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Work with Kayla


Kayla Dornfeld is the 2020 Top Educator of the Year, and the 2019 North Dakota Teacher of the Year. Kayla is a two-time (2017 and 2018) Global Hundred honoree, recognizing her as 1 of the top 100 innovative educators in the world. The New York Times named her "one of the tech-savviest teachers in the United States".

She has 15 years of teaching experience in second grade, third grade, and kindergarten. Kayla holds her master’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of North Dakota. In September 2018, she received the University of North Dakota Sioux Award, the highest honor of achievement offered by her University.

In 2021, she was named the "Youth Volunteer of the Year" by St. Jude Hospital. 

She has been recognized as both an "ISTE Influencer" and "HarperCollins Publishing Influencer". Additionally, in March 2018, she was named 1 of just 30 "All-Star Digital Innovators" in the United States by PBS. Who's Who in America has also awarded Kayla for her contributions to education by publishing her biography.

Kayla frequently travels around the United States and other countries as a featured and keynote speaker. She has delivered hundreds of keynotes, one of note being at Twitter Headquarters. On July 23, 2015 she delivered her first TEDx Talk, Reimagining Classrooms: Students as Leaders and Teachers as LearnersHer work with classroom redesign and flexible seating has become the standard worldwide. 

She is a co-author of the best-selling book Education Write Now, published in December 2017, and 10 Perspectives on Learning in Education, available now on Amazon.

You can connect with Kayla on all social media platforms @topdogteaching.

On October 28, 2016, Kayla was invited to give a keynote at Twitter Headquarters! Watch her inspiring talk below about the importance of embedding authentic digital citizenship opportunities in each day. 

If you would like Kayla to come to your conference or school and present on a different topic, she can customize her sessions to meet your needs. Kayla offers a variety of speaking options both in person and online - from workshops and in-service PD days to featured speaker sessions and keynotes. 

Rates vary based on your needs, and Kayla customizes her sessions to meet the needs of your audience and fulfill your vision of your time with her. 

Kayla aims to both inspire educators during her sessions and send attendees off with a call to action. She will share proven and tested ideas she is currently implementing in her classroom, and well as concepts and thoughts from leaders around the world.  

You can expect timely communication, personal and professional attention, and an ongoing relationship with Kayla after the event.

To request a hold for a date, or check Kayla's availability, please reach out to Kayla directly by emailing her at topdogteaching@gmail.com. Thank you!

Kayla's Areas of Expertise
  • Classroom Design and Flexible Seating
  • Building Strong Relationships with Parents and Students
  • Reimagining the Role of Teachers and Students - Best Practices in Education
  • Implementing Purposeful Technology Tools 
  • Genius Hour Implementation
  • Social Media for Staff and Students




UPDATED! Reimagining Education: Teachers as Learners and Students as Leaders (KEYNOTE)
In this passionate talk, kindergarten teacher Kayla Dornfeld speaks about her mission to revitalize learning, relationships, and the classroom environment. Kayla explains how to release the power in the classroom by giving students ownership of their learning and making it relevant to them. Her students conquer amazing tasks by embracing purposeful technology. Published on Oct 13, 2015 via TEDx - This keynote is an expanded version of her popular TEDx talk.

Participants will leave this session with:
  • Ideas to build meaningful relationships with students and connect with a Professional Learning Network (PLN)
  • Strategies to embrace purposeful technology
  • Actions to make every school year epic
  • Practical ideas to implement to improve and build strong relationships between teachers and students and teachers and parents

UPDATED! Redesigned Learning Spaces: A Flexible Approach (KEYNOTE/WORKSHOP)
If we take a look at classrooms over the past 100 years, we are seeing the same type of learning environments, year after year. The world is changing, yet our classrooms are being designed much the same. Revitalizing space and incorporating flexible seating is a straightforward way to let students exercise choice in the learning environment and find academic success on their own terms.

Participants will leave this session with:
  • Practical tips, strategies, research, pedagogy, and ideas to implement flexible seating in your classroom or school
  • Management strategies to turn your classroom into flexible seating, student-led "Starbucks for Kids" learning space

Introducing a new keynote/workshop program called "Teaching With Heart." Kayla believes that school should be a place where children want to be, rather than a place they feel forced to attend. She achieves this by using high-engagement activities, a creative classroom design, and prioritizing relationships above all else. Her goal is to prioritize relationships and make the classroom a welcoming, exciting, and loving place where all students can be successful.  In this session, attendees will also learn how to use V.R.R (Vulnerability, Relationships and Relevance) to engage learners and support and defuse even the most challenging students. Understand why kids misbehave and what strategies can be used to contest the misbehavior. Join Kayla in her mission to prioritize relationships above everything else.

Self-Care for Educators (KEYNOTE/WORKSHOP)
Teaching is hard work, there's no doubt about it. Each and every day, we pour our whole selves into the children in our classrooms, the staff we work alongside, the families we serve, and the schools we work in. Kayla presents multiple strategies to employ for educators to thrive and not simply survive. The most important relationship we have is the one we have with ourselves. We must take care of our own hearts before we can care for so many others.

Demonstrating Student Understanding Through Technology (WORKSHOP)
Technology can give even the quietest students a voice and a chance to shine. This session will target different apps that help students demonstrate what they have learned using both their voice and work. Often students can show that they understand something, but have difficulty explaining how they know they have mastered a concept. Several student examples will be shown, and ample time will be provided to explore the apps. 

Student-Led Learning: Genius Hour Passion Projects  (WORKSHOP)
Have you been hearing about Genius Hour, passion projects, or Google’s 20% time in classrooms? Are you unsure how to justify this type of student-led learning—or implement it with fidelity? Kayla presents the research behind allowing students one hour of their week to study what they are passionate about. From brainstorming topics to creating meaningful, student-driven presentations, learn how to create a classroom where student passions come alive.

Twitter and Instagram for Teachers (WORKSHOP)
Description: If you've signed up for Twitter or Instagram and are wondering how to get started, this class is for you. Both of these social media tools are now wildly popular. Come see why millions of users have flocked to these sites. You will leave with a good start of a PLN in each network. 

Bring the World to Your Classroom! (WORKSHOP)
Description: Learn to take your students -- no matter how young -- anywhere from outer space, to the Minnesota Zoo, to classrooms in other states and countries. Discuss ways to safely encourage virtual exploration and student led classroom social media accounts. Leave this session ready to empower students to virtually “Share Their Story” and bring the world to your classroom.

21st Century Parent Communication Tools (WORKSHOP)
Description: Sending home only a weekly newsletter is no longer an option in our 21st century schools. During this session, you will learn how I utilize Remind 101 text messages daily, blogging, Twitter, Homeroom app, and emails to communicate classroom happenings with families.

Social Media Info:
Twitter @topdogteaching and @topdogkids
Blog www.topdogteaching.com
Instagram @topdogteaching @topdogkids

Email topdogteaching@gmail.com

Kayla Dornfeld
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[name=Kayla Dornfeld] [img=https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TrfC8pHIkt8/Xdl4ZITd7yI/AAAAAAAAADk/7asaSLMP9Csu-qyUj7JIp64SlO_VXX08ACLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/authorbox.png] [description=2019 North Dakota Teacher of the Year. Mrs. West Fargo International. Internationally Awarded 3rd Grade Teacher. CEO. Global Keynote Speaker. Author. Flexible Seating Pioneer. TEDx Talk Speaker. 2018 Sioux Award Winner. Innovative Education Task Force Leader.]

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