Difference Makers: Bay Area educator to retire after placing hundreds of teachers

Bob Houghteling in action.
Bob Houghteling in action. Photo credit Bob Houghteling

A Bay Area educator is retiring after 45 years of inspiring students and future teachers at dozens of local schools.

Bob Houghteling has taught all different grade levels over his 45 year teaching career, but he said his 4th grade class was the most memorable.

"They are able to have a great discussion and are curious about the world, yet they are trusting and appreciative," he said.

Houghteling founded the Bay Area Teacher Training Institute, otherwise known as BATTI, in 2002 when he saw the need for a full two-year credentialing program that gave teachers the skills to succeed.

"When I was teaching at private school in El Cerrito, they had an assistant teacher in each classroom. I realized that the chance to use that experience of being the second teacher in a classroom was a wonderful training ground for a learn-by-doing," he said.

With Houghteling’s vision, the institute has placed over 500 teachers and interns at many Bay Area elementary and middle schools. On July 1, Houghteling will retire from his role as founding executive director. "I figured there was an impact teaching about 70,000 kids over the years," he said.

Houghteling’s passion has been to care for each student’s personal journey. In an effort to attract more students of color and those who need financial help to go to college, he established a family fund to raise $100,000 by this September, when most teachers head back to the classroom.

"It is expensive to become a teacher. There are sneaky test fees that add up," he told KCBS Radio. "Our goal is to make the program more affordable especially for students from underserved communities."

If you know someone who is working to create positive change in their community and would like to nominate them as a KCBS Radio Difference Maker, email us at differencemakers@kcbsradio.com.