MNPS Voices: Lori Moss

MNPS Voices: Lori Moss, Literacy Coach, Rose Park Magnet Math and Science Middle School
Posted on 11/17/2022
Lori Moss

Lori Moss didn’t see herself as an educator when she was growing up. She didn’t immediately go to college after high school.

When she did, she planned to pursue a journalism degree. But an English professor at Tennessee State University told her she would be a great teacher. Lori Moss

That insight ultimately set Moss on a new path, and Nashville students and fellow teachers have benefited from her change of direction for more than 30 years now.

That professor “knew what he was talking about, apparently,” Moss reflects with a laugh.

Moss is the literacy coach at Rose Park Magnet Math and Science Middle School, where she has now worked for 20 of her 31 years in the district. She works with the school’s English Language Arts teachers, helping them plan their classes in weekly sessions while also observing them in the classroom, giving feedback and advice, and even co-teaching or modeling a lesson when needed.

“They come prepared with the what and the why they’re teaching it, and I help them with the how,” she said. “What are the strategies teachers are using, and what are the students going to be doing?”

Moss describes the Rose Park faculty as a hardworking, open and caring group of people who have high expectations of students and want to help them succeed so they can continue down the pathway from the middle school to Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet High School.

“It’s really fun to plan with a teacher and then go in and watch that plan come to fruition and see the kids actually getting what was being taught or having fun doing the lesson,” Moss said. “I love to read, I love everything about literature, so it’s just really fun that something I love, I get to help others love it. We’ve found ways to really engage the kids.”

Rose Park Principal Rommie Vasser calls Moss “one of the most humble, knowledgeable and loyal persons I have had the opportunity of working with.”

“It is because of her dedication and intentionality that we have consistently been high performers in Literacy in terms of growth and achievement,” Vasser said. “I’m grateful to have such an awesome individual to collaborate with in this work.”

Learning from Students

Moss, who also leads Rose Park’s Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) work helping students who need extra academic support, said she also has learned from her students over the years. They can tell when a teacher is faking it, she said.

“You have to be yourself. And I guess I learned that it’s OK to not know everything. It’s OK to laugh at yourself if you make mistakes. It’s OK if the kids laugh at you, because you’re building those relationships.

“I’ve learned to just be myself and be authentic. They know if you care or don’t care. The kids have really taught me that it’s OK to mess up. They’ve got to see you as human.”

When she isn’t working, Moss enjoys reading crime fiction, working in her yard, watching the Titans and Predators and UT games, and spending time with her two grown daughters and three grandchildren. Although she’s worked long enough to retire, she’s not thinking about that just yet.

“As long as I enjoy what I do, I’ll keep doing it,” she said.

And whenever she does move on, she hopes her colleagues will remember her “as a person who was always willing to help.”

“I hope,” Moss said, “that I’ve touched as many people as have touched my life.”

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