The Texas A&M University-Commerce campus bustled with aspiring young educators recently when the university hosted more than 600 high school students for the Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE) Area 11 conference on Nov. 5.
Established in 1984, TAFE is a co-curricular statewide organization that provides students with an opportunity to explore the teaching profession and make informed decisions about pursuing a career in education.
Conference attendees packed the Ferguson Social Sciences Auditorium for a welcome message from A&M-Commerce President Mark Rudin, Provost John Humphries and Dean Kimberly McLeod with the College of Education and Human Services.
McLeod described the event as a great success.
“There is no greater honor than providing support, encouragement and inspiration for the next group of leaders tasked with teaching, growing and training our nation,” McLeod said. “I'm proud to say that A&M-Commerce continues to provide fertile ground to cultivate the next crop of teacher leaders for the state of Texas and beyond.”
Students participated in various competitions and breakout sessions throughout the day in Rayburn Student Center and Sowers Education South. The future college students also attended a session called, “What I Wish I Knew,” where they received advice from a panel of current A&M-Commerce students.
A&M-Commerce began its local TAFE chapter earlier this year under the leadership of Dr. Carol Revelle, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction at A&M-Commerce.
Revelle reports that three members of the A&M-Commerce TAFE chapter won two events at the conference and will advance to state competition in March 2022. Chapter President Caitlynn Moniz and Cayce Parris qualified in the children's literature category. Moniz and Erin Bankston qualified in the educational leadership fundamentals test.
“We were honored to host this conference during our first year as an organization, and we are excitedly preparing our three local TAFE students to attend our first state competition,” Revelle said. “We are eager to demonstrate that education programs at A&M-Commerce train the best teachers in the state of Texas!”