Martha Shaffer

Air Force JROTC, Maplewood High School, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Martha Shaffer empowers her students to take the lead.

Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer sometimes switches up the way the classroom is set up. Instead of standing at the head, lecturing students, she encourages students to teach the lesson, provide each other feedback, and learn from each other. The end result? Engaged learning.

“It impacts student learning in a positive way because all students become involved and love assessing their peers,” Colonel Shaffer explains, “They demonstrate mastery of the subject matter.”

Colonel Shaffer’s path in education has been shaped by her own experiences. She remembers how much her community gave to allow her to become a successful United States Air Force officer, and she teaches ROTC with the goal of supporting her students to a bright future. JROTC gives students “tools that help them become productive citizens,” she explains.

Over the course of the year in Colonel Shaffer’s classroom, her students grow in these life skills and work hard toward their goals. And this progression is what compels Colonel Shaffer to keep teaching.

“I absolutely love seeing the growth and maturity in students as they grasp a new concept or show pride in teaching a concept to another student,” she says.

Bio: Martha Shaffer has been a teacher for 10 years. She teachers Air Force JROTC at Maplewood High School in Metro Nashville Public Schools. She holds her Master’s in Public Administration. She is part of the 2015-16 SCORE Tennessee Educator Fellowship. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys traveling, watching movies, and giving back to the community. You can follow her on Twitter at @LtColShaffer.


The SCORE Sheet is the online conversation on public education reform in Tennessee and is hosted by SCORE. The blog mirrors SCORE’s collaborative nature and features contributors from Tennessee and across the country including students, parents, teachers, policymakers, community groups, and members of SCORE’s team. Regardless of perspective, contributors share a common goal: that every child graduates from high school prepared for college or the workforce.

Posts on The SCORE Sheet are the opinions of the individual contributors and are not necessarily reflective of the opinions and positions of the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE).