This interview took place on September 28, 2020.
We met at a party in Nashville. It was an artsy crowd, and we met a lot of new people that night. Somehow the two of us have kept in touch, Camilla and I, via Facebook. So when I found out that Camilla was navigating being an art teacher during the pandemic, I asked if we could chat. She brought along her husband, Keith, also a teacher, and I must say it was a great discussion.
Surprisingly, Camilla has left her teaching career and ventured full-time into an art business with her educational paint-by-number kits. Please listen to this episode or watch the video, as we had a great time talking about "all things 2020".
Sally Hendrick (00:00):
News stories were coming in about this strange virus in Wuhan China. It was weeks before we saw the first cases in the US as the numbers went up each day. My curiosity got the best of me, and I started plotting the curves here's stories from real people all over the world and how they've responded. I'm Sally Hendrick, founder of Shout Your Cause and this is COVID-19 the world responds.
Sally Hendrick (01:04):
Hi guys. It's Sally Hendrick was Shout Your Cause. Is this Camilla and Keith Spadafino. Is that how you say your last name?
Camilla Spadafino (01:12):
Got it, Sally.
Sally Hendrick (01:14):
Awesome. It's Italian, right?
Sally Hendrick (01:18):
All right. I've been to Italy like a dozen times, so I can get that pronunciation. So you are teachers.
Camilla Spadafino (01:28):
Yes, we are.
Sally Hendrick (01:29):
Then you've got a long history teaching in Nashville. Both of you in Nashville all this time.
Camilla Spadafino (01:35):
Sally Hendrick (01:36):
Awesome. That's awesome. Okay. So I started this podcast and this YouTube channel at the beginning of this year, pretty much after COVID started. And I did it as a way to kind of see how people in the community are responding to this because it's different for business owners and teachers. And you know, I've even interviewed the chancellor of UT Martin and some other, you know, other different types of people, factory workers, factory owners, a postal worker. I mean, all kinds of reactions from different walks of life because it's affecting everyone in different ways. And instead of trying to make this like a perfect podcast or a perfect rendition of, of this time, I just want to document it as it is right now, as naturally as possible and find out more from people. So thank you so much for agreeing to do this with me.
Camilla Spadafino (02:41):
Thank you for doing it. So it's kind of like a story core, like you're documenting this unique time in history.
Sally Hendrick (02:49):
Yeah. And with all the mistakes and imperfections and everything, you know, we are in 2020 and it's quite the year. Right. All so, and it has nothing to do with my business doing Facebook advertising, but it does have to do with raising awareness that the business part of it is called Shout Your Cause. And Shout Your Cause is basically raising awareness for worthy causes or for things that are going on in the world that people need to know about. Great. All right. So one of the things that attracted me to you was I saw you, I mean, I've met you in person before, but I saw you in a Facebook group around Tennessee teachers, and we were just discussing different aspects of going back to school this fall and the challenges that teachers were getting into and trying to navigate and all of the changes that are going on.
Sally Hendrick (03:50):
And and so I wanted to be able to talk with you about how that was going. And so I know that we have some changes coming up this week, but how did things start out for you when the school year started? Was it going all right? Or you, you, you fully went online.
New Speaker (04:09):
Yes. We, we both teach at National School Arts High School and all Metro teachers and many teachers all over the nation, we just got kind of tossed into. Right. It's in an experiment which I have found to be really exciting and creative, and I'm really fascinated with the technology and like literally going into my students' homes. And they also being here with me, I'm an art teacher. So they're in my art studio with [inaudible], there's been really, really neat things, but it's been like a lot of people say building the plane while you're flying. It is like building the plane while you're flying it to hurricane without a stewardess.
Sally Hendrick (04:56):
I agree with you now, what about Keith?
