Kudos to Terry Duggan, Teacher Excellence Award Winner!

Terry Duggan

The January 2016 Tucson Values Teachers and OfficeMax/Depot Teacher Excellence Award was presented to Terry Duggan, Kindergarten teacher at Coronado K-8 School, Amphitheater Public Schools. We surprised Mrs. Duggan in her classroom, and it was clear from the excitement why Terry is such an EXCEPTIONAL TEACHER! Terry has been teaching at Coronado K-8 School for ten years, and has been teaching for 23 years. She has taught Kindergarten, First, Third, Fourth and Fifth Grades.

Terry was nominated by Principal Gerad Ball who said, "Mrs. Duggan strives to provide engaging and rigorous lessons daily in all subjects. She has incorporated centers, technology, and hands-on opportunities. She leads the way in making sure that science has a place in kindergarten while teaching solid reading, writing and math lessons. Her students know she has high expectations, like learning all their letters and sounds in the first semester. Mrs. Duggan balances those expectations with exuberance for learning and true affection for her students. Her students learn much and care a great deal for her as well. Mrs. Duggan is a true inspiration."

As part of the honors, Terry receives a $100 OfficeMax/Office Depot gift card, a Teacher Excellence Award plaque, flowers and school supplies. Not to mention bragging rights! Thanks for all you do for Coronado K-8 students, Mrs. Duggan! Keep up the fantastic work!


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What's New

Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, May 2 - 7

In honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week, Tucson Values Teachers is partnering with dozens of local businesses and education supporters for a week-long celebration to show gratitude and appreciation for teachers. One whole week filled with free events, discounts, and special opportunities that honor and support all teachers across Southern Arizona.


TEACHERS: For more information on events and discounts, CLICK here.

Letís Talk Ed Event Gets High Marks as it Calls for Action

Co-hosted by Tucson Values Teachers, Raytheon and the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, the Let's Talk Ed: Teacher Workforce summit received rave reviews for both content and execution. Nearly 600 business leaders, teachers, education supporters and community members attended the January 7 event, which convened some of the country's most innovative thought leaders to address the challenges and opportunities facing the recruitment and retention of teachers, not only in Arizona, but across the nation.

"Teachers are the front line of economic development, and we learned this first hand from the range of speakers and Tucson Values Teachers' statewide survey. Addressing the teacher workforce crisis will take all of us working together," said Marian Salzman, Executive Chair of Tucson Values Teachers. Salzman emphasized that the summit was organized with action in mind. "Each of us can take responsibility for changing the dialogue around the teacher workforce. That's the discussion we wanted to start today."

Building on the momentum generated from Let's Talk Ed, Tucson Values Teachers has launched a new communications strategy, the monthly "Let's Keep Talking Ed" newsletter.

The first issue reported survey results from Let's Talk Ed attendees, 79% of which said the event gave them new information about teacher workforce issues in four areas of focus resulting from the K-12 education summit: action, community engagement, direct support, and mentoring and leadership.

TVT has quickly mobilized and adapted its signature programs to work in these focus areas. New developments include:

  • - A yearlong This Teacher Votes 4 Education initiative to empower teachers to have a strong voice on the issues that affect their profession, classrooms, and students.
  • - Engaging the greater Tucson community in collaboration with CommunityShare and Teacher Appreciation Week celebrations the first week in May
  • - Expanding partnerships with Pima Federal Credit Union and Jim Click Automotive to fund the Tucson Supplies Teachers supply drive in 2016 and beyond at unprecedented levels
  • - Implementing new mentorship/leadership opportunities in collaboration with the Rodel Foundation of Arizona

SIGN UP HERE to take part in the Let's Keep Talking Ed conversation.

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:

TVT Statewide Teacher Survey: Executive Summary

TVT Statewide Teacher Survey: Overview Presentation



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.

For more information on Teachers In Industry, or to apply for 2016, CLICK HERE.