Saint Martin’s University Hosts Co-Teaching Workshop

September 22, 2009

Lacey, Washington – On Tuesday and Wednesday, September 22 and 23, representatives of 13 universities that provide teacher education in Washington state will participate in the “Mentoring Teacher Candidates through Co-Teaching” workshop, which will be held at the Worthington Convention Center at Saint Martin’s University. The workshop is co-sponsored by the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and Saint Martin’s University.

Co-teaching pairs experienced classroom teachers with student teachers so that they may collaboratively plan, organize, deliver, and assess instruction in the classroom. Instead of throwing a student teacher into the complexities of teaching, without a lifeline, they’re coached as they practice the art of teaching. The purpose of this workshop is to train university and school district personnel so they can offer two-day “mentor teacher/student teacher (teacher candidate)” training. The workshop, which will be led by Dr. Nancy Bacharach and Dr. Teresa Washut Heck from the Teacher Quality Enhancement Center at St. Cloud University’s College of Education, will feature both lectures and small group work.

The universities participating in the workshop include: Saint Martin’s University, Antioch University, Evergreen State College, City University of Seattle, Gonzaga University, Heritage University, Lesley University, Pacific Lutheran University, Seattle University, Washington State University, UW-Bothell, UW-Tacoma, and University of Puget Sound. Representatives from OSPI and two high school districts, Highline School District and North Thurston School District, will also participate.

“Washington state is adopting the co-teaching strategies as part of the revised teacher education standards,” said Joyce Westgard, dean of the College of Education at Saint Martin’s. “This is a workshop to ‘train the trainers’.”

The workshop on co-teaching was developed by St. Cloud State University and was funded by a U.S. Department of Education, Teacher Quality Enhancement Partnership grant. The Teacher Quality Enhancement Center is working to share the co-teaching model with universities and school districts across the nation and offers these workshops regionally throughout the United States. Now in its sixth year, the program has received the Best Practice Award in Support of Teacher Education Quality and Accountability from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE).

“The needs of today’s children are so great,” said Dr. Bacharach, director of the Teacher Quality Enhancement Center, “that it doesn’t make sense to have either the classroom teacher or the teacher candidate sitting in the background when both can be helping children.”

For more information please contact Kathleen Allen in the College of Education at 360-438-4501 or

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, Catholic, coeducational university located on a 380-acre wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 18 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 21 majors and six graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250 student from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its five extension campuses located at Fort Lewis Army Post, McChord Air Force Base, Olympic College, Centralia College, and Tacoma Community College.

For additional information:

Kathleen D. Allen, EdD Associate Professor College of Education

Genevieve Canceko Chan
Director of Communications & Marketing