Keith Spadafino (05:00):
That's really interesting. I'm a history teacher, so I always come in [inaudible]. So I'm always kind of thinking about things from that angle. And to think that, you know, if this has happened even two years ago, we wouldn't have had the capability whatsoever to be doing what we're doing and not really wonder what we would have done. And so I'm already thinking ahead, being a life long educator and student, does this mean that whenever it snows that they're gone, not, you know, I closed schools to say, okay, everybody get online. Or he started thinking that this could be the death of the snow day, but until then, I'm just marveling really? How, how well we've been able to do considering how new the technology is. And even like zoom and, we use teams, Microsoft, just how much they've improved at, in the beginning of the year. And just our computers that we as teachers weren't capable of handling it. And I was really amazed how fast the administration realized that and got us all new teacher laptops. So this has been actually kind of one of the more positive experiences I've had in my 29 years in terms of feeling like I'm supported.
Sally Hendrick (06:19):
Good. That's good.
New Speaker (06:21):
You can, I feel like be supportive because a lot of the things that happen in a school building, a lot of those problems have just disappeared. And so the focus is like really on the teaching. And one thing I've thought about it is that the parents are sitting right there. They're listening in. And one day I was saying, okay, now you guys have got to get these assignments turned in. They've got to get turned in, or I'm going to have to start calling some parents. And then here came to parents like right onto the screen. I was like, yes. They're like,
Sally Hendrick (06:53):
Oh no, you don't have to call me. I hear you.
New Speaker (06:57):
Sally Hendrick (06:59):
My child won't let me in the room. So it's like, I'm in class right now in class right now, like, okay. Okay. so you both are at NSA, you said, which is Nashville School of the Arts. Is that, is that Metro or is it a special Metro? It's a magnet school [inaudible]
Camilla Spadafino (07:21):
We don't have, you know, like academic admission requirements. We auditioned the students, for theater orchestra, you know, guitar dance. There's [inaudible]. Yeah, there are several conservatives.
Keith Spadafino (07:44):
Yeah. I'm on academic school. So a lot of times we'll get people, you know, wondering if we're like fame, where people go dancing down the halls. Yeah. They see a student walking down the hall and ballet slippers or with a guitar, but, you know, we're, we're, we're serious about our academics as well.
Camilla Spadafino (08:02):
Sally Hendrick (08:04):
Now, have you, you said you both have been teaching in Nashville for all your career?
Keith Spadafino (08:13):
Yes. Yes. 29 years for me. Okay.
Sally Hendrick (08:15):
Have you always been history and economics or?
Keith Spadafino (08:18):
I started at Pearl cone, so I'm from East. So they needed an ecom teacher. And so they actually came and found me. I had no intention of moving to Nashville and ended up at Pearl cone for 11 years. And then went to NSA just for a different challenge. And I've been there 19 years, so, wow. I really enjoyed all of it really.
Sally Hendrick (08:44):
So how did things go, did it, was it smooth for everyone or was it more difficult for some than others? Cause I know that you've had a positive,
Sally Hendrick (08:56):
But I hear a lots of other rumblings that some people have difficulties with with the online thing going on in Metro.
Camilla Spadafino (09:07):
No, I think we do have students that are not as well suited as others. And, and that's also true when more in the classroom. So I hear those rumblings, like we were talking about like we're in a lot of the same education groups and then I have parents that are friends of mine with kids. And so I'm hearing all sides of it. And legitimately, some people just are not cut out for it. Issues with technology, with wifi working here. It's I know we're really struggling and I really understand that one might be more successful because we're at a high where at the high school level, the kids are more independent.
Sally Hendrick (09:46):
Yeah, you don't need mom to sit there and help them get on zoom or pay attention when, you know, if they're like in kindergarten or something
Camilla Spadafino (09:56):
That would be super challenging and I've taught kindergarten. So I can really, and.
Keith Spadafino (10:01):
they're still a little G issues. Like, you know we'll have students in the middle of class go and they'll drop out of the call call and then they have to be readmitted. So I'm constantly having to readmit people or there'll be honest say,
Camilla Spadafino (10:18):
and then sometimes you feel like you're hosting is saying it's cause you're like, like Sally, are you there? Like if you can't see you when you're like trying to call them and they don't answer, are you there? Isn't anyone there, can you all hear.
