TMC welcomes newest teacher in business-education partnership

BethanyAs a teacher of high school anatomy and physiology, Bethany Thiele will absolutely know you are talking about a bone, and not necessarily something funny, if you mention “humerus.”

So when she learned that Tucson Medical Center was participating in Teachers in Industry, she jumped at the chance to find meaningful summer work that will enhance her teaching.

The program allows businesses to gain new perspectives by employing teachers over the summer, while allowing teachers an inside look into how to shape their classes to make sure they’re responding to industry demands of current and future workers. More than 160 teachers – who collectively influence more than 20,000 students each year – have so far gained industry experience.

The fourth-year teacher at one point was so interested in anatomy that she thought she might be a doctor or a physical therapist.

But as a counselor at an academic summer camp each year throughout college, Thiele began thinking there might be a way to teach students about health in a more proactive way. Many of the other camp counselors were teachers. “I saw how they were able to work with young people and make learning fun, and so teaching was the path I chose.”

Thiele said the best part about teaching – and also the hardest – is the end of the year. “It’s so exciting to look back at the progress your students have made, but it’s also hard. I teach seniors, so we develop strong relationships through the year and then I send them off into the world, which is a very bittersweet experience.”

The Tucson native will be assigned to TMC Pharmacy over the summer. She already teaches students about how different chemicals work in the body and medical interventions that can help bring the body back into balance.

And now she can talk shop at home with the hubby, who is in nursing school himself and poised to graduate in August. The two play soccer and go rock climbing and are training for El Tour de Tucson this year – all of which is also a great fit for TMC’s approach to helping build community wellness and promote active lifestyles.

“With most summer jobs, it’s just a way to supplement your income. But I have a chance to do something this year that I can use to become a better teacher.”

The program was established in 2009 in part by the University of Arizona College of Education and Tucson Values Teacher. It is geared to teachers of math, science, engineering and technology. TMC has participated for four years.

“TMC, like others in the health care industry, relies heavily on skilled workers,” said Alex Horvath, TMC’s chief human resources officer.

“We’re looking forward to Bethany’s role as a contributing member of the team, but also interested to see how this experience translates into what she brings into the classroom as she trains tomorrow’s workforce.”

To learn more about why nearly 60 local businesses are investing in the program, which has so far provided industry experience to more than 100 teachers, visit Teachers in Industry.


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Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461
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