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With all the debate over how to improve our nation’s public schools, it’s easy to overlook the bright spots.
Tacoma Public Schools, in a series of short YouTube videos, is providing some compelling reminders.
The series, “Inspired teaching: Stories from Tacoma’s Best,” features six teachers who talk passionately about why teaching is important, how they try to inspire students, and how their students inspire them.
A sampling of quotes:
From Nate Bowling, who teaches at Lincoln High, and is featured in the video above:
I start the government class by explaining to them that govermment is the most important thing in the world they’ll ever study. …I have this whole rant: Calculus cannot draft you into the military and send you into war. Spanish Class cannot execute you. Only government can do that.
From Darrick Hartman, a science teacher at Meeker Middle:
This generation … they are the smartest kids we’ve ever seen. The problem is, we are sometimes asking them to do things they don’t find interesting.
Kat Appleby, a teacher at Giaudrone Middle:
If a student really believes that I care about them, as a person, not just as a body in the classroom, they will do anything. If they feel safe and understood and know that what they think matters, they just step up.
Stewart Middle School language arts teacher Jessica Stella:
When I look at my students… whether they’re coming out of poverty or they’re a struggling reader or they can’t put their ideas together on paper – that struggle interests me. …They can do so much and they don’t realize how much they can do.
The full videos can be found here.
The district, along with Tacoma’s teachers union, also has produced 16 videos in which students and former students thank a teacher who had a big impact on their lives.