Keith Spadafino (10:33):
that might not be working so you call on somebody and then you're waiting and you're not sure what to do because you're still waiting. And then we call on somebody else and they'll suddenly come blasting it. Or they'll like, try to answer what they're going to say.
Camilla Spadafino (10:49):
Like at school disruptions, the announcements sometimes disrupts your lesson, the fire, a horrible, Oh, don't miss that, that awful active shooter drills. Those were awful, you know, options, as simple as it was always like somebody had to use the bathroom or, you know, we didn't really have that many behavior problems or disruptions at NSA, but then there was that occasional incident as well. So like you could compare and contrast these on a Venn diagram in some ways they're really similar.
Sally Hendrick (11:21):
Yeah. Now things are starting to change for you though, because this week, what is happening,
Camilla Spadafino (11:30):
This was a, this was a really hard day for me today. It's just ironic that our time together Sally turned out to be, this was the day that I broke the news to my students, that I have resigned my position and it's what they call deferring retirement. I'm not old enough to retire. I have 20 years in Metro schools. I will be my last week. I'm working with these kids that are really bonded with and for enjoy.
Sally Hendrick (11:59):
Were they upset?
Camilla Spadafino (12:00):
Yeah. There was crying. And you know, I, that was tough. That was hard. I, I cried and they cried and but then they, they were really reassuring. I said that I was really worried that I was disappointing them. And then they showed me that they really supported me and they were really happy. Cause a lot of them know that I've been working at growing our art base and it's sort of history based too, because we have an art and storytelling project.
Camilla Spadafino (12:33):
Okay. It's called Paint The Town By Numbers.
Sally Hendrick (12:37):
Paint The Town By Numbers. Okay. Tell me about that, because that sounds exciting.
Camilla Spadafino (12:43):
Well, I will start by saying that the idea came to me when I was teaching elementary art at Lockland elementary, which is in East Nashville. Thanks to Mr. Rogers. I don't know if you can see our Mr. Rogers. Yeah. I was showing my art students Mister rogers' neighborhood episode where Mr. Rogers and we'd go sometimes into artist studios and he went to see red grooms who's from Nashville and lives in New York. Oh yes, it was, it was so good at, at the end red grooms drew a black and white line drawing if mr. Rogers in all of his neighborhood. And I said out loud, I'm going to make a coloring book of all the people in our neighborhood. So I did, I made a coloring book of all the interesting people that were part of my world and my neighborhood it's called Miss Camilla's neighborhood.
Sally Hendrick (13:39):
Oh, that funny.
Camilla Spadafino (13:40):
Yeah. So that started that. And then I was leaving from Lockland where I had been teaching art and also third grade for a while to go to NSA, which is our city arts magnet. I want to connect and tell a story that would relate to the whole city. And literally just popped into my mind. This was our first kit in Nashville, paint by numbers and all the color names. Tell the story of Nashville like barbecue sauce and hot chicken.
Sally Hendrick (14:13):
And this are the color names. Can you put that closer? What are they.
Keith Spadafino (14:20):
Sally pink. That's one of my favorite ones broadly.
Camilla Spadafino (14:24):
I like green with guitar envy.
Sally Hendrick (14:27):
Now one thing if you do anything else with Nashville, Tennessee pink marble, if you ever.
Keith Spadafino (14:35):
want to do some more Tennessee kids, I want to do one that every major city in Tennessee.
Sally Hendrick (14:41):
Oh, that would be great because then you can incorporate history and community and social and just all kinds of things. What is that?
Camilla Spadafino (14:52):
The Franklin theater, the Franklin theater. Yeah. Up here. I hope I'm not messing everything up on my gallery wall. We have a 38 B T.
Sally Hendrick (15:04):
What is where the Oh, 38, like is that animal city in Panama city and Destin and all of those.
