school year. I have been the assistant principal here for 17 years and was a teacher on a sixth grade ‘team’ for 11 years before that and in the past three years Jack has brought our teams to a higher level than we were able to reach in the all the years before that. Jack not only knows what it means to be a great team, he can assess teams and work with them in a manner that gets people excited about the changes they need to make. Jack is one of the few educational ‘gurus’ that can truly deliver on the promises. He is what any school who is striving to meet the needs of every student through the development of highly functional teams needs."
"The first time I met Jack was less than two months into my first year of teaching 7th grade. His presentation was the first professional development I had received and since then I have compared every other conference and presentation to his. I'm sure I won't be the first (or the last) to say that nothing compares to an hour or two listening to Jack! Not only is he truly hilarious, but he shares relevant ideas that I have actually used in my classroom! Since listening to him in October 2011, I've been lucky enough to see him a handful of times. EACH time I am left with a stomach that aches from laughter and a busy mind that can't stop pondering how and what to immediately incorporate into my classroom. I can assure you, you will not be disappointed if you take an opportunity to learn from Jack!"
Jack is the total package. He is book smart, street wise and knowledgeable in all areas of the middle school arena. His sense of humor is as quick as Robin Williams and as on target as a bulls eyes. Great, Great, Great!!!
It was evident from the very beginning that Jack knew what he was talking about. He spoke from personal experience in classroom scenarios. His knowledge of adolescent development come from extensive research and an innate ability to capture the essence of young adolescents.
Anyone who can inspire you to wear a hairnet to make writing fun or pretend you are on a motorcycle while spelling with your students is a must see. Jack is by far THE most entertaining presenter. If you leave his presentation unmotivated or uninspired you have done something wrong.
I have nicknamed Jack Berckemeyer, “Mr. Middle School,” as his knowledge of the middle level student and his ability to relate to middle school teachers is without equal. Our district has worked with Jack for the past two years and as a result there has been a renewed, caring spirit in our middle school teachers toward their students and a dramatic improvement in the Academic Teaming components all 10 middle school campuses. Jack’s influence breathed “life” into our middle school program which has contributed to the improvement in student outcomes.”
I have never laughed so hard, nor been so moved to tears as I was when Mr. Berckemeyer spoke to our group. He knows students and teachers. The stories he told could have come straight from our school. Many times I thought, “I know that student.” Everyone should experience his presentation.