School districts searching for teachers across the world - Tucson News Now

School districts searching for teachers across the world

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A problem often heard when it comes to the discussion of schools in Arizona, is the lack of teachers.

Districts, across the U.S. and here in Arizona, are finding an alternative to solving that problem- reaching out to other countries. Some districts are doing so through the J-1 visa program which is designed to offer cultural and educational exchange opportunities.

One woman, who is a French and Spanish teacher at Amphi High School, came to the U.S. 20 years ago on the J-1 visa. Clara Estey has been teaching at Amphi for the past 11 years.

She originally came the U.S. as part of a program to better learn English while also teaching French, her native language, down in Nogales. Her plan was to better learn English so that she could become a flight attendant, but she caught the teaching bug. Now a teacher for several decades Clara has taught all over southern Arizona. 

She wasn't surprised to hear that school districts are recruiting teachers from other countries with the current shortage. In fact, she'd heard about it before. 

"It's so, so hard to find teachers now here that I'm wondering if they're recruited there and they're offered the visa or if they're asking them to come here and then get the visa. I heard last year, two years ago I forget, that some districts in Tucson were recruiting in, I think it was Singapore. I forget but they were recruiting there," Estey says of what she's heard. 

In Arizona in 2017 there were 3,932 J-1 visa participants. 183 of them were teachers. That's an increase from the 166 J-1 visa participants that were teachers in Arizona in 2016. Clara sees value in that increase of international teachers coming to the U.S. 

"It's always nice to know a different culture. It's an enrichment really because when you go there you can talk about what you're doing here and when you're here you can talk about life there. It enriches you," she says. 

Arizona is not the only state where school districts are doing this. California, Florida, and Texas have school districts doing the same. And numbers are going up across the board for J-1 visas. According the state department in 2017 there were 2,867 J-1 visa applicants, as compared to the 1,197 in 2010. 

J-1 visas for teachers have caused some controversy though. The reason being that school districts are able to hire J-1 visa participants without offering them the perks of a regular teacher. With many teachers already being paid a low salary, some people are saying it's time to reconsider the terms of the J-1 visa. 

As for Clara, she says she enjoys teaching and loves working closely with her students. Teaching them language and culture makes her happy. 

Copyright 2018 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

  • Local newsMore>>

  • One killed in single-vehicle crash on Pima Street

    One killed in single-vehicle crash on Pima Street

    Monday, August 20 2018 2:16 PM EDT2018-08-20 18:16:02 GMT
    At least person was killed early Monday, Aug. 20 in a single-vehicle crash on Pima Street in Tucson. (Source: Tucson News Now)At least person was killed early Monday, Aug. 20 in a single-vehicle crash on Pima Street in Tucson. (Source: Tucson News Now)

    At least person was killed early Monday, Aug. 20 in a single-vehicle crash on Pima Street in Tucson.

    At least person was killed early Monday, Aug. 20 in a single-vehicle crash on Pima Street in Tucson.

  • Start of U of A semester a big day for freshman triplets

    Start of U of A semester a big day for freshman triplets

    Monday, August 20 2018 12:06 PM EDT2018-08-20 16:06:51 GMT

    Almost 8,000 new Wildcats are starting their college journey at the University of Arizona today. Of those nearly 8,000 new students from across the world, the start of college is an especially big day for three of them. Maddy, Jackie, and Nick Kislow are triplets from Santa Barbara, California. The three came into their college journey wanting a place with school spirit and social opportunities, and the biggest of them all, a place where they could all be individuals ...

    Almost 8,000 new Wildcats are starting their college journey at the University of Arizona today. Of those nearly 8,000 new students from across the world, the start of college is an especially big day for three of them. Maddy, Jackie, and Nick Kislow are triplets from Santa Barbara, California. The three came into their college journey wanting a place with school spirit a

  • Tucson family displaced after mobile home catches fire

    Tucson family displaced after mobile home catches fire

    Monday, August 20 2018 9:59 AM EDT2018-08-20 13:59:42 GMT
    (Source: Northwest Fire Department)(Source: Northwest Fire Department)
    (Source: Northwest Fire Department)(Source: Northwest Fire Department)
    A family was displaced from their home on Sunday night after a nearby travel trailer caught fire and spread to their mobile home. Northwest Fire crews responded to a mobile home fire at 10:40 Sunday night in the 5600 block of N La Cholla Boulevard. A travel trailer was completely destroyed and the fire extended to the nearby home, according to fire officials. Quick work by the crews saved the home but three people and two dogs were displaced. The Red Cross is currently assist...
    A family was displaced from their home on Sunday night after a nearby travel trailer caught fire and spread to their mobile home. Northwest Fire crews responded to a mobile home fire at 10:40 Sunday night in the 5600 block of N La Cholla Boulevard. A travel trailer was completely destroyed and the fire extended to the nearby home, according to fire officials. Quick work by the crews saved the home but three people and two dogs were displaced. The Red Cross is currently assist...
Powered by Frankly