Camilla Spadafino (15:16):
And then we, and we have a Memphis and the [inaudible] is coming up. We have a great store that we partnered with and [inaudible] promised her [inaudible]. Yeah. [inaudible] started and then it moves on to people. And one of our favorite people is RBG. This was my second kit. Now I had the Nashville one. And then I went and saw this documentary at the Belford about RBG. I did too. And I came home literally. And I said, I am so inspired by her. I have to, [inaudible]. And my husband was like a paint by numbers of a judge. I was like, yeah,
Keith Spadafino (16:01):
RBG, but I didn't think, but that's why she's [inaudible] the company. Now I'm the vice president because I was sitting in early in college, a friend of mine, Clark Buffers came up to me and said, I need $10,000. Cause I'm going to start a submarine sandwich franchise. I was like, nobody is going to buy a submarine sandwich. It was such a stupid idea. He was like, you know, and
Keith Spadafino (16:27):
She comes up with the ideas and I just helped her out as RBG was a very, in one of our very popular brands.
Camilla Spadafino (16:35):
So Sally, we had all this going on, you know, before the pandemic. Right. I mean, I honestly, once a lockdown started happening, I, it was frightening. My phone was, we sell these primarily on Etsy and we have a few retailers, including Barnes and Noble and [inaudible] art materials. So I mean, wow, it's like a miracle. I don't know. I've been doing as far as wearing at the time, my phone was going to change it. You can just change it all with the virus going viral. Our business went viral and we needed help, but we couldn't get help because everyone was scared. I mean, I was scared, you know, bringing someone into my house. So we, it was, it was almost impossible even with the demand. Cause we literally, our community force, the feeds and these pink pots, I have them printed locally. All of the paint is made in Kentucky. We assembled them all pretty much ourselves working night and day. And then the paint factories closed down. I couldn't order paint,
Camilla Spadafino (17:50):
Paint. I ran out of brushes. I couldn't get brushes. Like yeah. Was totally scary. We had to, I had to shut down my Etsy. I was like, what are we going to do? Then customers started emailing me, just make a waiting list. I was like, Oh, well I was like made a waiting list. And then the waiting list was just like [inaudible]
Sally Hendrick (18:15):
But Hey, that, that works too because you open up the waiting list. And then it's like, you know, we've got this much ready to go. And once it's gone, it's gone. And then we're back to waiting list or whatever I had to get home and get this. Have you ever heard of who gives a crap?
Sally Hendrick (18:35):
It's a toilet paper company. Like, you know what, all the toilet paper was
Sally Hendrick (18:41):
Out. Somebody posted on Facebook that I know in Atlanta. And she said, I love this company. It's like they donate to, you know, underprivileged, whatever. I don't really know exactly the thing behind it, but bamboo toilet paper and you know, it's, it's just to be back for the environment and whatever. And they have the cutest marketing that goes along with it, the whole branding and everything. It's every piece of every toilet paper roll is wrapped in a different color paper or style paper. It's mostly black and white. And then there's the gold ones that are like, you're at the end of your supply. And so it's like the golden nuggets at the bottom of the box and it's like either stripes or polka dots or something throughout these little wrappings. And it says, who gives a crap on it? It's really cute. But we've ordered it now for four months. It's good. What we do. We never run out anymore. Of course. I don't know if there's even a lack of supply anymore. I don't know if they fixed that supply chain now that [inaudible]
Keith Spadafino (19:59):
Thank you for that insider scoop if it happens again.
Sally Hendrick (20:07):
List at first. And so once they emailed me and they're like, Hey, you've got until Tuesday to order and then you come off the list and go to the end or whatever. And I was like, Oh, well I better make sure I order. And next thing you know, I'm a repeat customer.
Camilla Spadafino (20:25):
Okay. I love that story. And then he told us like a little [inaudible].
