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Educators Rising Arizona

Airdate: February 23, 2017
Educators Rising Arizona guides young people on a path to become teachers by talking to them about the profession starting in high school. Lennon Audrain, state president for Educators Rising Arizona talks about the organization.

Guests:
  • Lennon Audrain - Educators Rising Arizona state president
Category: Education

Keywords: education, high school, college,

View Transcript
JOSE: EDUCATORS RISING ARIZONA GUIDES YOUNG PEOPLE ON A PATH TO BECOME TEACHERS BY TALKING TO THEM ABOUT THE PROFESSION STARTING IN HIGH SCHOOL. JOINING ME TO DISCUSS THE PROGRAM IS LENNON AUDRAIN, STATE PRESIDENT FOR EDUCATORS RISING ARIZONA THAT'S OUR SHOW FOR THIS WE HAVE A FEW -- WE HAVE A FEW PICTURES UP ON THE SCREEN AND WE WILL TALK ABOUT THEM AS THEY COME UP. TELL US ABOUT WHAT EDUCATORS RISING IS?

LENNON AUDRAIN: IT IS THE FUTURE ADVOCATING ASSOCIATION. THIS IS THE SECOND YEAR WITH THE NEW NAME AND MISSION. OUR GOAL OF EDUCATORS RISING IS STARTING TO REACH STUDENTS IN HIGH SCHOOL. WE WANT TO SET STUDENTS UP FOR SUCCESS AND ON THE PATH OF BECOMING QUALIFIED TEACHERS WITH TEACHING UNDER THEIR BELT WHEN THEY WALK INTO THEIR FIRST YEAR OF COLLEGE ALL THE WAY SUPPORTING THEM INTO FIRST YEAR OF THE PROFESSION.

JOSE: IT HAS A MUCH DIFFERENT FOCUS BUT IT IS PATTERED AFTER ORGANIZATIONS LIKE FUTURE FARMERS OF AMERICA.

LENNON AUDRAIN: ABSOLUTELY.

JOSE: WE HAD PICTURES UP THERE AND ONE OF THE SLOGANS UP THERE WAS KEEP CALM, JUST TEACH. WHAT IS THAT ABOUT?

LENNON AUDRAIN: SOMETIMES THE TEACHING PROFESSION SEEMS CRAZY WITH A MILLION AND ONE THINGS GOING ON ALL THE TIME. WE WANT TO KEEP THE MISSION OF EDUCATORS RISING AND THAT IS OUR THEME. KEEP CALM, JUST TEACH. THERE IS POWER IN TEACHING. TEACHING IS MY SUPERPOWER WHAT IS YOURS? THOSE ARE A COUPLE FROM THE PAST.

JOSE: PEOPLE WHO ARE MEMBERS OF EDUCATORS RISING TAKE CLASSES AND GET CREDIT?

LENNON AUDRAIN: THEY DO. IN HIGH SCHOOLS ACROSS ARIZONA, CTE IS A REQUIREMENT. EDUCATORS RISING IS THE ORGANIZATIONAL COMPONENT TO EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION CLASSES AND EDUCATION PROFESSION CLASSES. EARLY CHILDHOOD FOCUSES ON BIRTH TO EIGHT. LEARNING HOW TO HELP STUDENTS DEVELOP THOSE REALLY NECESSARY DOMAIN DEVELOPMENTS OF LANGUAGE ACQUISITION. EDUCATION PROFESSIONS IS FOCUSING ON LEARNING HOW TO WRITE OBJECTIVES, DEAL WITH STUDENTS, CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT. TOOLS YOU WOULD START LEARNING IN COLLEGE BUT WE ARE TEACHING IN HIGH SCHOOL.

JOSE: HOW MANY ARIZONA HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ARE MEMBERS?

LENNON AUDRAIN: WE HAVE ABOUT 1400.

JOSE: IS THAT AN INCREASE OR DECREASE?

LENNON AUDRAIN: IT IS ABSOLUTELY AN INCREASE. WE ARE A FAIRLY NEW ORGANIZATIONS COMPARED TO FUTURE FARMERS OF AMERICA AND SUCH.

