Arizona: Working in Education in Arizona

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Educational Management

Except for educators who have a valid Arizona Superintendent Certificate and have completed three years of teaching full-time, principals and assistant principals must hold a valid Arizona Principal Certificate. The Principal Certificate requires at least a master's degree from an accredited institution, a minimum of three years full-time teaching experience in grades pre-K to 12, and completion of at least 30 semester hours in educational administration.

Under the leadership of its principal, Tucson high school received a $5,000 grant and recognition as a 2010 Breakthrough School by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and MetLife. The Breakthrough Schools project showcases middle level and high schools that serve large numbers of students who are living in poverty and dramatically improve student achievement.

Salaries for assistant principals range from $60,000 to $64,000 in a middle school. A preschool director in Arizona needs a valid Arizona Teacher Certificate and Administrative Certificate. Early Childhood Certification is also required, and Special Education Certification is preferred. The starting salary is $34,478.

An area director hired to manage tutoring programs in multiple districts must have a bachelor's degree, teaching experience, and an administration or human resource background. The starting salary ranges from $36,000 to $40,000.

Educational Technology Intersects with Curriculum and Instruction in Arizona Schools

Arizona has an e-learning task force as well as state standards for technology education. The state has a number of teaching positions in educational technology. Technology integration specialists, for example, coordinate the integration of technology into the curriculum. Elementary technology teachers introduce technology into primary school education. They instruct students in computer use and develop computer curriculum for primary schools.

In response to concerns about a pandemic, the Arizona Department of Education is developing an eight-week pandemic curriculum for students in kindergarten and each grade through grade 12 to keep students involved in learning if schools close for a long period of time. The curriculum will focus on language arts and math, combined with social studies and science. It will be standards based and emphasize concepts that are difficult for students to master.

Teacher's Aides

As in all states, paraprofessionals (teacher's aides, classroom assistants, teacher's assistants, and similar) in Arizona who work in Title I programs under No Child Left Behind legislation must have completed 60 college credits at a regionally accredited school of higher education, have at least an associate's degree, and pass a formal state assessment.

Arizona's "Grow Your Own" Paraprofessional Program targets highly qualified paraprofessionals to transition into teaching. To be eligible, teacher's aides, instructional assistants, and other education paraprofessionals must have 60 credits of higher education, an associate's degree, or a passing grade on a standardized exam. They must be full-time school district employees and have the recommendation of their schools. Participants must enroll in a bachelor's-level teacher training program and maintain a 2.5 GPA. They do not have to repay funding for the program if they work in a high-needs district for three years after becoming certified.

Openings for classroom assistants in Arizona are posted at $12.50 to $16.00 an hour.

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