Sally Hendrick (20:31):
Sure. The paper can be reused actually. You know that
Keith Spadafino (20:36):
Like our paint supplier, it's been months now, since they've gotten back to work, they went back to work in may and here it is almost October and they're still backed up because their supply
Camilla Spadafino (20:48):
Chain is disrupted only for the containers and in it. People don't want to work, you know, because I mean, I really understand they don't want to go into a factory. So then you're having trouble getting [inaudible] and then the same thing with our paint brushes our paint brushes would be in the warehouse, but they couldn't get anyone to go in and ship them to us. So it was begging, begging, you know, calling every day. And I mean, it was really something. And then I had to go and be really inventive. And because the paint we use is deco art and they have stripped it down to only their top 40% of their paints. And I have a lot of their 60 not bestselling paints also to add variety to my product. So now these by handshake [inaudible] of jars and swatching it out and sweating and begging my daughter to help. And then people are [inaudible] dropping on my portrait, but it's got a mask. I mean, it's just been, wow. It's been incredible.
Sally Hendrick (21:54):
How many designs do you have? Do you know?
Camilla Spadafino (21:59):
I think we have 14.
Sally Hendrick (22:01):
Okay. And I'm assuming that yeah, you'll be expanding into different, not just different locations, but maybe different historic pieces or historic references.
Camilla Spadafino (22:16):
I do want to continue, continue [inaudible]. I like Mr. Rogers, the documentary inspired me. RBG inspired me. I've have [inaudible] Franklin again from West [inaudible] as do you where Aretha Franklin was born and I wanted to do a singer and I felt inspired by her. I had to really feel like struck by it. Like it has to strike me. I mean, literally making me feel like I have to cry a little bit when I'm talking, I had to have that kind of passion. And right now I'm very interested in creating some florals and some that are based off of artists that I love. And my favorite part is I'm working on a series it's inspired by, but all of them are put to sort of like what's going on in the world today. So it's like these, you know, or if they're a modern person that I'm mix it with vintage design elements from a vintage paint by numbers. So I mean, people were really asking us to do a San Francisco design.
Keith Spadafino (23:20):
because we started out as paint the town by numbers. So we were just going to do town. So we kind of diversified, but we have so many ideas and here's our new,
Camilla Spadafino (23:29):
this says persist. Okay. I created at our last family trip was to New York for the new year. So I was crying on the plane.
Sally Hendrick (23:56):
Profound. Cause I mean, that's, that was something that we've all heard about. Right. And then when you actually see it
Camilla Spadafino (24:02):
Immigrant story, and it means so much to me. So as I'd made that, as soon as we got home, it's like all of them, like I have to feel [inaudible] persist. We argued in our family about why I chose that word. And then the pandemic came and look what happened to New York, but not just to New York, but to all of us, we all have to persist now. Right.
Sally Hendrick (24:30):
Perseverance, persistence, all of these things we've got to get through. I'm afraid it's going to be another year, but you know, now are you still teaching though? Keith? You're still,
Keith Spadafino (24:45):
Oh yeah. I'm sure about students were hearing all the news today and they're probably going, man, I hope he's going to go out. They loved it. It's a tough course. I mean, AP advanced placement courses, you know, a lot of the students who go never had it. There's definitely a learning curve. When you go from, you know, your standard classes, all of a sudden this level.
Sally Hendrick (25:07):
So that's a whole new thing. Right. It's, you know,
Keith Spadafino (25:11):
being challenged is tough, you know, and and it takes different amount of time for different people. So we're in that time of year right now where there's definitely some students who are struggling and I, you know, I don't feel as bad cause I know they'll do okay. In the end, I've seen, I see it every year. But with the in situation, you're you, the student, you know, it can be anything just like, it was scary for us in the midst of trying to run a business. Well, I remember the first time when I was at UT Knoxville, my freshman year, I took an honors Western Civ class with Dr. Trainer and he looked like Aristotle. He a scary looking guy. And the first essay I wrote a student peer graded it and the student gave me F-
Sally Hendrick (25:58):
F- minus, that's pretty bad.
Keith Spadafino (26:01):
Well, the next day, and I was looking around to see if anybody was, but nobody, I couldn't tell who it was. And then dr. Trainer just crossed out the minus and left the F you know, and I called my mom and dad and I was just like, I don't know if I should be here. So I know it's scary, but I finally got the hang of it. And once I got the hang of it, it never left me. So yeah. It's still going to be here students. So,
Sally Hendrick (26:28):
Well, I think this is so wonderful because I honestly, I knew that you were doing the paint by number thing, but I didn't realize obviously that that was going to be your full time. So do you think that you'll keep selling on Etsy or are you planning on moving to something like Shopify?
