Teachers Are Amazing

By Greg O’Loughlin, High School Teacher and Director of The Educators’ Cooperative

Never before has the entire education system shut down statewide on short notice. Shorter still was evidence of a plan in place to meet the needs of students, families, and teachers separated by essential distance. 

In the hours after Nashville understood that we were all safer at home, the city’s education community witnessed a remarkable transformation. 

District leaders mobilized to assess and meet the safety and nutrition needs of our city’s children and families. 

School administrators recast their eyes on distant and virtual instruction strategies.

The Educators’ Cooperative focused on supporting the teachers. All the teachers. 

Teachers are the first line of contact, connecting with students and families regardless of whether they teach in public, private, or charter schools. Emailing, snail-mailing, video-calling, phone-calling, Instagram storytelling – the creativity and commitment of teachers has been extraordinary.

As Tennessee’s only education nonprofit entirely for teachers, by teachers, we have spent years creating a community of care that supports all teachers. A community where all teachers can collaborate, share and develop best practices, and reduce isolation. Our experience gave us a playbook we knew we could use to serve our city. We moved quickly to open up our doors and move our support online to include all teachers. All grades, all schools, all subjects. 

It clicked. More teachers are joining our calls and forums every day. Teachers from Nashville, from Murfreesboro, from Maury County, from as far as California who are seeking connection, sharing ideas, asking questions, seeking and providing feedback. 

We are doing vital work in the city to fill the gaps in communication and networking as quickly as possible on the ground, from the ground up. We are the reason why more teachers are connecting with families and students. For teachers learning how to navigate these new waters, there is no other platform where professional educators determine the topics, facilitate the discussions, and stay connected with a growing community of professional educators in all subjects, grade levels, and school types. 

We don’t know when we will find ourselves back in classrooms all over the city, facilitating the magic of teaching and learning that happens every day. We do know that teachers are healthier, happier, and more effective when they are supported in ways that include collaborative professionalism like only The Educators’ Cooperative provides in person, online, in video calls, or in a forum. Teachers are amazing, and when we work together, the future of education is greater than the sum of its parts.

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