#MNPSVoices: Lori Kahley, Technology Teacher

MNPSVoices_LoriKahley Among Nashville’s points of pride is the diversity and vibrancy of its people – a melting pot from all different backgrounds. And no one knows the beauty of Nashville’s diversity better than Lori Kahley, a fourth grade technology teacher at Tusculum Elementary, who serves students representing 31 different nationalities and speaking 34 different languages.

“My favorite part of my job is seeing students get excited about learning,” Kahley said. “We have a very high EL [English Language] population at Tusculum. They may not always understand grade level scope and sequence, but all can be successful [with the use of] computers. They can pick it up quickly and find success.”

She said this success gives EL students a confidence boost which carries over into their other classes. The computer classes also equip students with the 4C’s (critical thinking, collaborating, communicating and using creativity), a learning method that is used throughout Metro Nashville Public Schools to create a strong foundation for learning.

Kahley began her teaching career in 1990 spending more than 20 years teaching in the private sector in Nashville. In 2011, she moved to Georgia where she taught in public schools for the first time. After her experience there, Kahley said her heart belonged to public education and when she moved back to Nashville in 2016 she joined MNPS.

“I have seen many changes in the educational system, but I guess it is the unknown that many speak about in regard to public education that surprises me,” Kahley said. “Many people automatically assume that public schools are full of poverty-stricken students who have behavioral issues. But those who speak out know little about what actually goes on in a day-to-day classroom.”

The diversity of Nashville isn’t the only thing Kahley loves about the city. She’s also passionate about its musical history. In her spare time, she works as a tour guide for Old Town Trolley’s “Nashville After Dark” tour.

“The premise behind the tour was to introduce visitors of Nashville to all the different types of music that have shaped our city,” Kahley said. “Not only is Nashville home to country music, it has also seen the likes of musicians such as Paul McCartney, Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, B.B. King, Etta James and many others.”

Kahley added that while the tour is something she does for fun, it has also given her skills she brings back to the people who matter most to her - students.

“I would love to invite leaders from all over Nashville to visit our school and see all of the amazing things that happen each day,” she said.

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