#MNPSVoices: Alison Rager, 8th Grade Math and Integrated Math Teacher
Alison “Niki” Rager is a proud product of Metro Nashville Public Schools. She has literally spent her entire primary and secondary school years as well as her teaching career in what is now known as the Northwest Quadrant. “I have been in the district my entire life, I feel like I was born here,” Rager said.
Rager began her teaching profession 17 years ago at Goodlettsville Middle School, formerly Goodlettsville High School, where she also attended school and has spent her entire teaching career so far.
“When I started here, I was the baby of the teachers. I have gone from teaching self-contained fifth graders to being a teacher leader in my building,” said Rager who is currently an eighth grade math teacher, a role she says is her sweet spot.
“These are my kids because I was just like these kids,” she said. “I want them to feel what my teachers made me feel – that math is real, relevant and accessible to them each day.”
In addition to moving from being a fifth grade teacher to an eighth grade teacher, Rager serves as a team leader and new teacher mentor. She said her goal for mentoring other teachers is to make sure they feel confident, loved, valued and, most importantly, appreciated.
“I was lucky to have amazing teachers throughout my time in MNPS. They taught me to love myself, to be the best at what I do, push myself to succeed and to be proud of who I am,” Rager said.
One teacher that stood out in particular for Rager was her eighth grade math teacher, Mr. David Brooks. “He made us feel like we could accomplish anything; he made us feel important and taught me that it is okay to struggle.” When Rager joined the GMS team, her former 8th grade teacher was still there teaching students and served as a teacher mentor to her until his retirement. They have maintained a close friendship to this day.
Rager said she will continue her teaching journey by striving to be a positive school leader and teacher mentor. Her goal is to continue encouraging and showing her students that success is possible.