Arizona Teacher Residency program wraps up its first year

There's already a cohort arranged for next year!
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 9:43 AM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - As the school year concludes, we’re getting an update from the Arizona Teacher Residency program, which was created to help better prepare Arizona’s future teachers.

The Arizona Teacher Residency program is modeled after a medical residency by giving aspiring teachers more time in the classroom before they’re on their own. “Folks who were entering the classroom without any preparation are 2.5 times more likely to leave in the first year alone, whereas graduates of residency programs like this one, there’s 70 to 80% or so in the classroom after five years,” Victoria Theisen-Homer, Arizona Teacher Residency Director, said.

The program is wrapping up its first year this month, celebrating 22 resident teachers moving on to become teachers on their own this fall. Residents are able to build a strong teaching foundation over two years in order to grow, thrive and develop in education. Along with the teacher apprenticeship, those in the program also get a tuition-free master’s degree from NAU, a first-year stipend, and years of mentorship.

“I’m just very thankful that I’m getting a master’s degree with this. But it has been no doubt a difficult journey but this has definitely solidified that teaching is what I want to do. Teaching is what I really need to be doing, it’s just calling my name,” said resident teacher Hector Campos. “I’m lucky and I’m very fortunate to be part of this program that allowed me this opportunity to be in front of the kids, teach them, laugh, have fun, all that stuff.”

Campos spent the year with his junior high social studies teacher who inspired him to get into education. Starting this Fall, Campos and the other residents will fly solo in leading their own classrooms. “I feel I am completely prepared, especially with this program, working with this specific supervising teacher,” he said. “I feel very well prepared and well-rounded to have my own classroom next year especially staying here at the school that I was a student teacher in.”

Every teacher in the first cohort was hired to teach in the fall where they’ll each be paid a full teacher salary. Once they complete their master’s degree next May, they’ll also receive a pay bump. The program just recruited its second cohort. 23 aspiring teachers will start the Arizona Teacher Residency program this fall.