The North Lamar chapter of Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE) attended the TAFE Teach Tomorrow Summit at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX. TAFE is a co-curricular and statewide student organization created to allow young men and women an opportunity to explore the teaching profession. Attendees to this three day conference included members of TAFE, which consisted of approximately 1,500 students, interested in becoming educators. The conference gave these students the opportunity to meet others from around the state with the same interest, gain an understanding of what it takes to be a successful college student, and learn the skills necessary for becoming a successful educator. The annual conference took place for the first time in TAFE's history at a university. Having the conference on a university campus opened up many more opportunities for the members.
This year's conference theme was "Teaching is Out of this World: It's a twirled world that will leave you swirled." The youth developed this theme to show others that teaching can be crazy, zany, fun, fun, fun!!!
TAFE's mission is to encourage students to learn about careers in education and assist them in exploring the teaching profession while promoting character, service, and leadership skills necessary for becoming effective educators. The meeting featured a series of breakout sessions and general sessions in which members had opportunities to develop skills for becoming effective educators.
While at the conference many of the members participated in competitive events. North Lamar’s Whitney Loftin and Andrea Minerd, accompanied by sponsor Frankie Jarrell, competed in the Bulletin Board competition. They advanced with the Gold Award from the Region 8 TAFE Conference. These competitive events are designed to offer future educators exciting, authentic opportunities to measure their creativity, skills, and initiative against high standards and their peers from across the state. There are 29 competitive events and 19 of those events advance to nationals. Those students who placed in the top 5 in each of the national events have the opportunity to go to the Future Educators Association (FEA) National Conference on April 23-25, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA., just outside Washington, D.C.
The first keynote speaker was Damen Lopez, founder of No Excuses University. Damen motivated and encouraged student to not let anything get in their way of attending college. The second keynote was from COMETRY. COMETRY used comedy and poetry to teach values associated with being the type of person or leader that others gravitate toward.
On Sunday, the 2015-2016 officer team was elected to continue the mission of TAFE and to inspire "The Hope for Tomorrow." Students leaving the conference should have a greater understanding of the education field, a clear vision of how to get into college to pursue their dreams, and knowledge of what it takes to be successful in college.