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 Leadership
Synergy
December 10, 2017
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Synergy

Hayley Cloud
@hcloud_tn

The Wright brothers created the world’s first powered airplane because they shared the same curiosity and intellect. Michael Jordan completed 15 seasons in the National Basketball Association with the help of a skilled team. Helen Keller devoted much of her life to raising awareness for people with disabilities after overcoming challenges with the help of Annie Sullivan. Martin Luther King Jr. had a grand impact on the Civil-Rights Movement because of the many demonstrators that followed him in his efforts. For centuries, some of the most influential people in history have changed the world as a result of synergy. Synergy is when two or more people interact, cooperate, or collaborate to produce a greater result.  Synergy is vital to creating effective schools.
In the Classroom
Metcalf – My Story
December 2, 2017
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Metcalf – My Story

Lynnsey Metcalf
@SterchiMetcalf

Being an educator was never a question for me, I just didn’t truly know what being an educator was, until I became one!
In the Classroom
Developing Lifelong Readers Before It’s Too Late
November 30, 2017
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Developing Lifelong Readers Before It’s Too Late

Casey Ward
@caseytward 

In 2015, the percentage of American adults who read for pleasure fell to its lowest ever mark. Books, especially complex works of literature, are being ignored by a large portion of our population. Worse still, those citizens who hold only a high school diploma are three times less likely than those with a college degree to have read a book in any format in the past 12 months. Only 60% of high school graduates reported reading a book “in whole or part.” While we may assume the best - perhaps they joined the thousands of others who abandoned Ulysses after the first 300 pages - it is far more likely that their reported reading consisted of a few recipes from a Bobby Flay cookbook.
In the Classroom
How Have I Survived 25 Years of Teaching?
October 29, 2017
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How Have I Survived 25 Years of Teaching?

Al Feldblum
@afeldblum

Istarted my teaching career with two strikes against me. One, I am a high school math teacher; the only school subject with a recognized, known phobia. Not only must I overcome “Math Phobia” with my students, but also I must listen to adults say, “I hated math in high school,” or “I was terrible at math.”
In the Classroom
Questioning: A Vital Part of Classroom Discourse
October 24, 2017
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Questioning: A Vital Part of Classroom Discourse

Casey Dove
@CaseyMDove 

Every teacher, regardless of grade level or subject area, is told to write a lesson plan that includes pre-planned questions to be asked of the students as the lesson unfolds. These questions include basic checks of understanding as well as higher order questions to provoke the most advanced students’ thoughts. What if I said that the students’ questions are just as important as the best planned questions that teachers include on their lesson plans?
In the Classroom Leadership
Find Your Mrs. P
October 22, 2017
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Find Your Mrs. P

Jeff Gray
@iteachushistory

My experience as a first year teacher is not unlike many others in the teaching profession. I was fresh out of school, ready to change the world. My first teaching job found me in a large southern city with a sordid, but progressive history in public education. I was assigned to teach 8th grade social studies in a large middle school located physically in a solid middle class suburb. However, our student population was anything but solid middle class. Through the then constitutional busing policy, our student population was majority minority with a high percentage of free and reduced lunch. Our faculty was full of “newbies” just like me, trying to change the world.
In the Classroom
How Project-Based Learning Revolutionized My Teaching
October 6, 2017
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How Project-Based Learning Revolutionized My Teaching

Mary-Owen Holmes
@MsHolmesTeach 

Over the past few years, Tennessee has been committed to making bold changes to our educational landscape. We’ve seen shifts in what our students are learning, and are striving to ensure all students receive a high-quality education. Project-based learning (PBL) is a natural extension of our state’s focus on reform. A renewed emphasis on college and career readiness has encouraged teachers and schools to incorporate strategies such as problem-based learning and technology integration, while also providing more opportunities for early-work experience. Across Tennessee students are learning to broadcast news, lead research efforts, build websites, code programs, and analyze data, while embedding math and literacy into their work. PBL has allowed me to better connect the past to the present, as well as bring fun back into history class. When we connect our classroom learning to real-world examples, as well as necessary critical thinking and problem-solving skills, everyone wins.
In the Classroom
10 Things I Wish I Knew As a Beginning Teacher
October 4, 2017
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10 Things I Wish I Knew As a Beginning Teacher

Dr. Beth Gotcher
@beth_gotcher

Candace Hines
@Mrs_C_Hines

10.Speak up: Your voice matters! In a room full of veterans, novice teachers often tend to take a back seat. New teachers may get overlooked due to their lack of experience in the classroom. As a beginning teacher, you may be hesitant to ask clarifying questions or contribute new ideas. However, when beginning teachers speak up, they can benefit the whole group by sharing new concepts. Mentors are also able to see their growth areas and refine their mentorship to allow new teachers to gain knowledge. So don’t be afraid to share your ideas!
Leadership Policy
Public Education is Vital to the Success of our Students
October 1, 2017
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Public Education is Vital to the Success of our Students

Stacy Jones
@stacyjonestned 

Ispent this week at a meeting in Nashville reviewing end-of-course assessment items for Tennessee’s state department of education. I have contracted independently in this endeavor for the past two years, and I’m sure that many—even some fellow educators—might question the potential interest level in such an activity. However, I enjoy it immensely. It connects me to the objectives I’m trying to achieve for my students in my public school classroom, based on our specified standards, and it keeps me engaged as an educator. Scrutinizing reading passages and their connected test questions most certainly requires a high level of critical thinking.
In the Classroom Policy
You May Say that I’m a Dreamer, but I’m Not the Only One: Reimagine Career Readiness
September 9, 2017
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You May Say that I’m a Dreamer, but I’m Not the Only One: Reimagine Career Readiness

Amanda Arnold
@Amanda_Arnold77

John Lennon once said, “Imagine all the people living for today.” This is such a simple statement, yet so hard for so many students to do. Career readiness is a critical part of education that students need for living everyday lives. Students must receive education that prepares them for excellence in all labor.