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Education and Leadership Faculty Learn From Their K-12 Counterparts

“Listening To and Learning From Our Partners” Panel Discussion Shares Insights from Current Educators and Administrators

By Vanessa Slay, CEHHS Student News Reporter, Class of 2023

2020 was a year that changed the world in ways that no one could have imagined. After three years, many people are still adjusting to the world post-pandemic. That is especially true of future educators experiencing a dramatic shift in how they are taught and how they are teaching.

Ellen McIntyre, a fair complexion female is standing in front of a panel made up of fair and dark complexion males and females. McIntyre is addressing the people in attendance.

CEHHS Dean Ellen McIntyre shares her thoughts on the importance of preparing future educators in adjusting to a post-pandemic classroom setting

Last fall, dean Ellen McIntyre of the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences (CEHHS) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and an advisory board member examined how many practices implemented during the pandemic continued post-pandemic. The advisory board member then commented on how this affected grade school academic professionals.

So, the idea was sparked. Future educators should be prepared for post-pandemic changes in grade schools. McIntyre put together a panel of educators and administrators to participate in a question-and-answer session with the mission to help shape future educators.

Jalea Adams, a dark complexion female, speaks to a panel of participants. The panel is made up of six people, males and females, with fair and dark complexions

Jalea Adams, CEHHS Associate Director of Clinical Placements, shares questions with the panel

McIntyre then handed off the night to Jalea Adams, associate director of Clinical Placements, to facilitate the panel. The panelist included a diverse group of principals and teachers from Knoxville area schools like Austin-East Magnet High School and Whittle Springs Middle School.

Of the advice the panel gave, a great deal focused on preparing future educators to lead their classrooms effectively. Many educators noted that engaging the students and building relationships contributed to a community of learning that benefited everyone.

Melissa Cooper, a fair complexion female shares her thoughts with those in attendance at Listening and Learning From Our Partners.

Melissa Cooper, a teacher from Northshore Elementary in Knox County, TN, tells of her experiences teaching in a post-pandemic classroom

Considering the ongoing teacher shortage caused by pandemic burnout in the United States, educators in the educator and leadership program greatly benefitted from this panel. According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 300,000 academic professionals have left the field since February 2020.

By the end of the program, many faculty members, staff, and clinical supervisors took away real examples of the challenges facing K-12 academic professionals and how future educators may be able to adapt.

Through its eight departments and 12 centers, the UT Knoxville College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences enhances the quality of life for all through research, outreach, and practice. Find out more at