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Arizona teaching program seeking potential educators
After training a number of teachers that now instruct Yuma students, the Arizona Teaching Fellows program is looking to add to the number of instructors here — particularly in difficult-to-fill content areas.
The Arizona Teaching Fellows has recruited 20 to 30 middle and high school teachers to Yuma districts each year since 2009.
“We would love to, this year, have more talent from the Yuma area be a part of the application and selection process and ultimately be trained and then receive their certification through our program,” said Erin Krapf, senior program operations manager of The New Teacher Project (TNTP).
Arizona Teaching Fellows is a partnership between Arizona public school districts, the Arizona Department of Education and TNTP, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the achievement gap.
The TNTP Academy Arizona program is an intensive, practice-based teacher certification program through the Arizona Teaching Fellows that is focused on training instructors to work in high-need schools.
Krapf said most people who join the program have a strong background in particular content areas but would like to make a transition into teaching.
“Our philosophy is, who better to teach a science class than somebody who has been a scientist and has a passion for teaching? Who better to teach math to students than someone who has a degree in mathematics and has a high level understanding?”
During their summer training in the Phoenix area, AZTF helps individuals learn how to translate their skills into a live classroom setting.
“We focus them on how to deliver content clearly and effectively, to manage their classrooms effectively and to do all the things we know really effective teachers do,” said Rachel Evans, AZTF site director. “...Our vision is that we want to be the first certification program in the state of Arizona where teachers have to demonstrate their effectiveness with their students before they receive their credentials.”
While striving to prioritize local recruitment, AZTF also has a nationwide recruitment program.
Krapf said Arizona Teaching Fellows will begin accepting applications for the summer 2013 program Oct. 29.
Selected candidates will come for an all-day interview consisting of facilitating a mock classroom and talking more about their background. Interviews will take place in the Phoenix area from December through April.
“We are looking for those who are strongly committed to the communities we teach and have a background or a commitment to high-needs classrooms with low-income students and that they have demonstrated achievement significantly in other areas of their lives,” said Krapf.
Evans added that teachers aren't assigned to particular districts in Arizona; they have the opportunity to request where they would like to go across the state.
Visit www.arizonateachingfellows.org for more information on how to apply.
Sarah Womer can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6858. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSSarahWomer or on Twitter at @YSSarahWomer.