NASHVILLE (WSMV) - Almost 100 teachers from different schools in Nashville are working together to make sure our children are receiving the best education.
The group calls themselves the Educators' Cooperative, and they are teachers from public, private and charter schools. They meet to discuss new ideas to bring into the classroom, such as using rock sculptures or murals to teach English.
There are teachers from 70 different schools involved, meaning there are tons of different learning techniques and lessons to learn.
There is nothing like this in Nashville. These teachers are coming together once a month to talk shop on their own time. They have built a community that gives them an opportunity to see a new way to solve a problem in the classroom or a new way to teach a certain lesson.
Lindsey Roe is a fairly new teacher. She teaches English at Cameron Middle School and says that as someone who is new to this job, it's amazing to talk with people who have been teaching for decades to get their opinions and hear that they, too, are still dealing with some of the same issues.
"It's really motivating for me to know that support is out there and that you're not alone in your classroom at all," Roe said.
Roe and the founder of the group, Greg O'Loughlin, say this is not only beneficial for the students, but it's also helpful for the teachers who need an extra push.
"We've built a community together, and we've really worked against the sense of isolation the profession can lead to. It really is tough to know where to go with questions, and when we've created that for ourselves, it's pretty powerful," O'Loughlin said.
Roe is currently working with an art teacher from a private school on different ways she can teach her students English. She says he's showing her things she never would have thought about.
Another member of the group, Mike Mitchell, likes to use podcasts instead of giving his students a weekly quiz. Mitchell has his art students at Father Ryan Academy talk about what they learned instead of taking a test because he feels that it's more effective for his students to learn but also so he can have another opportunity to get to know them better.
Mitchell says he's always wanted to push this practice because that's what he feels his kids deserve.
"Having the connection to the Educators' Cooperative is such a powerful tool for me to be able to serve the kids here at Father Ryan every day as best I can because I know I have the best people in Nashville as a support system to offer me feedback, to offer me encouragement, to offer me congratulations, to offer me holding my feet to the fire," he said.
When News4's cameras weren't rolling, Mitchell told all of his students as they were leaving his classroom, "If no one's told you today, I love you very much." It was a very touching moment to see in the classroom and speaks wonders of the teachers involved in the Educators' Cooperative.
Click here for more information about the Educators' Cooperative.