Camilla Spadafino (26:50):
I have heard about Shopify. What I like about Etsy is in Shopify, maybe look into it. I really like the software that backs up how easy it is to ship things, all the data that I get. And I like that at sees a platform like Amazon, that people just come to Etsy. Like they go to Amazon. It's really helped my business. That's how Blick art materials found me as how Barnes and Noble found me on. Okay. And then we've been approached from, Oh, well, what is it? Uncommon goods. I don't know if that's going to work out or not, but we are conversations with them and then anthropology around us there. They printed their designs on a canvas and ours are on a chipboard. But you know, they may circle back around later. So just saying like Etsy has really benefited me. There's a lot goes there and they advertise, well, it's
Sally Hendrick (27:53):
Pretty unique what you've got going. So, but you know what it reminds me of, I've got them right here. The magnets, like this is Ellis. This is a, is this Elliston place? Soda shop was the magnet. And then, oops, I can't remember the name of the artist, but all of the
Camilla Spadafino (28:20):
Sally Hendrick (28:23):
Here, I've gotten these two Vandy land and donut.
Keith Spadafino (28:30):
You miss Fanny. It needs to go there. Yeah, love it.
Sally Hendrick (28:35):
I was like, Oh, I was trying to think of what it was. I've also got the donut den coffee mug. So I've got several pieces from that collection, but he does those posters and everything as well. And he's expanded all over the United States. So I don't know where he started. I just know that it's the posters and the coffee mugs and the magnets. That those are the things I know about. So who knows where you'll go with this?
Keith Spadafino (29:02):
Well, people have a lot of pride in their hometown. I know in Nashville, you know, you go to anybody's house in Nashville, they're going to have at least one Nashville, something. And some people [inaudible] because we really are proud of Nashville. We love Nashville. Everybody does great place. And we like to show our spirit.
Sally Hendrick (29:22):
Yeah. But you've even, you've even dug into this whole pop culture thing too, because you've got mr. Rogers and, and there's gotta be lots of other characters and people that would be from TV back in the day. And it, the nostalgia comes out with that or the reference like you've got with RBG. So there, so you have so many opportunities.
Camilla Spadafino (29:47):
Someone else that inspires me, this was a design I was working on right before we got out for the pandemic in March Area [inaudible]. And I had worked out the design on the marker board at school. And I chose to work, listen at the starry nights, by behind her silhouette [inaudible]. And I can't wait to get back to that one. We've been so busy producing, like selling and emailing and all the, you know, all that is inside of it. And then school, which has been a pleasure for me. I'm so thankful that I got to experience this part of history with the remote teaching so much that I, I am looking forward now to being able to return what I love without creating new designs.
Sally Hendrick (30:36):
Maybe you'll have a virus, virus, one, a pandemic.
Keith Spadafino (30:42):
My students thought I was behind this because I used to always kid them. When I was doing my student teaching in Knox County schools, we got out for a week. It's just, I've been in Metro. We've been out for floods for natives twice. Now for a hurricane, we got out for rain. We've been out cold, we've been out for heat. And so what I kept saying to my students is we filled out for everything except the flu and all these other counties are always closed for flu. And I was like, you know, when are we going to get out for flu? We, you got it.
Sally Hendrick (31:18):
You got it tenfold.
Keith Spadafino (31:21):
It was good. By the time we go back, if we go back in January, it will be, have almost been a year since we've been in an actual classroom. Okay.
Camilla Spadafino (31:31):
So Sally people have said, do Dr. Fauci what would you think would be a good way to commemorate with a paint by number and anyone that's ever listening to this, please? I would love to know.
