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.
"As an Arizona teacher, I am ready to provide the best music and language education my school has to offer. Teachers need the resources and support to continue to educate our community. Thank you for caring to inform the public on Arizona's educational system."
"It was so exciting to see my friend Tia working so hard and being in her element. This video shows what we all go through as educators, on a daily basis. I am so thrilled this video is being circulated and people who are out of the field of education can get a glimpse of what we do."
"I have spent 20 years in education, first as a teacher and now as an Elementary School Principal. I wish this film were only isolated to a few teachers. Sadly, the fact is that this film illustrates reality for many of my teachers. I support them the best I can, with the resources I have, but it is not enough. It is time for teachers to take action, it is time for the the community to support and join teachers in these actions. Thank you to all teachers who are working to create 'The Next Greatest Generation'."
"I am a retired teacher in Tucson. Voices that have been missing from all of the debate and discussion of school 'reform' are those of teachers. It's time that we listen to them."
"Outstanding presentation of the issues that plague the Arizona public education system, especially the dismissing of teachers as a instrumental part of that system. It is sickening to me to see the undermining of public education all over the United States, especially in the state where I live. Thank you for this wonderful film and kudos to all public school teachers!"
"I am an Educator from SC. I loved your short film! I can definitely relate to the many challenges that had been discussed in this film. I am so grateful that you, along with so many educators, have advocated for educators, not just in AZ but on a national level! Thank you for all that you do and I wish you best of luck in your future."
AGM Container Controls, Inc.
Arizona K-12 Center
Bayer Crop Science
Flowing Wells Unified School District
Green Valley Pecan Company
Helios Education Foundation
Hudbay Rosemont Copper
Hughes Federal Credit Union
Pima Community College Foundation
Pima Community College Teacher Education Program
Pima Federal Credit Union
Strategic Issues Management Group
Sunnyside Unified School District
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
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.