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 the Tucson Unified School District recruits teachers from around the world.
“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," TUSD Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo said.
He said 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, the increase of international teachers was steady. During the 2016-2017 school year TUSD 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 rose to eight.
This school year the number of international teachers has spiked up to 23. The largest number of those teachers are at the K-8 level where there are 10 international teachers. There are six in the elementary schools, four in high schools, and three in middle schools.
Trujillo says he thinks international teachers are coming to southern Arizona 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 said.
When the new international teachers begin their time in TUSD they’re given a mentor outside the classroom that stays 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 get adjusted.