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.

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.
Policy
Wishing for Wakanda: Building Bridges in Education
March 28, 2018
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Wishing for Wakanda: Building Bridges in Education

Amanda Arnold
@Amanda_Arnold77

``In times of crisis, the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one single tribe.” -T’Challa, Black Panther
In the Classroom Professional Learning
The Power of a Mentor
March 24, 2018
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The Power of a Mentor

Dr. Beth Gotcher
@beth_gotcher

Being a new teacher is an exciting and invigorating time yet can also be filled with stress and uncertainty. Beginning teachers enter their first classroom bubbling with hopes and ideas for their students. However, new teachers are also filled with a variety of unanswered questions. How do I make copies? What do I do if I’m sick? What instructional resources am I required to use? Where do I go for a fire drill? These are just a few of the countless questions that come up throughout a teacher’s first year which are not answered in a college classroom.
Policy
Students and Teachers Deserve a Fear-Free Environment
March 20, 2018
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Students and Teachers Deserve a Fear-Free Environment

Stacy Jones
@stacyjonestned

Following the recently publicized fatal school shooting in Parkland, Florida, most major media outlets—including CBS, NBC, and ABC—reported the number of school shootings to date this year as 18. That number was derived from Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit group, co-founded by Michael Bloomberg.
In the Classroom Policy
Mississippi Students’ Activism is Historically Significant
March 8, 2018
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Mississippi Students’ Activism is Historically Significant

Stacy Jones
@stacyjonestned

Terry, Mississippi, located in Hinds County, about 15 miles southwest of Jackson, had a population of just over 1,000 people—60 percent African American—at the time of the 2010 census. It is home to two high schools, including Terry High School. One of its most famous residents was Tommy Johnson, the blues man about whom the original legend of soul-selling at a crossroads in exchange for masterful guitar playing originated—before it was later attributed to musician Robert Johnson.
In the Classroom Leadership
It Is Imperative for My Students to Be Global Citizens
February 15, 2018
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It Is Imperative for My Students to Be Global Citizens

Melissa Collins
@CollinsNBCT

The Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize is a $1 million award presented annually to an individual that has made a major contribution to education. This prize vets and rewards teachers around the world, with the foundational belief that educators should be recognized, highlighted, and celebrated for the work that they do for the profession.
In the Classroom
The Innovation Academy
February 11, 2018
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The Innovation Academy

Maureen Henderson
@MaureenHender18

The Innovation Academy is a magnet program located at Springfield Middle School in Robertson County, Tennessee. The program currently serves two hundred sixty scholars in sixth through eighth grade. Scholars have a team of two teachers, one teacher instructs STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) and the other instructs REACH (Reading/English to Analyze Culture and History).
In the Classroom Policy
Full-Immersion Work-Based Learning
February 7, 2018
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Full-Immersion Work-Based Learning

Heidi King
@heidikingking

Patrick’s alarm goes off at 5:30 am.  He rolls out of bed and gets dressed.  He has to clock in at Gestamp by 7am, which he’s learned means arriving no later than 6:45.  Patrick is saving for a car, but for now he pays Uber $20 a day to get to and from work.  This is not the easiest life for an 18 year old high school senior to face, but this experience has changed the course of Patrick’s life for the better.  
In the Classroom
Weird but Not Too Weird
February 5, 2018
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Weird but Not Too Weird

Leticia Skae
@LSkae

Is teaching a science? An art? Or a craft? Can it be a little bit of all of those things? My husband is an executive principal, and we often brainstorm ways to solve educational problems regularly. It is quite possibly our favorite pastime. But when discussed what makes a great teacher, he explained his hiring process to me. When he interviews a teacher he is looking for a teacher that is “weird but not too weird.” (A philosophy that I’m sure he uses even in love).
In the Classroom
4 Steps to Becoming a Culturally Responsive Teacher
January 28, 2018
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4 Steps to Becoming a Culturally Responsive Teacher

Leticia Skae
@LSkae

In my seventh year teaching English/language arts, I moved to a new school. As part of the orientation, one of the veteran English teachers kindly provided me the essential reading list for 10th grade students. When I reviewed the list, something just didn’t sit well. The entire list was filled with books either written by men or featuring white, male protagonists. The only exception was the tragic, unlikeable protagonist in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, whose toxic masculine ideals lead to his demise.