Quantcast

Amphi Public Schools mentor program strives to retain new teache - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Amphi Public Schools mentor program strives to retain new teachers

Posted: Updated:

Taylor Stender is a first-year second grade teacher at Nash Elementary in Tucson.

"I can't think back to a time when I didn't want to be a teacher,” Stender said.

Amphitheater Public Schools employs over 800 teachers.
For the past several years, the district’s has strived to keep teachers in the classroom through its mentorship program.

They’re officially titled Curriculum Instruction Support Specialists (CISS).

One of the mentors, Blanca Cunha, noted the importance of establishing a positive relationship with new teachers over a two-year period.

Stender admits starting out in the classroom wasn’t always easy.

"It was really overwhelming at first. I would be drowning without Blanca,” she said.

The mentors meet with first-year teachers once a week, helping them with a variety of tasks.

"We talk about strategies, we talk about things that are going well in the classroom, we talk about things that maybe need some fine tuning. It's important for us to be a part of this program so that we can help retain teachers,” Cunha said.

In 2015, Amphitheater Public Schools’ teacher retention rate was about 87 percent.

During the 2016-2017 period, 91 percent of teachers stayed. 

Blanca said whether it’s through statewide initiatives to efforts performed on the local level, addressing the teacher shortage through mentorships is vital.

But there are roadblocks, which include funding the program.

“There have been various funding sources in the past including Title II, Career Ladder, various grants, etc.; however, many of these funds are no longer available,” said Amy Sharpe, director of community relations for Amphitheater Public Schools.

This has resulted in a reduction of CISS members.

According to district officials, Amphitheater Public Schools currently has five full-time mentors, which is down from eight last year.

"As we've seen in years past, sometimes when teachers don't have that additional support, they don't know where to turn. Because of not having the support, they go to another position, they find another career,” Cunha said. 

School district officials are committed to seeking out avenues of funding for ensuring the mentor program continues.

“Amphitheater believes so strongly in the value of these positions and is committed to providing mentors so we continue to look for funding to maintain and increase this service to our teachers,” Sharpe said.

In the past, people have urged Stender to consider moving out of state to teach because of low-teacher salaries among other reasons.

But despite the data, she’s pressing on, very much looking forward to educating tomorrow’s leaders right here in Arizona.

"It can be a little bit discouraging but really what it made me want to do more than anything is stay here because I want to see our state rise.” 

WEATHER
Interactive Radar
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Thousands wait with anticipation as rare corpse plant readies to bloom

    Sunday, April 22 2018 1:41 AM EDT2018-04-22 05:41:36 GMT

    TUCSON - They've come from all over the country. In the last two days, more than 160,000 people have tuned in to the live stream all over the world. Experts say potentially within hours, Rosie, the famed corpse flower housed inside the Butterfly exhibit at the Tucson Botanical Gardens could  bloom. When Rosie indeed blossoms, she'll give off a stinky stench to remember.  "Even though she's not going to bloom and we won't smell the stench, we're still here very ex...

    TUCSON - They've come from all over the country. In the last two days, more than 160,000 people have tuned in to the live stream all over the world. Experts say potentially within hours, Rosie, the famed corpse flower housed inside the Butterfly exhibit at the Tucson Botanical Gardens could  bloom. When Rosie indeed blossoms, she'll give off a stinky stench to remember.  "Even though she's not going to bloom and we won't smell the stench, we're still here very ex...

  • Four things we find interesting about the weather in the week ahead

    Four things we find interesting about the weather in the week ahead

    Sunday, April 22 2018 1:36 AM EDT2018-04-22 05:36:19 GMT

    While the last full week of April won't feature any major storms in the U.S., there are some interesting aspects to the nation's weather that we'll keep an eye on.

    While the last full week of April won't feature any major storms in the U.S., there are some interesting aspects to the nation's weather that we'll keep an eye on.

  • Woman lost 2 sons in one night to opioids; fighting the crisis is now her life's work

    Woman lost 2 sons in one night to opioids; fighting the crisis is now her life's work

    Saturday, April 21 2018 1:38 PM EDT2018-04-21 17:38:43 GMT

    "Everything just kind of seemed like a blur that day," Becky Savage said. "Your mind is not really meant to process something that extreme." 

    "Everything just kind of seemed like a blur that day," Becky Savage said. "Your mind is not really meant to process something that extreme." 

Powered by Frankly

© KVOA.com 2018, KVOA.com
A CORDILLERA COMMUNICATIONS Station
All rights reserved
Privacy Policy, | Terms of Service, and Ad Choices

Can't find something?