Littleton Elementary School District welcomes 26 international teachers

Jamie Warren
3 Min Read

AVONDALE, AZ — As schools across Arizona work to fill an ongoing teacher shortage, the Littleton Elementary School District in Avondale is now turning international.

This is the district’s first year hiring 26 teachers from all over the world. They’re from places like Kenya, the Philippines, and Colombia.

At the district’s newly opened school, Lakin Prep Academy, there are now teachers from Spain.

RELATED: Littleton Elementary School District implements new plan to recruit more teachers

Carlos Martinez and Ana Salvador Roca are two of them.

“I wanted a new motivation, a new experience,” said Mr. Martinez.

The school is the first in the district to offer a dual language program, meaning the students are learning common subjects like math and science, but in Spanish. For many of the students, it’s their first time ever speaking the language.

Data from the RAND Corporation shows students in similar programs outperformed their peers on state tests. BusinessDIT reports fluency in a non-English language “increased average pay by 2%.”

The principal of Lakin Prep Academy, Nicole Durazo, says they worked with the Spanish Embassy to hire the teachers.

“We learn from them, they learn from us,” Durazo said.

She says the district doesn’t pay for their permanent housing, but they have made sure they have everything they need to succeed.

“We as Littleton provided temporary housing, we assisted with any transportation needs to get them in the right avenues, make sure they feel supportive, welcomed,” Durazo said.

The teachers say they do feel supported, even while 5,000 miles away from home.

“It’s strange to be abroad and feel at home,” said Miss Salvador. “It’s something that’s like, wow.”

“I love what I do for a living,” said Mr. Martinez. “If it wasn’t like that, I wasn’t smiling, I wouldn’t be here.”

The teachers say they signed up to teach abroad for the next three years, but they have year-by-year contracts with their specific schools.

Jamie Warren

2023-08-16 11:24:20 , Avondale News

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