Number of international teachers in TUSD on the rise as teacher shortage continues

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) – As the teacher shortage in Arizona continues, school districts are forced to look to other avenues to find educators for their students. That’s a large part of why Tucson Unified says they search for and recruit teachers from not just across the country, but across the globe.

“In the time of a teacher shortage you look for highly qualified educators whether they be beyond the city limits, outside of our state, or even internationally,” Tucson Unified Superintendent Dr.Gabriel Trujillo says. He added that those international teachers add value and bring diversity to the classroom that he feels is important for TUSD students.

From the 2016-2017 school year to the 2017-2018 school year increase in terms of international teachers was steady. In total during the 2016-2017 school year Tucson Unified had three teachers from outside the U.S, two at the middle school level and one at the high school level.

The following school year the total number of international teachers in the district increased by five, hitting a grand total of eight. Things became a little more spread out that year with two international teachers at every grade level.

This school year those numbers increased quite a bit with the total number of international teachers spiking up to 23. The largest number of those teachers are at the K-8 level where there’s 10 international teachers in the classroom. Following that is the elementary school level where there are six international teachers, then high school where there are four international teachers, and then the middle school level where TUSD has three international teachers.

So why are these educators from across the world coming here, to Southern Arizona. Well, Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Trujillo says he thinks it’s because of the support that TUSD provides for new teachers.

“I know a number of our new teachers from India have cited that as being a determining factor in signing on with the Tucson Unified School District, to get that personal support, in the form of an on-the-job coach,” he notes.

When the new international teachers begin their time in Tucson Unified they’re given a mentor outside the classroom that sticks with them for two years. In that time the mentor coaches them, helps them with lesson plans, and serves as the person who helps them to really get adjusted.

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