LISD's TAFE Program Builds Next Generation of Teachers
Ready, set, TEACH!
Students at our five high schools have the opportunity to do just that thanks to Lewisville ISD’s outstanding education offerings. Between the Education and Coaching classes and Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE) organization, students who are interested in a career in teaching have the invaluable opportunity to learn the day-to-day of teaching before ever enrolling in college. A long legacy of LISD alumni have been shaped by these programs, many of whom have returned to the district they first called home.
The Education and Coaching class offered at LISD high schools allows students to learn the basics of teaching before observing and assisting teachers at our very own elementary schools. Many students in this program also choose to be in TAFE, a Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO), which allows students to participate in competitions outside of school. Events at TAFE competitions range from interactive bulletin boards to public speaking, teacher-created materials, impromptu lessons and more. The organization gives students the unique experience to start developing their teaching skills and connecting with other students interested in the same career field.
Kendahl Hall, TAFE sponsor at Marcus HS.
At Marcus High School the Education and Coaching and TAFE programs are taught by Marauder alumni Kendahl Hall. Hall discovered her passion for teaching high school-aged students when she herself was a part of Marcus’ Education and Coaching class. “I was placed in an elementary school, which I enjoyed, but I found out that I didn’t necessarily want to be in an elementary school,” she said. The realization helped her tailor her college courses accordingly, before graduating and returning to LISD. Ms. Hall’s story is an encouragement to her current students. “The biggest thing I like to tell them is that they can figure out now if they want to go down this career path before they get to college,” she said.
Claudia Bell, TAFE sponsor at Flower Mound HS.
Claudia Bell became the sponsor of Flower Mound High School’s TAFE program 14 years ago. In the years since, she has seen hundreds of her students thrive in the TAFE and Education and Coaching programs as they explore the field of education. And now, her students have become teachers themselves - some of them, right down the hallway. “A lot of [my students] do go on to be teachers,” Mrs. Bell said. “A former student of mine is actually two doors down, another former student is right down the hall. At one point I had three former students in my department at Flower Mound. It’s humbling, and I’m very proud of them.”
One of Mrs. Bell’s former students, Katie Nuzum, knew from an early age that education was the path for her. “I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. I even asked for an overhead projector from my parents,” she joked. During the Education and Coaching program Nuzum taught in a classroom at her former elementary school, Liberty Elementary, and the experience reaffirmed her desire to pursue a career in education. After college it was Nuzum’s dream to come back to Liberty, and the dream was made possible by a very special connection. “The teacher that I [was paired] with in my Education and Coaching class was actually moving to another role,” Nuzum explained. So Nuzum stepped into the same classroom she’d been in many times before - but this time as the teacher.
Samantha Dure, a 3rd grade teacher at Garden Ridge Elementary, was in both the Education and Coaching and TAFE programs at Flower Mound High School. She credited these experiences with giving her an advantage in college, when many of her peers had never been in a classroom. “It was nice to already have some of the [teaching] experiences,” she said. “Those were things [my college] was asking for us to have before we applied for the teaching program.” Once she graduated, her decision to come back to LISD was a simple one. “I know that LISD does things better than anybody else does,” she said of her decision.
Lauren Manness, another FMHS graduate, emphasized how the connections she made through TAFE and her work in Circle of Friends are still important in her day-to-day role. Maness now works as an elementary BIC teacher here in LISD, where she frequently partners with educators throughout the district to ensure students’ needs are being met. “It’s really interesting to see how there are so many people who are still in the district,” she said. “It makes it a lot easier, especially in this position where you’re having to work with so many other campuses, knowing all of these people from even when I was in high school…it’s really neat.”
Current TAFE students work on a project for upcoming competitions.
It’s safe to say that current TAFE students are encouraged by not just what they’re learning, but who they’re learning from. “It shows me that there’s so much passion that goes into [teaching],” current MHS junior Keyan said. “TAFE really gives you experience, and it helps you learn and grow.” MHS sophomore Alexa agreed with these remarks. “This really solidifies that I want to teach,” she said.
Thanks to the example set by teachers like Ms. Hall and Mrs. Bell, the next generation of educators are taking the first steps in their career paths. And maybe, those paths will lead them back to LISD.
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From the beginning, Lewisville Independent School District has committed to ensuring all students are confident, equipped with the knowledge and skills to thrive and adapt for their future. Follow Lewisville ISD on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to see more student experiences throughout the school year or visit Best Schools in Texas for more information about joining the LISD family.