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Nashville teachers confronting classroom inequities through 'Teacherpreneur' program

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Posted at 5:10 PM, Jan 11, 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It's a lesson in entrepreneurship. Nashville Public Education Foundation's new Teacherpreneur program is helping teachers create change.

“Every educator that was selected approached us through an application process with an idea that they have been experiencing in their classrooms or their students or families have been experiencing,” said Jennifer Hill, vice president of policy and programming for the foundation.

A cohort of 12 teachers will be tasked with tackling some of the toughest challenges in the classrooms from addressing language barriers to issues students face at home.

“I think sometimes when we think about innovation and we think about systemic inequities we think we have to solve them at scale," Hill said. "The reality is the solutions are sometimes right in front of us and they’re actually much smaller than what they initially appear to be.”

At the end of the five week program each teacher will pitch their concepts to a panel of judges selected from within the community. Winners will get a portion of the $25,000 cash prize.

“There’ll be three awards- a first place, second place, third place, and then a crowd favorite," Hill said. "Those will be decided by our judges.”

Even better, the winners will also gain access to seed funding to bring their concepts to life in the classroom.

"The question that we’re really testing is how large can that sphere of change actually be? And how does that advance equity in some of the spaces where we’re not experiencing that across the board?” Hill said.

Those questions will be up for discussion when the program begins Thursday. You can follow along during the program through NPEF's Facebook page and comment with your thoughts and ideas.