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Spotlight on Tennessee: Why they love NMSI

The general consensus is in – Tennessee teachers love NMSI’s Teacher Training program! For the last few years, we have been working with educators – ranging from middle school to college-level – from across the state of Tennessee, and they have had nothing but wonderful things to say about our program. In fact, last year we hosted five 2-day trainings in various regions of the Big Bend State, training more than 380 higher education staff from 49 of Tennessee’s colleges and universities in rigorous, hands-on, and engaging teaching practices, and the participants there gave the training events rave reviews:

•NMSI provides “truly outstanding” resources for the teachers to use with students, and unanimously the teachers declared that we had “excellent presenters who were engaging, knowledgeable, and collaborative.” Collaboration truly is the key to NMSI’s success. We believe that it is of the utmost importance for teachers to be trained by other teachers in rigorous content and strategies – after all, who better understands the stresses and challenges, and also the highs and the joys, of teaching than teachers?

•They also praised the depth of information about the Common Core State Standards. “Seeing the Common Core State Standards and PARCC assessment models helped me understand the depth of content knowledge teachers have to have,” said one excited teacher, and they cited our interactive coursework during the sessions as being incredibly helpful in understanding what it is that they, as the teacher, needed to know in order to help their own students reach that higher level of excellence and pass the state exams.

•“The literacy connections across disciplines were critical.” Making connections across disciplines is something that we strive to help educators do, but not just in terms of content. Teachers – and even entire departments – must come together to break down the silos in their schools and transform their campuses into learning facilities. There must be a paradigm shift to change the culture of our school. Students should be able to expect the same level of rigor and excellence from classroom to classroom, from teacher to teacher.
Helping educators become better teachers is a core tenant of NMSI’s mission, which is helping the students become college- and career-ready, and all of the teachers we have trained thus far – from Texas to Mississippi – are taking what they have learned back to their campuses in earnest. In fact, before they even left our trainings, they began talking about and looking into new ways the departments of their schools – and even the schools in their districts – could come together to develop better ways to prepare and deliver information to their students.
One of our trainers said that her favorite comment was from a World Languages Curriculum Director, who said NMSI’s Teacher Training was “the best professional development training I have ever attended,” and all of the teachers interviewed said that they would recommend NMSI’s program to another teacher. Here at NMSI, we are thrilled that so many teachers are excited to be a part of our program and that they want to share it with others. A revolution for better education has started, and we are preparing teachers to fight the good fight and arm our students with the knowledge and skills they need to survive in the modern world and workforce.