Future teachers flock to T.A.F.E. program

Future teachers flock to T.A.F.E. program

By Kiahni Christmas

Not everyone has the skills and character required to teach children. For teens that would rather sit at the kid’s table during Thanksgiving than argue with adults about politics and religion, TAFE may be just what those students are looking for.


TAFE stands for Texas Association of Future Educators. It is an organization that ties in with the Practicum of Education training course, also known as Educators Rising for the affiliation toward national competition.


Students learn many things while being in TAFE, including how to lesson plan and how to apply TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) to their lesson plan. The students learn that not all children learn the same way. A large part of the program is visiting elementary schools to train with real teachers in the classroom. When students attend the schools, sometimes their teacher will have them work one-on-one with the students who need the most help.


“One example of the tutoring methods we use in second grade is we have the students read to us and if they cannot pronounce the words correctly, we have them sound it out slowly. If we are doing math we then use math blocks to help them visualize how to solve the problem. You really do see the difference you make in these children’s learning,” senior Naomi Silvia said.


Teaching young students takes a lot more time and patience to get the students to fully understand the concept.


“The first time we attend the schools, my students were reading below average, and struggling in math. We stayed in for P.E tutoring and by the end of the year, I could see the difference my students had gone through with my help.”


Students not only get to practice their skills in the classroom, they also get to demonstrate their learning in competitions. At the TAFE Regional Conference at UTEP last weekend, members of the program took first place in multiple competitive categories including, Children’s Literature K-3, Creative Lecture and Lesson Planning and Delivery.


“I’m having the second years (students) be a guide for the first years (students). We don’t want them to feel overwhelmed. We instead want them to feel confident and comfortable performing in front of judges,” Director Donna Sinaez said.


To become a member of TAFE, students must first take the child development class their sophomore year and then request the Practicum Of Education in Training course. This class does take up two periods of a student’s schedule.


“The class really is worth every minute. It doesn’t only teach you how to work well with kids, but it teaches you how to work well with other people,” TAFE president Elizabeth Torres said. “I walked into TAFE being shy and not really knowing anyone, but as the year progressed my classmates have become some of my best friends.”