TU Teachers Elevating Standards for Teachers as well as Students

The original article can be found at the Tacoma News Tribune by Melissa Santos

Several teachers from the South Sound want to make sure the time they spend in training amounts to something more than lost instructional hours.

About two dozen teachers hailing from Tacoma to Bonney Lake are pushing the Legislature to develop standards and a statewide definition for professional learning.

They and other supporters of House Bill 1345 believe it’s a first step toward a larger goal: getting the state to pay for well-designed teacher-training days.

Nathan Gibbs-Bowling, who teaches Advanced Placement government classes at Tacoma’s Lincoln High School, is one teacher pushing for clearer statewide standards.

Gibbs-Bowling said too often, professional development sessions consist of teachers sitting passively through slideshow presentations, where the subject matter may not even relate to the subjects they teach. A math teacher and a school nurse may sit through the same presentation, he said, delivered by a presenter flown in from out of state.

“The last thing that any teacher wants to do is to have one of the few actual professional learning times they have be wasted,” said Gibbs-Bowling, the board president for the group Teachers United. “If we have standards for students, why don’t we have standards for the way we’re trained as well?”

To read the entire article, visit the Tacoma News Tribune