Jullien Gordon on Building a Teaching Career Outside the Classroom

In Chapter 13 of 16 in his 2011 Capture Your Flag interview, motivation teacher Jullien Gordon answers "How Has Your Professional Experience Directed Your Passion for Teaching?"  Gordon notes how, upon graduating UCLA, he applied but was not accepted to Teach for America.  He pursues teaching experiences outside the classroom, preparing students by providing them tools, systems and processes to use.  This helps Gordon shape into the motivation teacher and public speaker he is today.  Gordon is the founder of the Department of Motivated Vehicles, a personal and professional development company that helps clients identify purpose and map it to successful outcomes. Gordon has written five books and speaks regularly to college students across America.  He earned masters degrees in education and business from Stanford University and an undergraduate degree from UCLA.


Erik Michielsen:  How has your professional experience directed your passion for teaching?

Jullien Gordon:  So coming out college I originally applied for Teach for America.  I thought I wanted to be a teacher and for some reason they said my application was incomplete and after a while I realized that you know what?  The classroom wasn’t actually where I wanted to be.  So you know I teach -- I consider myself a motivation teacher more so than a motivational speaker because a motivational speaker come in and get you excited for 30 minutes then you leave and they leave and that inspiration fades away after like another 30 minutes, right? 

As a motivation teacher I always try to leave people with tools, systems and processes that they can use and that will carry them on beyond my presence and that’s what I think a teacher does.  They leave you with formulas, tools, processes and ways of thinking about the world and your life that will last beyond their presence.  You can think about some of your most amazing teachers, Luigi Santini, Chip Anderson, Father Marlow. These are people who have touched me in ways that have long outlasted their presence in my life and so when I share messages that’s where I’m coming from.  I’m really trying to share life changing and transformative messages, not just inspiration.