Lifting Tennessee students to be among the best in the nation cannot occur without empowering Tennessee educators to be advocates for their students and profession. The Tennessee Educator Fellowship is an opportunity for passionate educators to find and use their voice on behalf of their students.

Three fellows in this year’s cohort share what they have learned over the past year and why this fellowship has been instrumental to their development as teacher-leaders.


Question 1: How have you grown from the fellowship?

Dr. Tunisha Hobson: I have grown more as a thinker, developer, and ultimately an advocate beyond my classroom. I have always advocated for the students I am blessed to teach on a daily basis, but the fellowship has provided me an opportunity to strengthen and lengthen my reach in Tennessee education.


Question 2: What has the Tennessee Educator Fellowship empowered you to do for Tennessee students?

Christy McManus: The fellowship has made me realize the importance of using my voice with policymakers. It has made me be more thoughtful and strategic when considering the best way to make sure my message is heard by the right people. It has given me the confidence to believe I can do more than I realized, even in areas where I previously felt inadequate. I no longer feel that way.


Question 3: What is an experience that you have had as a fellow that has surprised you?

Tom Loud: I have been surprised at how eager district leaders are to listen to the voices and ideas of teachers. I’ve also been surprised that when teachers are committed and passionate about change, that a real difference can be made. Lastly, I have been pleasantly surprised at how much greater my impact has been by partnering with other teachers who are likely committed to bringing about positive, student-centered change!


Applications for the 2018-19 cohort of the Tennessee Educator Fellowship will be accepted through Friday, March 2 at 11:59 CST. The fellowship is open to K-12 teachers, school counselors, librarians, and interventionists working in Tennessee public schools who have three or more years of experience and want to make an impact beyond the classroom.