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Tucson teacher support program launches as in-person learning resumes

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 8:49 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Many teachers are getting ready for the upcoming school year and heading back to the classroom.

A new program, the Tucson Regional Educator Collaborative (TREC), was developed to support southern Arizona educators and promote professional development.

Xochitl Macias teaches second and third graders at Desert Sky Community School. She’s happy to start the 2021 school year in-person. She said even simple tasks became a major challenge when students were remote.

“It’s very hard to be able to help them with some of the things as easy as turning to the correct page on a workbook,” Macias said.

Ryan Carle-Ogren , a band and orchestra teacher for the Sahuarita Unified School District said virtual learning wasn’t ideal, but it allowed students to get individualized attention.

“We were able to start a strong foundation as individual students so when we did come back together our product was even better than before,” he said.

Remote learning gave teachers more insight into their students’ lives outside of the classroom walls and find better ways to support them.

“Understanding more of what they face on a day-to-day basis whether it’s family life, mental or physical health issues or anything like that,” he said.

Tucson-area teachers are also getting more support. The University of Arizona College of Education officially launched TREC on Friday. It’s a program to help educators connect and share ideas.

“Just giving that added bounce to helping teachers be successful,” said Pima County Superintendent Dustin Williams.

Teachers said the program couldn’t have come at a better time.

“With how difficult last year was, TREC was the group I relied on for that emotional support and that midnight text when you’re looking for some kind of guidance for something happening in the classroom,” Macias said.

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