Low pay, burdensome requirements and a lack of respect for the profession are driving teachers from classrooms across the United States and nowhere is that impact more evident than in Tucson, Ariz., where teacher vacancies are at an all-time high. Arizona teachers work an average of 57 hours a week and are the lowest paid in the nation. Many face daunting challenges to educate children in high poverty districts who arrive in their classrooms with significant achievement gaps.


With decades of research showing that the quality of the teacher in the classroom has the most significant impact on student achievement, the high rate of teacher turnover threatens the quality of education all children receive. Fortunately there are teachers who excel despite the challenges but they do so at a significant personal cost.


TEACHING IN ARIZONA follows three Tucson educators to deliver an intimate portrait of what it’s really like to be a teacher today. It also depicts the impact of the teacher workforce crisis on the future generations that will influence the prosperity of a state and a nation.

In The News

With Support From…

AGM Container Controls, Inc.

Arizona K-12 Center

Bayer Crop Science

BFL Construction

Cox Communications

Diamond Ventures

Flowing Wells Unified School District

Freeport-McMoRan Inc.

Green Valley Pecan Company

Helios Education Foundation

Hudbay Rosemont Copper

Hughes Federal Credit Union

JPMorgan Chase

Midstate Energy

Pima Community College Foundation

Pima Community College Teacher Education Program

Pima Federal Credit Union

Rodel Foundation

Southwest Gas

Strategic Issues Management Group

Strongpoint Marketing

Sunnyside Unified School District

TCI Foundation

The Southern Arizona Leadership Council

Thomas R. Brown Foundations

Tucson Medical Center

Tucson Electric Power

UA Tech Parks

University of Arizona CALS

University of Arizona College of Education

University of Arizona College of Engineering

University of Arizona College of Humanities

University of Arizona College of Law

University of Arizona College of Nursing

University of Arizona College of Science

University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

University of Arizona Office of the Provost

Verizon Foundation


Tucson Values Teachers (TVT) is a partnership of business leaders, educators and individuals with a shared mission to help schools and districts attract, retain and support the very best teachers for every K-12 classroom in Southern Arizona.