The Woman Behind It All: Mrs. Stedman


Gabriella Gallardo, Reporter

Not sure what elective to take? You should consider taking AVID.  AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a college prep class you can take here at Sahuaro for elective credit.  Mrs. Stedman is Sahuaro’s current AVID teacher and she says in AVID you’ll learn all the main things you’ll need for college like “writing, inquiry (which is knowing which questions to ask and making sure that you’re asking specific questions), collaboration (which is considered teamwork), and organization is the number one thing they teach and how to balance your time. The last one is reading – if you’re below in reading they try to help you have more comprehension.” They also have group norms “a, e, i, o, y and sometimes y” (a)sk questions, (e)engage fully in the learning process, (i)ntegerate new information, (o)pen your minds to diverse views, (u)tilize what you learn, monitor (y)our devices.

They use and learn strategies specifically for AVID. In note-taking they teach you to underline, circle, highlight, write in the margins. In class, they do tutorial request forms (TRF) where you present your problems and the group helps you solve them, step by step. They have field trips to different places depending on the grade the students are in. An example of some of the field trips they go on is to colleges. Mrs. Stedman said, “Freshmen usually go to the U of A, sophomores usually go to ASU, and NAU is more for the kids that will be offered that scholarship because a lot of them are in the merit scholarship and it’s best if they see the campus and talk with them in person because it’s so far away.”

A little bit more about Mrs. Stedman is that she’s been working as an AVID teacher at Sahuaro for 3 years but before that she worked here as an algebra 1 teacher for 5 years. She encourages all students to join AVID, even if they aren’t considering going to college. “It teaches you life skills regardless, you’re still going to need to be organized to work a job, you’re going to have to balance your work time with your personal time.” Mrs. Stedman says they talk a lot about “self care, mental health, and depression because that’s what affects high schoolers the most.