TPS Teachers Get Ready to Go Back to School

Aug 18, 2014

TPS teachers fill the Memorial High School auditorium Monday for their annual convocation. The district's first day of classes is Wednesday.
Credit Matt Trotter / KWGS

Tulsa Public Schools teachers attended their annual convocation today ahead of the start of classes.

Teacher of the Year Lynnette Shouse spoke to her colleagues at the annual teacher convocation. She said it’s a good time to bring teachers together over common goals.

"It's an opportunity to voice that we want to be taken seriously. We want to be treated with respect," Shouse said. "And we want to say that we are professionals and we do have a lot of knowledge and we are doing what we feel like is best for all of our students."

Several speakers mentioned there must be less respect for teachers nowadays because they aren’t being consulted on state standards and proficiency requirements.

This was Superintendent Keith Ballard’s final convocation. He’s retiring at the end of the school year. Ballard says the convocation is a chance for TPS teachers to hear the district’s direction for the year from its leader, but those plans aren’t made in isolation.

"It's a reflection of what I've heard from teachers. It's a reflection of data. It's a reflection of meetings that have been going on," Ballard said. "It's a reflection of what the board expects for us to do in carrying out their strategic plan, so I think it's really important."

Classes begin Wednesday, and improving students’ reading abilities is a major goal for the year.