JOSE: MOST OF THE ARTICLES ON TEACHING IS HOW DIFFICULT IT IS, HOW LOW OF PAY IT IS. ARIZONA COMPARED IT OTHER STATES THEY SAY DOESN'T TREAT OUR TEACHERS WELL. WHY ARE STUDENTS SO INTERESTED IN BECOMING TEACHERS?

LENNON AUDRAIN: I THINK IT IS THE HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE THEY ARE GETTING. TEACHING SEEMS LIKE A PROFESSION THAT DOES REQUIRE A LOT OF TIME, IT DOESN'T PAY VERY WELL AND WE WOULD LOVE TO SEE A PAY INCREASE FROM OUR LEGISLATURES AND WORKING AROUND THAT. IT IS ONE THAT IS CHALLENGING AND YOU NEED TO WALK IN WITH A CERTAIN MINDSET. IT OFFERS LEARNING HANDS-ON IN HIGH SCHOOL. SOMETIMES THEY CAN EVEN TEACH LESSONS THAT HELP THEM FIND THEIR PASSION FOR TEACHING. HELP THEM TO CULTIVATE THIS REALLY RICH SENSE OF I FEEL MORE ACCOMPLISHED ABOUT TEACHING BECAUSE I AM HAVING HANDS ON EXPERIENCE AND DESPITE THE SETBACKS MAYBE THE TEACHER PAY AND THE LONG HOURS I THINK THIS IS MY PASSION BECAUSE I HAVE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY.

JOSE: THERE ARE COMPETITIONS INVOLVED?

LENNON AUDRAIN: THERE ARE RANGING FROM CREATIVE LECTURES MODELED AFTER TED TALKS. ONE LAST YEAR WAS STUDENTS VOICE AND PRESENTED MINE AT THE CLOSING COMPETITION. THEY CAN RANGE FROM, YOU KNOW, CREATIVE LECTURES PRESENTING ABOUT ISSUES WITHIN EDUCATION ALL THE WAY TO DELIVERING A LESSON PLAN IN FRONT OF THE CLASS, REVIEWING IT, WATCHING IT AND GOING TO PRESENT TO A JUDGE AND COMPARING IT TO OTHER STUDENTS ACROSS THE STATE. OUR GOAL IS TO HELP DEVELOP BEST TEACHING PRACTICES WITH STUDENTS.

JOSE: I UNDERSTAND YOU HAVE A STATE-WIDE CONFERENCE COMING UP IN APRIL?

LENNON AUDRAIN: IT IS ABOUT THE SECOND WEEK IN APRIL. THAT IS WHERE STUDENTS FROM ALL ACROSS THE STATES OF ARIZONA COME TO MEET AND COMPETE IN THE COMPETITIONS, GET PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND HEAR FROM KEYNOTE SPEAKERS. IT IS A THREE-DAY EVENT IN TUCSON.

JOSE: THAT IS A COMPONENT OF THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION? THEY CAN GO ON TO FURTHER COMPETITION?

LENNON AUDRAIN: THEY CAN. THE NATIONAL COMPETITIONS ARE GOING TO BE HOSTED IN DOWNTOWN PHOENIX. ANYONE WHO PLACES IN THE TOP FIVE OF OUR STATE LEVEL OF OUR NATIONAL LEVEL COMPETITION RATHER HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO GO COMPETE AGAINST MEMBERS OF ALL ACROSS THE NATION IN WHATEVER RESPECTIVE COMPETITION.

JOSE: YOU ARE A SENIOR AT BROPHY?

LENNON AUDRAIN: YES.

JOSE: AND ON YOUR WAY TO ASU NEXT YEAR AND YOU WILL BE A JUNIOR AND WANT TO BE A TEACHER? WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS?

LENNON AUDRAIN: I WOULD LOVE TO TEACH LATIN. I KNOW THAT IS A WEIRD TOPIC. I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO WORK IN EDUCATION RESEARCH SO LOOKING AT BEST TEACHING PRACTICES, INSTRUCTIONAL APPROACHES, HOW DO WE MAKE TEACHERS GREAT AND WHAT TOOLS CAN WE GIVE THEM TO EMPOWER CHANGE IN THE CLASSROOM.

JOSE: I THINK YOU ARE OFF TO GREAT START. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US TO TALK ABOUT THE PROGRAM AND YOUR INTERESTS. THANK YOU.