Summer Institute teaches teachers

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GRAHAM, Wash. -- Students are not the only ones learning right now. Long before Bethel School District students even thought of returning to class, their teachers sat in their desks first!

This Pierce County district put on its 25th annual Summer Institute.

"This is unique for a district to have a professional development program like this,” said Kathy Quick-Gunther, the director of curriculum and professional development.

The district offers sessions to all teachers in June and in August, with courses to review new state-mandated curriculum standards.

"We have new science materials at the elementary level, and so we have a full day for each grade level so that they learn the upcoming science unit and any hands-on experiences that they can provide for students,” said Quick-Gunther.

Other breakout sessions include new digital-learning opportunities, ways to inspire students and help them become better writers, plus tips for first time teachers. This year, the district welcomes 100 new teachers.

"We are the most improved academically in the state, and we’re not going to quit until we're the best,” said Superintendent Tom Seigel.

"And I think part of the reason why it has grown is that it is so successful because Bethel teachers attend. They are committed to growing and learning and they come to summer institute," said Quick-Gunther

Quick-Gunther also added that principals attend summer institute, too, right alongside their teachers.

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