Sally Hendrick (31:52):
Dr. Fauci, my bubble head
Keith Spadafino (31:56):
What's behind that camera, that you're up to see what all,
Sally Hendrick (32:03):
Yeah. I have all sorts of things back here. I have like my little,
Sally Hendrick (32:10):
So I teach online, but I teach social media traffic. I teach website stuff. I teach Facebook ads, Instagram ads, how to make videos, how to do animations, how to tell stories with content online and how to grow your client base, grow your following, and then turn them into clients with the whole sales process. And so that, that is, that's kind of why I asked too about
Sally Hendrick (32:40):
The Shopify thing, because a lot of people who sell products, retail products, or whatever they sell on using a Shopify website or big commerce or something like that, which is what my husband has. But yeah, this is my little pin or I have a school.
Keith Spadafino (33:05):
Yeah, this is why she really needed to resign and focus on this because teaching is really mentally training people don't really realize how I think there's a great book about teaching called something like 995 shows a year. Because if you're a high school teacher, you teach more than you basically teach almost a thousand different classes a year in the 29th. And I'm not kidding. I think I've calculated it up. Now probably taught about 28,000 class [inaudible] in my career so far. And it's very draining. Not only are you having to like propel your energy into the class, but then you're constantly asked to just sit and you know, you have to, I think the average teacher makes like 800 decisions a day or something crazy about that. Yeah.
Sally Hendrick (33:52):
Yeah. I, yeah, I remember I did do some substitute teaching at one point and I thought, Ugh, I can't do this. It is exhausting. And I couldn't imagine having had created the lesson plans and then to do the grading and then, you know, and to deal with discipline disciplinary issues and all of these different things, it's it takes a special kind of person I think.
Camilla Spadafino (34:26):
Can I shout my cause. So [inaudible] should do a paint by numbers for teachers because my calls would be, it's not just about paying us more. We do need to be paid our value, but it's all those things you just said. We need an assistant in every single teacher's classroom. We need class sizes that are manageable, right? Light, natural sunlight coming into our classrooms. Windows. We can open it. Kids need healthy food. They need time to play. We've got it set up all wrong. It's like a factory. Dang, dang it. Isn't manageable. Just like a doctor has a nurse, a teacher needs an assistant. We need someone to input the numbers, the data help with the grading. That's why virtual school has been wonderful for me. Or I guess we call it remote teaching. Like I said, a lot of these things have gone away. We've been told to teach with grace and forgiveness and just make it about the relationship. And that's where the real magic.
Sally Hendrick (35:24):
And I wondered about that because at the beginning before the school actually started, a lot of teachers were talking about it and how in the spring it was just kind of dumped on everybody right in the middle of the semester, around spring
Sally Hendrick (35:38):
Break. And nobody really knew what to do except to push the same content, the same expectations through the computer, to these children. And it just wasn't working or to hand them a list of assignments to do on their own. And that was obviously not going to work that well. So to come back and expect to have everything be like, it is in the normal classroom while you're doing this online, it just doesn't work. There's so many other factors. And, and we did take that opportunity to mess up yes. Make mistakes and come up with a new way. Yeah,
Camilla Spadafino (36:22):
Yeah. And the new way. So our, our neighbor across the street goes to MLK. They have a four day. That's another thing I want to advocate for is less time. Not more kids need downtime. We've seen him out in his yard every Friday. They're asynchronous last Friday, he was experimenting maternity their lawnmower into a go cart. Oh, that's not right there. That's so fun and educational in itself. Like keep it on, like on our computers or we're looking at are winters. Like you've started [inaudible] more for downtime. This year, as long as you're doing remote, you shouldn't be on your computer every day. All day. Yeah.
Sally Hendrick (37:08):
Yeah. We've been lucky in that, ourselves in that our youngest is a senior in high school and goes to Templeton Academy. I don't know if you know about Templeton, it's new
Camilla Spadafino (37:21):
[inaudible] there this year. Your child might have [inaudible]
Sally Hendrick (37:27):
He was teaching there last year too. We had, what was the class improv with him and then another class. I can't remember the other class, but that's one of her favorite teachers. So that's been, yeah, that's been good. And he owns the comedy club and they went on over there with the class, to the comedy club and everything. So that was great.
