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Teaching the Teachers program has immediate impact on the classroom

Each year, Teaching the Teachers provides educators, grades 7-12, with opportunities to connect with and learn from businesses throughout our region.

Teaching the Teachers began in 2007 and has since become a hallmark program at GSI. Not only does this program allow teachers to learn in a business setting, but they also receive professional development hours by attending a workshop.

Group of teachers in a room listening to the speaker at the front of the room.

The most recent Teaching the Teachers series included three workshops that focused on the technical skills students need to develop for success across different industries. One workshop included separate stops to three local businesses: Engage, Numerica Credit Union and Imprezzio. Each business showcased the importance of computer science in their specific operations. This approach provides educators with a more holistic understanding of how skills are utilized in careers across different industries. Through collaboration, businesses get the chance to provide educators with a bigger industry picture of the required skills and different pathways while educators then get the chance to take their gained knowledge back to the classroom and share what they learned with their students.

“What I learned is that we need to take every opportunity to show students a variety of careers and fields. Students don’t necessarily know what types of jobs and careers are out there,” said KayCee Murray, VP of Information Systems with Numerica Credit Union.

Educators said they repeatedly hear that even if an employee doesn’t have a specific college degree, but they are self-motivated and willing to learn, employers will invest time and resources to help them develop their skills.

“I appreciate the level of detail our business partners share in exactly what we should be teaching,” said Riverside School District’s Talana Mielke. “Not just the ‘soft skills’ or leadership skills, but the technical skills they will need to be successful in particular areas of employment.”

Lessons learned during the Teaching the Teachers program have an immediate impact on the classroom, with educators imparting at least one takeaway into their curriculum.

“There is no better way to make sure we are teaching our students relevant skills to match job demand than to visit the very businesses and organizations looking to employ our students,” said Kelli Demarest, from Deer Park School District. “It is imperative for us to stay current with job trends.”

The next season of Teaching the Teachers will begin in October! Teachers, be sure to get on the email list and check GSI’s website for schedule updates.

This article originally appeared in the Greater Spokane  Incorporated News on June 23, 2017.

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