Kudos to Christine DeBono, Teacher Excellence Award winner.
An entire entourage came out to help us surprise Christine DeBono, Advanced Math teacher at Cottonwood Elementary, in the Vail Unified School District, with our OfficeMax/OfficeDepot and TVT Teacher Excellence Award. Family members, district and school leadership, even Christine's former second grade teacher who later had the honor of hiring Christine at Cottonwood were in attendance. What a moment!
Christine was nominated by Principal Bobbi Mayeux who said, “Chrissy is a driven and dedicated leader! Her belief and leadership in building trusting relationships has promoted a positive school climate. She provides the most effective instructional delivery approach to meet the needs of all her students. Chrissy conscientiously implements a student-centered approach to instruction by increasing opportunities for engagement and inquiry exploration. She encourages her students to meet their potential and genuinely believes that all of her students can be successful. Chrissy constantly recognizes the efforts of others, encourages students to recognize each other, and promotes the belief that what we do collectively impacts the lives of children.”
Kudos to you, Christine! Keep up the excellent work, we truly appreciate all that you do for students and our community! #AZTeachersRock #thankateacher
Teachers Vote 4 Education
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8th Annual Tucson Supplies Teachers Kicks Off in July
The 8th Annual Tucson Supplies Teachers supply drive kicks off in July 2016. TVT has been able to grow Tucson Supplies Teachers into the largest community-wide supply drive in our region, with a total of over $770,800 in classroom supplies collected and distributed across Southern Arizona since inception.
TEACHERS: Click HERE to register for a chance to win a $50 gift card to support your classroom TODAY!
In 2015, Tucson Values Teachers evolved the Tucson Supplies Teachers supply drive to include innovative solutions that streamline the collection and distribution of supplies, conserve financial and operational resources, and most importantly, better serve the needs of our teachers. We'll continue with these improvements this year by working with Pima Federal Credit Union, OfficeMax/Office Depot and other community partners to provide gift cards for teachers to purchase the supplies that meet their specific classroom needs.
Once again, we are able to leverage the cash donations to Tucson Values Teachers for school supplies through our partnerships. OfficeMax/Office Depot will provide a discount for all teachers, and school supplies at Southern Arizona locations will be greatly discounted. This means that teachers can get the supplies they need when they need them.
TEACHERS NEED OUR SUPPORT NOW MORE THAN EVER, AND YOU CAN HELP!
ONLINE DONATIONS can be made by clicking the DONATE button on our home page. Every single dollar donated during July 2016 will go to purchase teacher gift cards for school supplies.
Tucson Values Teachers' Statewide Teacher Survey sheds light on teacher wages and perception.
Many Arizona teachers don't feel valued, respected or trusted enough by the general public, all likely reasons contributing to Arizona's teacher shortage, according to a new statewide study released by Tucson Values Teachers (TVT), sponsored by the University of Arizona College of Education and the Southern Arizona Leadership Council. The lack of professional public value is compounded by the reality that Arizona has some of the lowest teacher salaries in the United States.
The report examined five major areas of concern to teachers — value, respect, trust, time and money — and found that teachers believe the public has a different perception of teaching than what is the reality.
TVT surveyed more than 55,000 Arizona public and charter school teachers statewide and tallied 6,163 online responses. The questionnaire asked how teachers view their profession, the amount of time they spend at their work, how they relate to neighbors and the parents of their students, and other issues.
TVT ran a corresponding online survey of southern Arizona residents to provide a comparison between teachers' opinions about how the community views them and how residents actually view teachers. A total of 444 residents responded, giving details about their perceptions of teachers, as well as their evaluation of southern Arizona schools (for those with school-age children). Both surveys were conducted for TVT by Strongpoint Marketing.
In terms of value, teachers said they don't expect to get rich teaching, yet want to be fairly paid. Teachers want to be paid equal to what other similarly educated and experienced professionals earn. AZ MAP Dashboard shows that the national median annual wage for secondary school teachers in 2014 was $56,310, while it was $9,000 a year less in Phoenix ($47,230) and $18,000 a year less in Tucson ($38,240).
Likewise, the study showed Arizona teachers don't feel respected, often facing negative comments from lawmakers, politicians, students and the community. In comparison, southern Arizonans’ response to the resident survey indicates residents think more highly of teachers than teachers themselves by a fair margin. Teachers consider themselves responsible professionals, but feel they are not trusted to get on with the job, the study shows. Teachers complained about rule changes concerning what they can and can't do, and what they must and must not do. They also cite micromanagement by school higher-ups as increasing that level of distrust.
