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35: Bonus Edition- Interview with Ryan Jackson

Dr. Ryan B. Jackson is an assistant principal at Maplewood High School in Nashville, TN. As the self-coined, #UnderdogsAdvocate, Jackson prides himself on serving inner-city students, ensuring they receive access to high-quality education. Jackson created the Competitive Teaching Model, which was the basis of his TED Talk and has also been instrumental in implementing coding, STEM and an invigorated art curriculum into Maplewood. He publishes a monthly blog detailing these efforts.


  • “Man’s innate desire to survive hasn’t gone away, instead it has transformed into an innate desire to win.” – Sigmund Freud
  • Iron sharpens iron
  • The journey is the goal
  • Instead of holding people accountable, hold people able
  • A rising tide lifts all boats
  • Kids will teach you where your weaknesses are
  • Learn, Unlearn, Relearn
  • Teaching in isolation…those days are gone!
  • The resume is an archaic form of hiring
  • Danger meets opportunity
  • Innovation is the antithesis of standardization
  • Keep your ear to the street
  • Advice is toxic

 Ryan’s Stamp of Approval

  • Competitive Teaching Model
  • Dean of Students position before going into Administration
  • Project Based Learning
  • Collaboration among Teachers
  • Synergetic Learners
  • Growth Mindset
  • Blended Learning
  • Maker’s Space
  • Drone Technology- #codesanddrones

Connect with Ryan Jackson


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About the author, Gretchen

I am a teacher trainer and coach. Working elbow to elbow with teachers and teacher leaders to ensure instructional proficiency and student achievement soar lights me up. We have a real need in our nation for strong educators to remain in the field. My blog, book, podcast, courses and instructional materials are geared towards empowering teachers (and those that lead them) to receive the support needed to grow and thrive today, tomorrow and always.