Dr. Beth Gotcher
“One Tribe” is our school’s motto. Our team is a tribe. Merriam-Webster defines a tribe as:
1a : a social group comprising numerous families, clans, or generations…
2 : a group of persons having a common character, occupation, or interest
A tribe works together in an organized fashion, as a team, to achieve common interests or goals. Teamwork has a lot to do with successful students.
Academic success for any student requires a tribe of educationalists, community members, parents, and staff working towards a clearly defined vision with measurable goals and needs based, data-driven, interventions. District-wide guiding tenets and state standards serve as a foundation to help schools and communities build and modify collaborative processes to address demonstrated needs.
An important term is “demonstrated needs,” which vary from student to student. Every day schools are addressing needs from academic to socio-emotional. Every day it takes a tribe of people to recognize, address, and meet those needs so students can experience success. Success is not equal for all students. Every educator knows that some students have more barriers to overcome. It takes a tribe to remove these barriers or at least make them manageable for the students in the tribe.
Every single person in the school is part of the tribe, but the tribe extends beyond the school. The tribe extends into the community, into homes, and across the state. The legislature is passing the communal law for the tribe, so educators need to exercise their voices. Educators need to answer all of those surveys we get every year. The tribe has to have clear communication. It’s hard to design a well-orchestrated plan of success if the parts of the whole are not communicating. Communication has to be clear among legislators, schools, parents, and students.
All students can be successful when student success is addressed collaboratively. As Andrew Carnegie said, “Teamwork… is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” Amazing things happen when everyone works towards a common, well designed vision to provide ALL students with a world-class and student-focused education. It’s great to be part of the tribe.
Amanda has taught English at Dobyns Bennett High School for the past five years. In that time, Amanda has served as the English 9 CoTaught Team Leader, English 10 CoTaught Team Leader, CoPresident of the Alpha Zeta Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa International Honor Society for Women Educators and on the Tennessee Digital Learning Team. Throughout her career she has served as a school-wide Title I coordinator, school-level testing coordinator and 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant coordinator. She holds a Bachelors and Masters degree from East Tennessee State University. In 2010, she earned an Educational Specialist degree in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership from Lincoln Memorial University. She also serves as a Hope Street Group Tennessee Teacher Fellow, engaging her colleagues in providing classroom feedback to the Tennessee Department of Education on public education policy issues.