Building Futures and Making a Difference

In a recent series of interviews, Amy Nystrand, Program Director of the Educators’ Cooperative asked members, “What keeps you going on tough days?”  The answers are a good reminder of the importance of the work we are doing.

Originally published on January 26, 2021.

Anie Hall, 9th Grade English Teacher at Hendersonville High School

It is knowing that what we do in the classroom will build our students’ futures and will help them move forward. On those days when I’m having a hard time, I keep in mind that everything I’m doing today will help them in the future. On top of that, it will also improve my teaching, when I ask: why is today tough, what is the challenge, and how can I face that and overcome that? When I think back to high school, I remember the most random things, so I always try to keep that in mind, too. What am I saying and how am I presenting myself that my students are going to remember? 

I want them to remember me as someone who cares about them, someone who is compassionate and intelligent, and someone who believes in them. I try to keep those things on my mind, especially when it’s a really tough day. 

Amber Thienel, District Lead Numeracy Coach, Supporting Middle Schools in the South

Honestly, at this point in my life, the work that I’m doing is the work that I want to be doing. It’s always something that I’ve wanted to do. So that, coupled with the realization that I am making a difference and that people can and do rely on me. When I’m having a tough time, being able to pull it together for somebody else is how I get through. I need to be strong, so that I can help somebody else be strong.

The Educators\’ Cooperative is a non-profit organization that provides a professional learning community for K-12 teachers. Created for teachers by teachers in 2016, EdCo provides professional development and support for educators to collaborate across sectors, disciplines, and career stages. EdCo aims to revolutionize teacher development and leadership by focusing on the essential agency, autonomy, and common ground all teachers share. EdCo is based in Nashville, Tennessee with a reach far beyond that physical location and potential for replication in communities throughout the nation. When educators collaborate, the future of education is greater than the sum of its parts.   Please visit for more information and to sign up for our newsletter.

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