When given a list of 30 occupations, teachers rank themselves below 19 of them and only above two on the perceived value of their jobs. On the other hand, community members rank teachers below just nine pf those jobs and above seven of the 30 listed. Community members believe teachers deserve more respect than teachers give themselves.
Arizona teachers responding to the TVT survey indicated they don't have a lot of free time at their disposal to compensate for the sacrifices they have to make to do their jobs.
They cite a working week of more than 60 hours, of which 40 percent is spent teaching in class. Counseling and instructing individual students, preparing lessons, grading student work, supervising students in break time and extracurricular activities, and meetings with parents and school administrators take up the balance of their weekly on-duty hours.
Money is an issue for teachers in Arizona. Some 92 percent of the survey respondents thought low pay was an important reason why teachers are leaving the profession. And because school budgets are squeezed, nearly all of those surveyed incurred unreimbursed expenses to provide for their students.
To address these concerns TVT, Southern Arizona Leadership Council and Raytheon will sponsor Let’s Talk Ed, a K-12 Teacher Workforce Summit on January 7, 2016 to promote dialogue, discussion, fact-finding and solutions to educational issues facing southern Arizona.
Let’s Talk Ed will run from 8 to 11 am in the Tucson Convention Center Grand Ballroom, featuring national and state speakers, including Richard Ingersoll, professor at the University of Pennsylvania; Jennifer Johnson, Ph.D., executive director of Support Our Schools AZ and creator of the Arizona Teacher Retention and Recruitment Taskforce; and Lee Woodruff, New York Times best seller, CBS news contributor and founder of the Bob Woodruff Foundation helping heroes on the homefront.
TVT expects approximately 800 guests to attend, including more than 175 educators, mostly from southern Arizona.
At Let’s Talk Ed, Raytheon will present its Leaders in Education Awards of $2,500 each to three teachers, and $2,500 to each of those teachers' schools to honor their educational leadership and support for a committed teacher workforce.
The key findings of the two studies and an executive summary are available here:
Innovative Program Gives Teachers Hands-On Industry Experience In STEM Fields
The University of Arizona College of Education’s Department of Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies is now accepting applications for the summer of 2016 for its Teachers in Industry program, and 50 teachers are expected to be accepted to participate. Teachers in Industry is an innovative, award-winning professional development and degree program for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teachers; it was created as a result of a business education partnership inspired by Tucson Values Teachers. Participants complete coursework at the University of Arizona and spend their summers working for pay at Arizona businesses in STEM fields, giving them a substantial income boost for the years they are in the program, as well as rich hands-on job experience. Teachers can choose to work for professional development credit or to earn a master of arts degree in science or math education. Teachers in Industry is the only program of its kind in the United States and was recently honored by Change the Equation.
“Teachers in Industry has enabled dozens of Arizona teachers to practice their science and mathematics disciplines in business settings around Arizona,” College of Education Dean Ronald W. Marx explained. “They bring what they learn from these businesses back to their classrooms, helping their students learn how abstract concepts in the school curriculum actually operate in real-life settings.”
Teachers earn $8,000 on average each summer through the program. Master’s program teachers pay 35 percent of the tuition costs ($2,600 per year) from that pay. Professional development teachers pay all of their tuition costs ($1,340 per year) from that pay. Leading employers in the region hire and pay the teachers directly and then provide training and supervision during the summer.
The program was created through a partnership between the university, Tucson Values Teachers, the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, and Tucson-area STEM businesses and industries, most notably Raytheon Missile Systems, a founding employer that hired 10 teachers in the summer of 2015. Other industry partners include the Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Foundation, Tucson Electric Power, the Salt River Project, Arizona Public Service and Texas Instruments.
“Teachers in Industry is a unique opportunity for businesses to invest in their future workforce,” said Colleen Niccum, a Tucson Values Teachers board member and a retired Raytheon executive who helped to create the program. “After their experience working in the field, these teachers can help their students make critical connections between what they are learning in school and their future careers. The return for businesses is significant when you consider that most middle and high school teachers influence 150 students each year.”
Teachers in Industry is one of the most effective teacher retention programs in Arizona, a state that faces a huge retention problem, losing over 40 percent of new teachers by the end of their second year. In contrast, more than 90 percent of the teachers who have participated in Teachers in Industry have remained in the profession. STEM businesses and industries are concerned about Arizona’s future workforce and also about the quality of education in general, because their employees send their children to Arizona schools.