Arizona Teachers Academy Continues To Work With Northern Arizona University Education Students | Education

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ABIGAIL KESSLER Journalist Sun

The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) on July 28 released a report on Arizona teaching staff in 2020 based on data that local education committees submitted as part of their request for contributions from teachers. The Arizona Teachers Academy (ATA) program is one of the ways universities try to encourage education students to become teachers in the state.

The report states that there were 58,293 active teachers in the state during the 2019/20 school year, and an additional 34,661 who had teaching certificates but were not currently teaching in public schools in Arizona. Of the latter group, 10,705 had never taught in the state.

Part of the reason, according to the report, is that “Arizona-based online teacher preparation programs …[often] educate teachers who live out of state and can receive certification in Arizona. These people often immediately apply for a reciprocity certificate in their home country, never teaching here. He also mentioned that out-of-state students return to another state after graduation.

The report also noted a high attrition rate for teachers early in their careers.

“Efforts to recruit new teachers,” the report said, “are hampered by Arizona’s ability to retain teachers in the early years of their careers. Teachers can leave the profession for many reasons – being a teacher in Arizona means a challenging and demanding job. Some never intend to teach for a short time, or some may have honored a grant or loan forgiveness commitment.

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The report then clarified that it did not seek to answer the question of why Arizona teachers are leaving the profession.

ATA is a program that helps cover the tuition costs of students who agree to teach in Arizona schools after graduation. It is offered by Arizona’s three public universities as well as community colleges in Scottsdale, Rio Salado, and Pima.

The ATA continues to develop its curriculum, both statewide and at Northern Arizona University.

“Starting in the fall of 2021,” Newberg wrote, “ATA at NAU has added more curriculum as well as content-related courses to meet the needs of in-service teachers who are upgrading their qualifications to teach dual enrollment courses “, which are high school courses that also count as university credits.

Newberg also said the ATA now covers the cost of certifying ADE teachers for its graduates.

More than 950 NAU students were enrolled in the ATA in the 2020/21 school year, according to Julie Newberg, director of communications for the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR). She said just under half (48%) were studying anywhere other than the Flagstaff Mountain campus of the NAU.

The program started with “nearly 60” participants in fall 2017, Newberg said. NAU’s first ATA students graduated in the 2018/19 academic year, 26 in total. Last year, Newberg said, there were 269. A total of 2,933 students received ATA scholarships in the spring semester of 2021.

One of these students, Victor Gastelum, is in his fourth year at the NAU. Originally from California, he visited the Flagstaff campus on a road trip with his grandmother and “knew NAU was where I wanted to go.”






Victor Gastelum, a student at Northern Arizona University, studies chemistry and mathematics at the Arizona Teachers Academy.


Victor Gastelum, courtesy


Shortly after arriving on the NAU campus, he began studying part-time, working full-time as a bus driver at the university to reduce his tuition fees. He joined the ATA after its inception at NAU and was able to return to being a full-time student and part-time employee.

“It was certainly a great relief when this amount of financial assistance came into play for a career path that [I] wanted to do it anyway, ”Gastelum said. “It really makes you want to stay in Arizona and teach here. “

ADE’s press release on its 2020 report said the pandemic was having a limited impact on the size and average age of teaching staff in Arizona. Instead, there were fewer specialist teachers and more students enrolled in charter or online schools.

“Although the overall size of the workforce has not changed significantly, there has been a significant decline in the number of specialist teachers needed to help fill learning gaps,” the statement said. Press.

Being a teacher has “always been” one of Gastelum’s goals, and a second year high school chemistry teacher inspired him to pursue the science. After graduation, he said, he’s ready to go anywhere, but hopes to stay in Arizona, specifically teaching chemistry and math in Flagstaff.

“I’m quite anxious to get into class and my passion is definitely science,” he said, “as long as I can teach in a science class, I’m happy anywhere. “

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis doubled down on Tuesday as the state broke its hospitalization record for COVID-19 again, insisting the peak will subside soon and will not impose any trade restrictions or no mask warrant. DeSantis said he expects hospitalizations to decline over the next two weeks, insisting the peak is seasonal as Floridians spend more time together indoors to escape the heat and weather. summer humidity. With the much more contagious delta variant now spreading exponentially, Florida affected 11,515 hospital patients on Tuesday, breaking last year’s record for the third day in a row. Hospitalizations have increased 11-fold from the 1,000 COVID patients hospitalized in mid-June. Around 2,400 patients are now in intensive care. DeSantis attributed its response to COVID, which focused on vaccinating seniors and nursing home residents, to the fact that fewer Floridians are now dying than last August. A year ago, Florida averaged about 180 COVID deaths per day during a peak in early August, but last week there were an average of 55 per day. year, “he said at a Miami-area press conference.” Would I rather have 5,000 cases in 20-year-olds or 500 cases in the elderly? I would prefer the younger ones. “To avoid going to the emergency room for fear of getting infected, as statistics show last year.” People had heart attacks at home because they thought it wasn’t. there was not enough room in the hospital or they contracted COVID and died, “he said. Hospitals in the state report placing emergency room patients in beds in the hospitals. corridors and document a noticeable drop in patient ages. Some hospitals are again banning visits or postponing elective surgeries. DeSantis is running for re-election next year while considering a 2024 presidential bid and has made his refusal to impose mask warrants in public or in schools or to impose restrictions on businesses a central part of his national image among conservatives. He hit this post again on Tuesday, saying he will not budge . “We will not close “said DeSantis. “We are going to open schools. We are protecting the work of every Floridian in this state. We are protecting small businesses from people. These interventions have failed repeatedly throughout this pandemic, not only in the United States but in the United States. stranger. They haven’t stopped the spread, especially with Delta. “The spike came as DeSantis and local authorities battled over how to protect children and staff at the start of the school year. Broward County School voted last week to require face covers when in-person learning resumes this month, following the latest recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the board s ‘is overthrown after DeSantis signed an executive order banning mask mandates in schools and empowering the state to deny funding to all districts that do not comply. Broward’s board of directors had responded to the latest scientific data on the virus, which suggests that although those vaccinated are extremely unlikely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19, they can still spread the infection among those who have not received a vaccine. The revelation prompted the CDC to recommend “universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of immunization status.” Steve Geller said Monday. “The numbers double every 10 or 11 days. Geometric progression. It’s horrible.” The governor said he wanted parents to decide whether their children should wear a mask at school. A law signed by DeSantis in May gives it the power to override local public health emergency measures, including mask warrants and limitations on business operations. It also prohibits any business or government entity from requiring proof of vaccination. The Broward District now says it will encourage, but not force, students 12 and older, as well as teachers and staff to get vaccinated. It will also encourage the use of face coverings. “Safety remains our top priority,” the district statement said. Additional Associated Press Reports



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