The Phoenix metropolitan area (also known as the Valley of the Sun or, simply, the Valley) is made up of many small districts and charter schools. While most cities of a similar size have a unified school system where all of the schools within the city are governed by a singular superintendent and school board, the Phoenix metropolitan area has more than 50 individual school districts and several dozen charter schools. Our school district and charter school partners are located in the rapidly growing communities of Glendale and Avondale on the western edge of Phoenix, central city neighborhoods, and Mesa in the East Valley.
Schools in the Valley are quite unique. Most schools start the first day of school in late July and all start classes well before Labor Day. With this early start, corps members have a one to two week break in October and March and two weeks in December. The school year ends anywhere from late May to late June.
Many of our schools are not set up in a traditional elementary and middle school arrangement. Several of our schools house Kindergarten through 8th grade on a single campus. We also have some union high school districts that include several high schools governed by the same superintendent. Finally, because of the beautiful, year-round Phoenix weather, many of our schools have an outdoor campus where your classroom door opens to sunshine and views of the mountains.
Unless you already have a valid teaching certificate, you will apply for the Arizona Intern Teaching Certificate. There are five requirements needed to apply for this certificate*:
*The costs for these requirements, not including certification program enrollment, range from $497-$627.
Yes. Unless you have a valid teaching certificate, corps members must enroll in either Arizona State University’s InMAC program (Master’s + certificate) or Rio Salado College’s Teacher In Residence program (certificate only).
Yes, you will receive full salary and benefits.
Yes, Teach For America—Phoenix partners with Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teacher’s College to give corps members the opportunity to work towards a Master’s degree during their time in the corps. Through this partnership, Phoenix corps members can enroll in the Mary Lou Fulton Teacher’s College InMAC program, take in-person classes once a week, and receive in-state tuition.
*In-state tuition costs approximately $25,000 for the two year program. Corps members can apply their AmeriCorps grant (~$11,000) to this tuition.
**ASU InMAC program requires a minimum 3.0 GPA for admission
Yes, corps members can choose to enroll in a certification-only program through the Rio Salado College Teacher In-Residence (TIR) program. The TIR program allows corps members to work at their own pace, through online classes towards full certification.
*Tuition for Rio Salado costs approximately $5,500 for the two year program. Corps members can apply their AmeriCorps grant (~$11,000) to this tuition.
Downtown Phoenix is home to many high-rises, businesses, art museums and it is where the Phoenix Suns and the Arizona Diamondbacks play. ASU’s Downtown Campus has revitalized the downtown Phoenix scene with hip restaurants and fun events. The Central Corridor contains a combination of local businesses, locally owned restaurants, mom-and-pop stores and coffee shops, this area offers both historic neighborhoods and apartment living where a range of socioeconomic levels exist.
Stretching out to include the suburbs of Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler and Tempe, the East Valley is quickly expanding. Mesa, is the third-largest city in Arizona and offers a dynamic educational, recreational and business environments. Tempe is the home of Arizona State University’s flagship campus and has a fun, college-town atmosphere.
Home to a very rapidly growing population, the West Valley is home to the communities of Glendale, Avondale, and Tolleson. Glendale is home to the Arizona Cardinals Stadium and a vibrant Main Street. While the economy has eased new construction, rural areas on the far western fringes have transformed into new urban communities and housing developments.
South Phoenix is home to a diverse neighborhood of lively restaurants and community groups. Original farmland property still remains in this area, which includes some of Phoenix’s oldest neighborhoods.
HEROES (Helping Educators Revive Our Economic Success) For Students program, founded by Richie Ressel (Phoenix ‘10) and Chris Reina, serves to connect K-12 teachers to guest speakers in the community, from a variety of professions and fields, who can help make the material students are learning applicable to the real world. Through the program, students are exposed to diverse professions and engage in learning relevant to their futures, helping them picture what career they might like to have or field they might want to enter.
HEROES For Students started as Mr. Ressel’s vision for his students as a teacher. He was inspired to connect his students with professionals in the community to engage them in what they are learning and empower them to have big dreams. Mr. Ressel’s vision has grown into a program that serves K-12 students in communities across the Valley.
Over the summer of 2015, HEROES For Students put together an amazing community event in partnership with the Roosevelt School District and Teach For America.
If you would like to see how you can get involved, please visit heroesforstudents.org.