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UA cancels workshop after teachers fail to recommend career

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A University of Arizona effort to encourage high school seniors to become math teachers has fallen flat because teachers are reluctant to recommend their own career path.

“The teacher response was surprising in one way, but not surprising in another,” Melissa Hosten, co-director of the UA’s Center for Recruitment and Retention of Mathematics Teachers, told The Arizona Daily Star (http://bit.ly/1SbDfagAi??). “We know the climate right now has been such that it’s very challenging for teachers to stay in the profession.”

Had there been enough interest, this year would have been the second year of a UA workshop for high school seniors interested in teaching math. Last year, more than two dozen students were referred to the program, but only five students showed up.

Officials at UA say they sent an invitation to recruit students to hundreds of educators this year, but only one guidance counselor identified possible attendees.

The UA center says the situation underscores how devalued some teachers feel. Some previously supportive teachers said they couldn’t recommend the profession this year in part because of measures being considered by the state Legislature, said Hosten.

Hosten and co-director Virginia Bohme say they will continue to recruit math teachers and have emphasized retention efforts by offering training and mentoring services.

Bohme and Hosten say it is important to people to elect public officials who are education-friendly. They would also like to see more respect for teaching as a profession, even though the pay isn’t great.

“One portion of the American dream is that idea of financial success, but when you look at those people who have made America great, there is a much bigger piece of that American dream that is that pay it forward, make a difference, change your world,” said Hosten. “Tell me another profession that makes a bigger difference every single day than education and what teachers do.”var 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2 comments

  1. If your student loan after the five year program to become a teacher takes you 30 years to pay off, somehow the notion of “making a difference” kind of falls flat. If we wanted to be missionaries and teach for free, we’d do that.

  2. The GOP nation wide has been aggressively working to undermine education and get rid of teachers. They want to get rid of unions and professional requirements, and to privatize the school system. They will get what they want. There is no teacher I know of that would recommend anyone become a teacher if they ever what to have

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