We are not just building a school; we are creating a community. Together, we are building a team of students, families, and teachers working together to achieve greatness.
In celebration of National Teacher Appreciation Week, we would like to share more about a few of the rock stars who have joined our team and are ready to transform education in the city of Nashville!
Greg O’Loughlin, Adjunct Teacher and Ed-Cooperative Director
1. How long have you been an educator?
2. Why did you pick teaching as your career path?
It's more accurate to say that teaching chose me. Both of my parents are retired teachers. My sister, uncle, cousins - all teachers. I've taken a non-traditional route to the classroom, but everyone in my family seemed to know that the classroom was where I was headed.
For me, it's all about the generative nature of sharing, learning, teaching, and collaborating. When I teach and someone learns, together we've created a new understanding that didn't exist before. When I'm listening and adapting my instruction to the needs of the circumstances, we unpack new elements of the topic or subject, and that's the heart of what makes being a teacher and member of a learning community so exciting.
We're living in an amazing age of better understanding the essential elements of teaching and learning, the components of developing classroom communities, and the necessary steps to nurturing the growth and tending to the needs of our students.
This career engages all the elements of what makes work worth doing. It's challenging, adaptive, creative, rewarding, and all pointed towards creating capable citizens and engaged neighbors. I can't imagine doing anything else.
3. What are you most excited about for the new school year?
I can't wait to meet the inaugural class of students. This journey is so special – an opportunity to found a school doesn't present itself very often, and I am eager to learn about the people who have answered the call to become a part of an exciting new chapter in Nashville's education community.
4. What makes Nashville a great location for experiential learning?
Nashville's 'Third Coast' nickname comes close to describing why it's the perfect town for experiential learning. The elements of the city that are metropolitan - world-class music, support for the arts, colleges and universities, larger industries like publishing and healthcare - are all well balanced by a small-town feel that is centered in neighborhoods, while providing access to politicians and leaders, space for non-profits and creative solutions, and the growing pains that come with being such a popular destination.
5. What qualities are you looking for in Blyth-Templeton Academy students?
The most important quality is resilience. Productive failure is an uncomfortable but essential part of learning and growing, and it takes resiliency to keep pushing yourself through tough times. Equanimity is another quality that deserves attention and regular nurturing.
Self-regulation and mindful consideration of the challenges and accomplishments of the learning journey ensure real understanding.
6. What’s your favorite thing about living and working in Nashville?
I'm grateful for the easy access to natural areas - greenways, parks, rivers - it's all so close and offers a variety of things to do. I love to ride bikes with my friends and family and there are so many great places to ride.
I also love seeing live music. Nashville's home to some of the most talented artists in the world and it's such a treat to see and hear them in incredible venues all over town.
Best thing to eat: Italian Sub at BEHive Vegan Deli
7. What are your favorite books?
- God Bless You Mr. Rosewater
- Lincoln in the Bardo
- The Crossing
Here’s a bit more information about some of the other founding members of our team:
Mr. Robert Sanders, 5th and 6th Grade Humanities Teacher, has tutored for multiple Blyth-Templeton Academy families. In fact, Mr. Sanders tutored students from one of our families for over five years. That family introduced us to Mr. Sanders in October. When he learned more about our school, we recognized that he understood the vision we are trying to achieve. Mr. Sanders’ passion for Project-Based Learning made him a perfect
founding member of our team.
Mrs. Dacia Woodley, 7th Grade Humanities Teacher, learned about Blyth-Templeton Academy from her former students. When they applied to join our freshmen class, she applied to join our team as well. Each student we spoke with shared his or her love for her class. Mrs. Woodley’s energy and empathy make her a favorite with students of all ages. We are so thrilled to have her join our team.
Ms. Kayla Padgett, Foreign Language Teacher, has a gift for teaching languages. Many students I have met with shared that foreign language class is their least favorite part of the day, describing it as boring and pointless. I was excited when I reviewed Kayla’s resume and realized she would be the perfect fit for our founding team. Her experiences in teaching languages include designing language learning games, making language learning interactive, and much more. Kayla is an incredible fit for our team and we cannot wait to offer our students both Mandarin and Spanish language opportunities!
Each of our teachers and staff members bring a passion for education, lifelong learning, and the Nashville community to our team. These are just a few and we look forward to introducing the rest of them to you very soon!
Learn all about BTA's experiential, place-based learning model with our digital resource, The Place-Based Approach to Education: What It Is and Why It Matters!