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The residency program works to address Arizona’s teacher shortage

The residency program works to address Arizona’s teacher shortage

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — A chronic teacher shortage is a problem facing schools in Arizona and across the country, but a local program is trying to change that. If you are interested in a career in education, applications are now open for the second official class of the Arizona Teacher Residency program.

The two-year program, which is similar to medical residencies, is the work of the Arizona Department of Education, Northern Arizona University and the Arizona K12 Center. The idea is to give students more hands-on experience while working toward a master’s degree.

It includes a summer institute after which program residents serve as apprentices to supervising faculty before going out on their own. They can then be hired by school districts who must commit to teaching for at least three years after the program.

“I think we’ve learned a lot about matching residents with faculty supervisors, finding that right balance of personalities,” said Victoria Theisen-Homer, Arizona Faculty Residency Director. “Everyone has a different personality and when you’re in someone’s room for a year, it really helps to align.”

The program includes a living allowance and salary. Teaching can be demanding work and with record inflation, program leaders have learned that residents need more financial and emotional support.

The main goal is to train educators and keep them in the classroom. There were 22 teachers in the first residence. For the next round in 2023, they hope to have a class of 40.

Click here for more information on Arizona Teacher Residency. The program will also host a one-hour virtual information session on November 16 at 5:30 p.m.

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