Posted Date: 01/20/2023
The United ISD Career and Technology Education (CTE) Department received a visit from out-of-state learning specialists wanting to know more about the district's long time efforts to inspire students to become future teachers. Scott Simpson and Sharla Steever, both former educators from South Dakota, are currently filmmakers and documentarians, and they consider the District's CTE Education and Training Program a model for other school districts to follow.
The film producers say that this method of teaching is impressive on many levels.
“I love how you’re getting them to start thinking about this (teaching) at the middle school level, that they start learning really young and by the time they graduate, they have all sorts of experiences in the classroom. What better way to be able to see yourself in the future as a teacher than to experience it as a student,” states Steever.
The filmmakers recently spent time at United South High School to interview students, teachers and CTE leaders about the teacher and TAFE (Texas Association of Future Educators) programs. The duo is from a group called TIE, Technology and Innovation in Education, and their specialty is telling successful stories about what they call "culture, climate and courage."
The researchers say the interviews at TAMIU and the district are revealing a caring community which is willing to help students overcome obstacles or “tripwires” with a strong support system.
“The way we do school (nationally) is too often designed to serve some students better than others. I don’t see that here, states Simpson. I see the way things are designed here, serving all the students really well; and any time that a student is struggling, someone is there to pick them up and say, ‘Here, let me help you.’ ”
The pair has been working with TAMIU on the topic of preparing students in the field of education and providing a support network to help them achieve their goals. They will present the research in states that can benefit from similar programs to help stem the national teacher shortage. You can also find some of their work on Bluedeerlearning.org where "Pathways for Future Teachers" is currently under construction.