Bioscience

Work-site training for Tucson teachers

July 6, 2009

By Flinn Foundation

Work-site training for Tucson teachers: Summer industrial, business jobs tell them what employers want — and pupils benefit

Rhonda Bodfield, Arizona Daily Star, 07.06.2009

When John Guerrero dresses for work these days, he swaps his button-down shirt for a reflective orange security vest. He’s now armed with blueprints instead of lesson plans. And he’s outside, building a school, instead of enjoying its air-conditioned interior.

Guerrero is one of 20 math and science teachers taking part in a new program that pairs them with local businesses for summer jobs. The employers pay industry salaries, which vary from job to job. The 37-year-old teacher of seventh-grade math in the Vail School District has spent the past six weeks working as a field engineer with Sundt Construction Inc. on the $15 million expansion and renovation of Tucson High Magnet School.

The industry internships give teachers a chance to see what’s actually happening in the workplace so they can, ideally, bring those real-world experiences to the classroom.

The businesses, meanwhile, have a chance to help steer what they want to see in their future work forces. “Everything the teachers learn is being put back into the curriculum,” said Jacquelyn Jackson, executive director of Tucson Values Teachers, an initiative assisting the internship effort. “They can take this knowledge back and say, ‘Here’s what you can do with this.’ It’s not just numbers on a page.”

Full article: Work-site training for Tucson teachers