About Me

Karena Nelson has taught English in the suburbs of Chicago since 1998.  In that time, she has taught and written curriculum for many classes at all levels from study strategies for rising freshmen to AP.  Her classroom style is eclectic, interactive, and inductive.  She is especially interested in student engagement, critical thinking, and discussion.  She holds a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from Columbia University’s Teachers College, a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from Northwestern University, and an advanced certificate in Instructional Coaching from Northwestern University.

Passionate about teacher growth, Karena has presented at local and national conferences on topics including reading strategies, critical lenses, sensorimotor activities, and addressing race in the classroom.  She has mentored new and student teachers, and strongly believes that all teachers need community and support. She co-authored a chapter in a book about teaching writing (currently #982,505 on Amazon, whoo-hoo!) and is happy to be writing again.

Karena is always interested in writing, speaking, or coaching opportunities, or generally helping to solve problems in the education world.  See her complete resume here.  Contact her here.

Praise for Karena’s Presentations

“I stayed after your presentation to tell you all how wonderful I thought your presentation was at NCTE. I have only had my kids back for last Monday and today and have already used the 10 words exercise and am blown away by how wonderful and effective it is.”

-NBCT teacher

I’ve been teaching for ten years, and I can’t remember attending a more helpful presentation. You had so many interesting, engaging activities, and I am looking forward to using them in my classroom.”

-8th grade teacher

“I found your presentation enlightening, informative, and helpful.  I have already used “paired pages” and “10 most influential words” and found great success–both with AP Language and Freshman I.”

-IL teacher