The Laredo Independent School District and TAMIU have joined forces to address the current teacher shortage in the state by hosting the Future Teachers of LISD Seminar. The seminar was an innovative way to increase interest and awareness amongst LISD seventh and eighth grade students to pursue a Career, Technical, Education (CTE) future teacher pathway and to increase the number of teacher candidates prepared to enter the profession as early as possible.
Over 100 students from Lamar, Christen, Cigarroa, and Memorial Middle School visited the TAMIU campus where they were able to network with TAMIU College of Education faculty, TAMIU student representatives of the Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE), their peers, and student representatives in the pre-education program from Garcia Early College High School and Nixon High School. The future educators also participated in a panel discussion and a TAMIU TAFE Camp that provided them with hands-on learning activities focused on exposing them to the teaching field.
The students were welcomed by members of the TAMIU College of Education Faculty, and staff from LISD’s College, Career, and Military Readiness Department.
“We want to establish a strong and diverse pipeline of teachers for LISD,” said Cindy Dominquez LISD College, Career and Military Readiness Coordinator. “At LISD we believe in the "Grow Your Own" concept as it not only helps our students grow to become leading instructors in our district, but there is a genuine understanding of the needs of our students as they walk through our halls and sit in our classrooms. What better teachers than those who were once our students.”
As part of the Seminar the middle school students joined in a panel discussion with their peers from the Garcia Early College High School Pre-Education Program, Nixon High School BIPS Program, and TAMIU Education TAFE student representatives.
Some of the questions asked by the middle school students were about salaries, how long does it take to get your teaching certificate, and why and when did you decide to become a teacher.
“I’m following the teaching pathway because I want to help out little kids,” said Yajaira Molina, GECHS Pre-Education student. “If you know in your heart that you like to help people, becoming a teacher is a great idea. You get to interact with the kids and give them advise that you hope your teacher would give you. You can help them out in many different ways by giving them advise about education, life, or career choices.”
The pre-education students talked about the experience they have gained while in the program. They spoke about their internships, working on bulletin boards, classroom observations, assisting teacher aides, and creating lesson plans.
“Our goal here today was to introduce LISD seventh and eighth graders to education and a potential career in teaching,” Dr. Christian Faltis, TAMIU Department Chair for Education at TAMIU. “We really want to make the students that came here today feel comfortable with the campus. We hope this increases their awareness about the opportunities available to them in the education field and that this might be a place they can come in hopes that they pursue an education degree and become a teacher.”
The seminar also offered the students some hands-on activities that showed what TAMIU students in the teacher education program are learning about education as a career.
The Teaching and Training Program at Garcia Early College and Nixon High School BIPS Academy allows students in the pre-education field to get up to 60 college hours from TAMIU or an Associate’s degree from Laredo College.
TAMIU will follow these students throughout high school to keep them interested and involved in the Education/Teaching career pathway. The student will likely be geared into the LISD Dual Enrollment Program.
LISD will be hosting its annual Specialty Schools Open House at each campus for eighth grade students and their parents on Saturday, November 5, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The six specialty schools will open their doors to the community and invite 8th grade students to tour the campus and apply for admission for the 2023-2024 school year.
For more information, please contact LISD College, Career and Military Readiness Coordinators, Cindy Dominguez at 956-273-1864 or Mayra Garcia at 956-273-1863.