Camilla Spadafino (37:54):
Yeah, he inspired a lot of teachers and kids and he's some workshops you need great one you have on your program. [inaudible] He made a positive impact on education in our city.
Sally Hendrick (38:12):
Yeah, I agree. I agree. I absolutely agree because he was over at Curry Ingram and then he came to Templeton and we started at Templeton in their first year, last year. And it was just a different model. You know, they only take two classes at a time and they dive deep and get a year's worth of curriculum in that first nine week term. And you still get the same amount
Sally Hendrick (38:36):
Of classes, but it's just a very different way of doing it. And it really worked out for us. And right now for the pandemic, we did a little bit of a hybrid model in the beginning, but now we are on an 8:30 to 1:00 PM, Monday through Thursday, schedule for regular classes. And then Friday is like community, clubs, advisory, you know, that kind of a thing. So and that's from home, but, but Monday through Thursday is in person, but they're so small that they have plenty of space to keep those kids apart from each other. And
Keith Spadafino (39:19):
Well, it'll be interesting to see, you know, like people have always said nothing is going to be the same after this thing. NTS. I can definitely see there'll be changes. I'm sure who knows what they'll be, but I hope they don't take away snow days. That's all I know this computer business I miss our slow days, then it has been truly a disaster.
Camilla Spadafino (39:45):
Yeah. Well waiting for the reckoning of public schools, the way we've seen with the black lives matter rallies and protests. Because I mean, public schools impacts every ethnicity, nominal level. You know, all of those issues like come into play here. I feel like we're going to happen. I keep hoping and waiting for that.
Sally Hendrick (40:16):
Well, and I like the fact that as far as the helpful thing of what's coming out of this is that everybody's going to get online. Everybody's going to have this equipment that they need, and this is something that's not always in every home. And maybe they're having to kind of figure it out right now, but eventually it's going to be like, you know, this is something that's just a given, you know, it's not like, you know, a privilege thing.
Camilla Spadafino (40:47):
There's a lot of the surrounding counties didn't do this. And so in my opinion, this is gonna, you know, it's really gonna widen the gap. Cause I've told our NTS kids, you're having an advantage here is you're learning this technology rapidly adapting building skills that are gonna apply to your future career, that aren't having to go through the struggle. Like it has been messy. Like you were saying, you need them, you a mess. You need to unravel, you need the struggle to make it better. Our kids, you know, that are doing a hybrid with part remote or in school, whatever. Definitely having an advantage there. Yeah.
Sally Hendrick (41:28):
I agree. Well, thank you so much. I've enjoyed speaking with both of you as
Sally Hendrick (41:34):
A treat. Yeah.
Sally Hendrick (41:44):
Okay. Well thank you so much. And I will let you know when I get this all situated and I'll send it to you. Okay.
Camilla Spadafino (41:52):
Thank you, Sally. So much. It's good to be with a fellow West Tennesseean. Yeah.
Sally Hendrick (41:57):
Yes. Yes. That's so funny. I can't believe, I didn't know you, but you know,
Keith Spadafino (42:02):
Well, I'll tell you the barbecue in Nashville has gotten so much better. I mean [inaudible]. When I first started teaching it, I asked them, you know, where's the best barbecue [inaudible]
Sally Hendrick (42:18):
True. That's true. Cause I've been here since 92 and I grew up in West Tennessee and Memphis. I went to Memphis state,
Keith Spadafino (42:27):
I would [inaudible] central barbecue is in Nashville. Two locations. That's good. That's some serious barbecue.
Camilla Spadafino (42:35):
Sally I was also at Memphis state. Were you in a sorority? 86 now? I just went there for one year, 1986 through 87. Okay.
Sally Hendrick (42:45):
I graduated 88 from high school. So I was there in 88 until 91 and then I moved to Nashville. So nice. Okay. Well have a great day. Thank you
Camilla Spadafino (42:59):
So much. All right, take care. Bye bye. Bye.
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