SB1042 and Its Impact on Lifelong Learning

By Brandon Juarez, MEd
Assistant Professor, College of Education

Posted on May 18, 2017  in  [ Teaching & School Administration ]

Recently, in an attempt to attract more individuals from diverse fields into the teaching profession and to keep them teaching, Arizona legislators passed SB1042. Among other things, the bill extends the years between recertification from six years to 12 years and reduces the required number of continuing education units (CEUs) to 90 hours.

But, is this really what is best for the teachers and subsequently for our students?

I, for one, am a firm believer that being a lifelong learner is a central attribute that undergirds our profession. John Dewey once said if we attempt to teach our students the way we were taught, we are robbing them of their future. Continuous, research-based professional development is vital to the wellbeing of students.

More is caught than taught. On several occasions I remember my classroom teachers sharing personal stories of their learning process with my classmates and me. Their demonstration of lifelong learning was sowed into me through their actions, not their words.

Although doubling the years between recertification may sound like a great idea above the surface, below the surface is the intangible absence of educators’ continuous growth and academic advancement. It is alarming that educators can go over a decade before being required to obtain the equivalent of two college courses to keep their certification current.

If Arizonians want what is best for their students, we must encourage and provide opportunities for educators to constantly be learning and applying the most current best practices. Our students depend on it.

Grand Canyon University’s College of Education is founded on the pillars of learning, leading and serving. Find out more by visiting our website or contacting us by clicking the Request More Information button at the top of the page.

More about Brandon: 

Brandon began his journey in education as a coach, teacher and athletic director in a Phoenix K-8 school, serving primarily in the middle school segment of the school. Brandon began his position at Grand Canyon University as full-time online faculty in August 2012 and expanded to the College of Education as an adjunct faculty on GCU’s main campus in the spring 2014. He received a promotion to manage a College of Education full-time online faculty team in April 2013. He now serves as an assistant professor at GCU. In his spare time, he enjoys spending outdoor time with his wife and two children.

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