About 100 high school students from seven area school districts will gather next week for the Texas Association of Future Educators Region III conference hosted by the University of Houston-Victoria School of Education & Human Development.
The event will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 9 in the Multi-Purpose Room of the UHV University Center, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St.
This is the fourth year UHV has hosted Region III of TAFE, a statewide organization that offers students the opportunity to explore the teaching profession. Region III is sponsored by Renae Tice, a teacher at Rice High School.
Before UHV’s involvement, Region III didn’t have a home for the conference. Now area high school students are able to interact with like-minded students, hear from keynote speakers, experience college life and participate in contests.
During his keynote address, Fred Litton, dean of the UHV School of Education & Human Development, will discuss why people become teachers.
“Teaching is more than just a job – it’s a calling,” he said. “Being a teacher means giving back to your community. It’s a noble profession that requires doing something for others. I want to make sure the next generation of teachers is aware of the impact they will have on their community.”
The conference also will include an address from Alejandro Argüello, the TAFE state program director.
One of the benefits of hosting the conference on a university campus is that students get to see what college is all about, said Sandy Hybner, senior recruitment manager for the UHV School of Education & Human Development.
“For some high school students, this is the first time they’re visiting a college campus,” she said “They get to interact and meet with UHV faculty and staff as well as experience what it’s like to go to college.”
Along with a campus tour, students will learn what it takes to be a successful college student. Billy Lagal, manager of the UHV Letting Education Achieve Dreams initiative and student recruitment, will talk to students about picking the right college, preparing for college, developing good study habits and budgeting money. He also will answer questions about college life.
The students will have the opportunity to test their teaching skills in three different contests. The speech contest gives students 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes to talk on the TAFE theme “Plant the Seeds for the Future.” The Count on Character book writing contest has students write and illustrate a story about a positive character trait of their choice. Once complete, they’ll present their story to the judges.Students who participate in the Education Leadership Fundamentals contest will take a 30-minute test on leadership theory and best practices related to the teacher certification exam.
UHV faculty and staff will serve as judges for the contests. Winners from the Region III contests will go on to compete in the statewide contests.
“The UHV School of Education & Human Development is honored to host these aspiring teachers at our campus each year,” Litton said. “It gives us the opportunity to reaffirm why we do what we do, which is teaching the next generation of educators.”