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 Policy
Students Are Compelled to Attend School, But Is School Compelling?
May 30, 2018
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Students Are Compelled to Attend School, But Is School Compelling?

Casey Ward
@caseytward

“The right to learn is curtailed by the obligation to attend school” - Ivan Illich from Deschooling Society “From the moment I could talk, I was ordered to listen” - Cat Stevens from “Father and Son”
In the Classroom Professional Learning
Why I Pursued National Board Certification
May 28, 2018
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Why I Pursued National Board Certification

Erin Glenn
@erin_glenn_edu

If someone peeked in my classroom years ago, they would have seen students seated in desks, aligned in straight rows attentively completing their work. This would have likely followed a typical lesson that required they take notes, as I lectured, and required they read a passage and answer corresponding questions. My students were quiet, well behaved and accustomed to this routine. Though this may have been perceived as effective classroom management, I knew hadn’t met the mark. I’d often implement new strategies I’d learned in professional development but continuously sought to discover how I could grow as an educator and become more effective for my students. In my search, I discovered National Board Certification, a process that forever changed my traditional routines and methods of practice.
Policy
Educational Dreams Deferred
May 28, 2018
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Educational Dreams Deferred

Letecia Skae
@LSkae

``What happens to a dream deferred?” asked Langston Hughes. I ponder this as well. Recently teachers have been speaking out and advocating for their students, ALL of their students, because in recent months our country’s ideals about immigration have been in constant turmoil. So, it has become apparent that telling our students’ stories has become the most powerful way to remind our country that these children are all of our children and that we must support diversity and unity. Now please, close your eyes and imagine this story.
In the Classroom
How I’ve Learned to Take Care of Myself While Teaching Students Impacted by Trauma
May 24, 2018
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How I’ve Learned to Take Care of Myself While Teaching Students Impacted by Trauma

Candace Hines
@Mrs_C_Hines

Just as most clothes are not one size fits all, teaching students that have been impacted by trauma is not a one size fits all situation. Each case must be treated very differently. One student may benefit from gentle reminders, private conversations, or social stories which give students an example of how to positively handle situations in the future. Another student may respond to firm consequences, consistent routines, or reflection journals.
In the Classroom
Middle Schoolers are Awesome! (Seriously!)
May 17, 2018
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Middle Schoolers are Awesome! (Seriously!)

Mary-Owen Holmes
@MsHolmesTeach

``What do you do?” “I teach seventh grade!”     “Oh, bless your heart!” As a middle school teacher, I have that conversation a lot. People imagine middle school to be full of scary, hormonal children. They’re not completely wrong, but they are missing how awesome tweens and teens can be.
Policy
ALL means ALL: Except TN Dreamers
May 3, 2018
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ALL means ALL: Except TN Dreamers

Lynnsey Metcalf
@SterchiMetcalf

My name is Josue. I am 3 months old. My family snuck into the United States in the trunk of a car trying to escape drug wars and violence. Like most parents, they have big dreams for me. They want Freedom and Opportunity to be available to me. As we make our way through Texas to Arkansas headed to the Promised Land  in Tennessee, they inch closer to making their dreams for me a reality.
In the Classroom Professional Learning
Summers Off?
April 29, 2018
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Summers Off?

Al Feldblum
@afeldblum

It took me a few years to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. I found that I had a passion for coaching football. High school football. What better way to live my passion than be a high school teacher. I made the decision to get an undergrad degree in education and become a teacher.
In the Classroom
Grading Students on Growth
April 15, 2018
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Grading Students on Growth

Rachel Turner
@ChattanoogaChat

Iwasn’t born with the natural ability to ride a bike. Luckily my parents bought me one anyway and taught me, over time, how to ride. The first few times, I crashed and burned. I still have a scar on one of my knees from a nasty fall. But my parents were so patient and kept encouraging me to try again. Over time, I progressively improved my bicycle riding skills. While I never mastered this skill well enough to enter the BMX World Championships, I learned it well enough to survive while riding down the road!
In the Classroom
You Are More Than a Test Score
April 6, 2018
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You Are More Than a Test Score

Casey Dove
@CaseyMDove

As time for standardized testing draws nearer, you often hear a speech to kids that encourage them to do their best because they are so much more than one test score. There is incredible truth in that statement. Students are artists, athletes, musicians, student councilmen and so much more.
Leadership Policy
The Need for a Social Studies Coordinator
April 4, 2018
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The Need for a Social Studies Coordinator

Jeff Gray
@iteachushistory

Let me briefly introduce myself to you. I am a twenty-five-year veteran teacher and have taught social studies in Tennessee for thirteen years. I’ve also taught for six years as an adjunct professor in a college of education and am currently a Tennessee Hope Street Group Fellow. In addition, I am the founder of the First Tennessee History Alliance which provides monthly professional development opportunities for teachers in the First CORE Region.