PRIMARY SOURCES Third Edition

America’s Teachers on Teaching in an Era of Change

A project of Scholastic and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Arizona

Arizona Teachers Bring Passion and Commitment to Their Challenging Work

Nearly every Arizona teacher (99%) agrees that teaching is more than a profession; it is how they make a difference in the world. This sentiment is reflected in their reasons for becoming a teacher, which include the following:

Far fewer Arizona teachers say they chose their career for reasons unrelated to students or the love of learning—for example, to have summers off (13%).

Nearly all Arizona teachers (99%) see their roles extending beyond academics to include things like reinforcing good citizenship, building resilience and developing social skills.

Still, Arizona teachers acknowledge many challenges in their profession.

Complex classroom dynamics also add to the challenges in Arizona’s classrooms, and teachers are working with students of varied learning levels and characteristics.

Notably, 87% of Arizona teachers agree that the rewards of teaching outweigh the challenges. Further, the majority of Arizona teachers feel gratified by their careers, with a full 87% saying they are either satisfied (57%) or very satisfied (30%) in their profession.

National data reveal teachers overall are more likely to say they are very satisfied in their jobs when they feel the voices of teachers like them are heard. In Arizona, a strong majority of teachers (75%) feel their voices are heard in the schools where they teach. That perception changes, however, the further away teachers get from their school. Far fewer Arizona teachers feel heard at the district level (33%), and fewer still at either the state or national level (4%). This pattern is consistent across all states. The Primary Sources study is one part of the solution to this challenge as it widely shares the views of teachers in Arizona on the most pressing issues facing education today.