Teaching Profession Video

Former Student Becomes a Colleague to Arizona Teacher: ‘It Has Come Full Circle’

By Catriona Ni Aolain — March 06, 2024 1 min read
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As part of Education Week’s new project, The State of Teaching, educators from around the country share the most rewarding and challenging parts of their lives as teachers.

Efrain Casillas is the music teacher and band director for 5th through 8th grade students at two schools in the Tolleson Elementary school district in Arizona. He sees music as a huge part of society, and throughout his 25 years of teaching has used music to create connection where there were gaps in the community.

But few things have brought him as much joy as seeing a former student who’d been one of his top saxophone players return to the district as a teacher.

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