Rebecca Griesbach, Chalkbeat

Rebecca Griesbach


Tuscaloosa, AL, United States

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Past articles by Rebecca:

Cash-strapped teachers turn to Facebook, online sites to equip their classrooms

When teacher Shemena Shivers walked into her Melrose High School science lab for the first time, she couldn’t contain her excitement at the closet full of equipment and supplies. But after a closer look revealed long-expired solutions and outdated texts, she realized that she would need to spend hundreds of dollars out of pocket just … → Read More

These teachers came to Memphis to learn new ways to teach overlooked history

Roger Henery has come to realize that the students in the diverse Atlanta high school where he teaches tend to think racial conflict is a part of the past, not something that impacts them in the present. To change that, he’s one of 35 educators who participated in a class that taught him new ways … → Read More

Here are seven takeaways from Chalkbeat's forum for Shelby County Schools board candidates

With a high-stakes election just two weeks away, Chalkbeat Tennessee hosted its first-ever school board candidate forum on Thursday. Fifteen candidates are vying for seats from four of Shelby County Schools’ nine districts: 1, 6, 8, and 9. The most contested race is in District 9, where four new candidates are challenging incumbent Mike Kernell. … → Read More

Memphis colleges are training more teachers of color, new study shows

Teaching degree programs at four-year institutions nationwide are disproportionately white, according to new Urban Institute data. But things look different in Memphis, where two local colleges, the University of Memphis and Christian Brothers University, are making strides to ensure their teaching programs reflect the diversity of the schools that house them. Meanwhile Memphis’ LeMoyne-Owen… → Read More

'Sharing their hearts': Why these parents became advocates for Memphis students

While their children are out of school for the summer, a local parent group is using this time to hit the books. Memphis Lift, a non-profit organization in North Memphis, aims to amplify the voices of those who, some say, have historically been excluded from conversations surrounding their schools. Many of those conversations, said organizer … → Read More

Tennessee’s career readiness program expands beyond high school

Six years after the state launched Pathways Tennessee, a career readiness effort for high school students, the program is growing and rebranding as Tennessee Pathways. The program will now serve K–12 students, not just high schoolers, with the goal of encouraging them to pursue post-secondary education — be it a college degree or a trade-school certificate. … → Read More

Rise & Shine: Early voting in starts today in Tennessee

ROCK THE VOTE Tennesseans begin voting on Friday in several crucial elections to take place on Aug. 2. Chalkbeat, Chattanooga Times Free Press, The Daily News Journal, Columbia Daily Herald, The Greeneville Sun PATHWAYS Tennessee hopes it can bring more assistance to districts through a revamp of its career and technical pathways initiative. Chalkbeat, The Tennessean, WSMV DYNAMIC DUO… → Read More

Rise & Shine: Here are the Memphis schools opening and closing this coming school year

SCHOOL CLOSURES Six Memphis schools will open and six will close as the new school year begins next month. Chalkbeat FOOD FOR THOUGHT A Memphis high school grows health and entrepreneurship with the city’s first student-led farmers market. High Ground News RIBBON CUTTING Knox County celebrates the unveiling of a long-awaited new middle school in the Gibbs community. … → Read More

With Man Up, a new Memphis teacher prep program is training, mentoring men of color

Patrick Washington has teaching in his blood. Washington’s great-great-grandfather, Richard Adkins, was born a slave in Marshall County, Mississippi. After the Civil War, Adkins, who was separated from his parents early on, worked as a sharecropper. Despite long hours picking cotton, he learned to read and write. Soon after, Adkins taught other former slaves … → Read More

Memphis math teacher remembers ‘sticking out.’ It inspired him to teach with compassion

Neven Holland was in third grade when his mother pulled him out of his Chicago elementary school and moved him to a school in the suburbs. “I could tell the difference from square one,” he said, noting the suburban school’s nicer facilities and its focus on reading. It was a “huge adjustment” for more reasons than → Read More

How one group unites, provides opportunities for Memphis-area musicians

A drumline’s cadence filled the corners of Fairley High School’s band room, where 260 band members from across Memphis wrapped up their final practice of the week. “M-M-B!” the group shouted before lifting their instruments to attention. James Taylor, one of the program’s five directors, signaled one last stand tune before he made his closing … → Read More

Tennessee updates science standards for first time in 10 years. New guidelines stress class discussion, inquiry

How can a wolf change the river? Why doesn’t a cactus have leaves? Why can’t you exterminate bats in Tennessee? With new state science standards coming to classrooms next fall, these are the kinds of questions students will explore in their science classes. They’ll be tasked not only with memorizing the answers, but also with … → Read More

What would these students tell newly trained teachers? 'Be woke'

Respect for others, being resourceful, and confronting biases are among the lessons four high-school-age students wanted to convey during a panel discussion for future Teach for America participants. Teach for America Memphis trains recent college graduates and places them in local classrooms for two years, with the goal of developing leaders who will commit to … → Read More