Great teachers work best when they work together. TNTeacherTalk is a place for Tennessee teachers to connect, share our stories, and learn from one another. Join us as we discuss the issues affecting Tennessee students, teachers, and communities.

In the Classroom
Making the Horse Drink: Trying to Minimize Mathematical Indifference
December 7, 2018
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Making the Horse Drink: Trying to Minimize Mathematical Indifference

Al Feldblum
@afeldblum

Some time ago, a colleague from a different content area posed these questions to me: “How do you do what you do? How do you teach math to students that do not see the relevance of your subject?”
In the Classroom
Practical Tips for Working with ELL Students in the Social Studies Classroom
December 1, 2018
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Practical Tips for Working with ELL Students in the Social Studies Classroom

Mary-Owen Holmes
@MsHolmesTeach 

In my sixth year teaching, I got the itch to move - a nagging sense that there was more to learn and more to do. This persistent feeling quickly led me to a new teaching position in a new district at one of the most diverse high schools in the city. Students are my new high school represent over 30 countries and speak upwards of 25 languages - the top 5 being English, Spanish, Arabic, Swahili, and Kurdish.
In the Classroom
2018 Christmas Gift Guide for Teachers
November 25, 2018
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2018 Christmas Gift Guide for Teachers

Rachel Turner
@ChattanoogaChat

While it may seem like school just began yesterday, the holidays are quickly approaching.  By Christmas, your child’s teacher will have spent up to 555 hours investing into their personal and academic success!  Some parents (who have the financial ability) enjoy rewarding their child’s teachers with Christmas gifts as a means of appreciation.  For teachers, this is not necessary but we always appreciate the gesture.  Before you grab that “Best Teacher Ever” mug off of the store shelf (we have more than plenty), check out this guide to help you find the best and most cost-efficient Christmas presents for teachers in 2018:
Leadership
Handling Parent Conferences Like a Champ
October 23, 2018
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Handling Parent Conferences Like a Champ

Leticia Skae

@LSkae 

Two years ago I began teaching at an academic magnet and it was a completely new experience for me. Previously, I had been teaching in urban schools for a decade. The transition from one type of school to another was wild! The first thing I realized as soon as I got to the magnet school was my bi-weekly parent meetings from previous schools, had now become daily parent conferences. So, very quickly I had to step my “conference game” up or else parents were going to come in and tear me to pieces.
Leadership
Get Work-Based Learning. Get Experience.
October 2, 2018
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Get Work-Based Learning. Get Experience.

Heidi King
@heidikingking

Iremember trying to write my first resume.  I breezed through my contact information, proudly noted my educational background and then typed in bold letters EXPERIENCE.  I sat and pondered my time driving a golf cart peddling sandwiches and beverages and babysitting my coach’s children. I wasn’t too impressed with myself, so how could I expect potential employers to appreciate what I had to offer?  All too often, students exiting high school and college experience this dilemma: extensive education paired with marginal, practical work experience.
Policy
Education Policies Must Work in Classrooms
September 22, 2018
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Education Policies Must Work in Classrooms

Candace Hines
@Mrs_C_Hines

If you’ve ever painted (or watched someone paint), then you’ve witnessed the incredible transformation of a blank canvas into a vibrant work of art. With each layer of paint, each hue blended together, comes a new depth and richness to the picture that hadn’t existed before.
Professional Learning
A Growth Mindset: Starting with Ourselves
September 14, 2018
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A Growth Mindset: Starting with Ourselves

Ashley Corey
@ms_corey8

In the last few years many districts across the country have been encouraging a “growth mindset” with regards to students, grading, and general practice in the classroom. Oftentimes this means focusing on the gains that a student has made over a period of time. It also frequently means replacing the phrase “I don’t get it” with “I don’t get it yet.” This concept of yet can be very powerful for students, but making radical changes to our attitudes on how students grow must be authentic if it is going to be valuable. This means that when considering a growth mindset, we must first start with ourselves. When the beginning of the school year hits, an opportunity to show students that you believe in a growth mindset is present but also fleeting. Establishing this as a norm in the classroom must begin with teachers believing that the growth mindset model applies to everyone in the room, teachers included.
In the Classroom
Camp Seeker: Decreasing the Summer Slide
September 5, 2018
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Camp Seeker: Decreasing the Summer Slide

Beth Gotcher
@b_gotcher

During the summer, while many students were far from their classrooms, 15 students in Maryville were in the middle of their writer’s workshop. The district was fortunate enough to receive a Read to be Ready Summer Grant. This experience was a wonderful learning experience for both teachers and students. Six key takeaways from this experience could benefit future Read to be Ready Camps.
Leadership
Back to School – The Journey Begins
August 20, 2018
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Back to School – The Journey Begins

Mark Wittman
@wittmanmarks

The first day of school is quickly approaching for students around the country.   Stores are stocked with back to school supplies and there are mixed emotions around the words “Back to School”.   These three words can stir a range of emotions depending on who is hearing them.  Some parents may hear these words and experience excitement at the thought of their children spending their day at the schoolhouse.  While other parents may face anxiety at the thought of getting all the school supplies and completing the necessary paperwork to ensure that their child is ready for the first day of school.   Some student may dread these three words because it means the end of days filled with freedom, while others may get excited because it means structure and routines.   Some teachers may hear these words and experience dread, while other teachers will experience excitement and joy at returning to their classroom.   It is my hope and prayer that as you read this “Back to School” article that your journey will be one of growth and prosperity.
In the Classroom
10 Things Teachers Should Remember as They Begin Another School Year
August 8, 2018
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10 Things Teachers Should Remember as They Begin Another School Year

Lynnsey Metcalf
@sterchimetcalf

10. Restart your attitude every day! Some days are rough. Things go wrong. Always start your day with a positive attitude. Forget about the negative things that happened in the past and focus on the amazing opportunities in front of you.