CHALLENGES ARE MANY
November 17, 2006
Author: Laura Houston, The Arizona Republic Estimated printed pages: 2
REWARDS GREAT FOR NEW TEACHER
Before Joel Wisser even walks through the door of his second-grade classroom at
Sunset Vista Elementary on Monday mornings, he knows it's going to be a long
It's his first year teaching, and Wisser easily can bank on a 60-hour workweek,
thanks to staff development, parent-teacher conferences, training and class prep
work. Oh, and teaching.
Orientation to this Michigan native's first teaching job was exhaustive. The
week before school started, Wisser sat through one meeting after another,
ranging in such colorful topics as insurance and classroom management.
When Wisser is in front of his second-graders, he's teaching to the individual.
Most of his students are English language learners. A couple don't speak a word
Already this semester, two teachers quit their jobs at Wisser's school. The job
wasn't what they thought it would be, Wisser said.
That's what worries Glendale Elementary School District Superintendent Perry
In his 16-square-mile district, most teachers have been around for three years
More than 60 percent come from out-of-state. They've got to pay for and meet
in-state certification requirements and pursue advanced degrees to qualify
themselves for pay raises.
They must go to weekend classes on "structured English immersion."
"Teachers are pushed to the max. They're pushed to the max 12 months out of the
year," Hill said.
Despite the struggle, Wisser knows he is where he wants to be.
"I've done a lot of different jobs, from retail to warehouse work," he said.
"Even the long days here, the kids give you hugs on the way out the door.
It's a lot of fun."
Section: Phoenix Community North
Copyright (c) The Arizona Republic. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the
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Record Number: pho157980733