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Volume 1 - April 2020


Welcome to the first edition of the Let's Talk Tennessee Newsletter! This quarterly newsletter connects Tennessee leaders who are engaged in the hard work of innovation in their schools, districts, or at the state level in many different ways - with the common goal of setting all students on the path to success. Its purpose is to share the amazing work being done by districts we partner with and hear about across the state and to inspire and guide others to lead innovative work. Our hope is to bring you ideas with ways to support your team, ways to fill your cup, and some virtual learning opportunities over the next month. 



We have been thinking of you all and are so impressed by how your teams are coming together as a community to navigate the new normal, for now. The leaders our team has connected with over the last few weeks want their teams to be more inclusive, innovative, and effective during this time. However, they are trying to balance the act of changing team practices during a difficult period. Education Elements works with leaders to identify how to change their teams’ habits and introduce new habits that can increase inclusion, effectiveness, and collaboration. Here are three ways to learn more about this:

  1. Join us each Thursday morning for a virtual collaboration session, "Fill Your Cup Tennessee," at 8:00 AM CT/9:00 AM ET. This week, we invited students and teachers to discuss their journey with COVID-19 so far. 
  2. Add 6 Practices for Remote Work to your list of videos to learn from and discuss as a team this month.
  3. Set up a time to chat with someone from our team to learn more about bringing this work to your team.



6th grade open house brainstorm poster We are excited to share a story from Tennessee which connects how we are working with districts around building responsive practices, establishing a safe space for adult learners to learn, and designing systems-level thinking to improve the way their teams effectively work together.

Sumner County Schools came together at the end of January as a group of over 40 people to learn how to build team habits and apply them to responsive practices around projects. The district leadership team knows their school leaders are the driving change across the district to transform the way teams are leading and supporting the innovative work at their schools. The goal of the day was to build energy around learning together by enhancing their ability to lead, the culture of trust on their team, and how their team runs projects. We began our time together understanding the difference between habits and goals and shared a framework for building team habits and how their teams can work together to build sustainable habits that will make them more efficient. By the close of the day together, the community of learners began to develop habits around project planning where they practiced defining the work before the people with roles and accountabilities.

We welcome you into the learning experience by highlighting the headlines from the day together with this simple video from The NEW School Rules Institute at Sumner County Schools.




Our team is inspired by the work happening across the state of Tennessee and how your community is responding to find creative ways to support each other during these times. We wanted to share with you a few virtual opportunities, office hours, and coffee chats happening over the next few months.

As your team is transitioning to the new way of working remotely, we wanted to share a few of our favorite resources to support district leaders, school leaders, families, communities, and students. We admire the work each of you are doing and hope a new idea is sparked from one of these resources and you decide to share it with someone who might need it.

Resources Icon in a yellow circle

Strategies for Supporting SEL in Virtual Settings: This infographic shares strategies for working towards meeting students in a virtual setting. We recognize a virtual setting creates new conditions for educators and we wanted to provide strategies around self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making available to all leaders.

Idea icon in a green circleBest Practices for Digital Learning & Virtual Meetings: Based on our experience at Education Elements, we've put together an infographic that includes how to prepare for virtual meetings, virtual meeting etiquette, and tools and protocols to use during all virtual meetings. We've worked closely with districts on providing a more intimate webinar experience with their teams around these practices. We'd love to support your district in helping you reimagine what your virtual experiences can look like. Feel free to send us an email.

Thank you for engaging with the Tennessee Newsletter, Let's Talk Tennessee. We would love to brainstorm with you to bring any of these resources we shared to life in your district! Our team is thinking of each of you – and remember your generosity, encouragement, and love are contagious as you continue to support your school district.

With Gratitude,

Kelly, Angela, and Crystal 

It's important that we learn together and your teams learn alongside each other. Please share this newsletter with one other person you work with regularly. Your name will be entered into a raffle prize for each leader you spread the word to. 

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