As the Arizona Teacher Residency prepares for its second year, Academic Program Coordinator Stephanie Edgerton reflects on the past year and the one ahead!Feb 09, 2023
What a difference a year makes!
Just a year ago, the Arizona Teacher Residency (AZTR) was receiving its first applications. Now, AZTR is not only accepting applications for its second cohort but is proudly seeing residents in the first cohort take the lead in their placement classrooms and begin to accept teaching jobs for next year.
Our Story Then…
Let’s back up to where this program really got started. In July of 2022, AZTR kicked off the beginning of the program with a celebratory dinner in Flagstaff, Arizona. This event was followed by ten days of master’s degree coursework at Northern Arizona University for newly admitted residents and a two-day professional development/training for their supervising teachers.
Before we knew it, it was August and school started in the Osborn, Roosevelt, and Tempe Elementary school districts. Residents began apprenticing in the classroom all day Monday throughThursday with their new students and supervising teachers. They tackled NAU coursework on Tuesday evenings and all day on Fridays; course sessions offered residents opportunities to engage in relevant coursework, but also afforded them time to share stories, offer support to one another, and work through any challenges they were facing. Though the work was rigorous, and the commitment was intense, residents had the support of their friends and family, AZTR faculty and staff, their supervising teachers, and especially one another. They triumphantly completed their first residency semester.
Our Story Now…
And now, residents have returned from a well-deserved winter respite, and are leading most (if not all) of the learning within their placement classroom. They express confidence and excitement, peppered with a little nervousness and anticipation regarding what’s to come. Many have interviewed for the full-time teaching positions they’ll have next year, several have accepted jobs already and others are eagerly awaiting a response. They still have much to learn, lessons to write, and relationships to foster, but have reached the point in the year that they can see the finish line. Soon, they will have their own classrooms filled with students; soon they will each fulfill their dream of becoming a teacher.
This is also a special time as March 12 is the due date for applications into AZTR’s next cohort of residents. Residents earn their master’s degree in elementary education (with certification) tuition-free while apprenticing in a classroom with a master teacher in year one and becoming a teacher-of-record in the district in year two. During the following two years (as residents complete their total commitment of four years to their partner district), participants are eligible to receive continual support from AZTR and the Arizona K12 Center, including mentorship, professional development events, and support in beginning the pursuit of National Board Certification.
If you are considering becoming a teacher, know you can do so with tremendous academic and professional support and an extended classroom experience that brings your coursework to life by applying to the Arizona Teacher Residency. Applications are due March 12, 2023. Learn more and apply at www.aztr.org. You can also always email the team at email@example.com with questions.