The Bilingual Education Student Organization hosted several guest speakers that provided information about teaching resources and networking opportunities on Thursday.
The speakers at Dan Waggoner Hall included Jan L. Miller, director of Law Related Education for the State Bar of Texas, and Elizabeth De La Garza, TxDOT Grant Administrator for the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center.
Miller and De La Garza shared classroom insight, handed out a plethora of teaching tools and resources, while providing info about networking after driving up from Austin.
Miller said she and De La Garza frequently travel all over Texas speaking, teaching, and providing resources and networking opportunities for college students studying education.
“Whatever resources we can give to help them, ‘cause God bless them, I remember my first year teaching, it was horrible! ” Miller said.
De La Garza, who taught education for 32 years, discussed two key elements every new teacher needs.
“Every new teacher needs, a, a good mentor; and, b, the resources to lean on to be able to do the job right,” De La Garza said.
The two women provided exercise activities for students to participate in throughout their presentation.
“We don’t usually have stuff like this, and these were just amazing activities and resources,” said Guadalupe Sanchez, junior EC-6 bilingual major. “It’s really hard to find a way to teach social studies, and I feel like these tools make it a lot easier.”
Liseth Samano, junior EC-6 bilingual major said this was her third BESO meeting.
“This was awesome, so much useful information and resources,” Samano said. “I really loved the A-Z book activity that we did because I feel like going through school a lot of the events that happened in history feel like fragments, and this book just brought it all together in a story that makes sense.”
The goal of these resources is to refine what educators call TEKS, which stands for Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, De La Garza said.
“It is the framework for which we are supposed to have the kids competent in before they leave our classrooms,” she said.
Esther Garza, associate professor for the School of Education, said, “We teach content methodology for our teachers, and our collaboration is to provide and enhance that content methodology instruction through the use of these different resources.”
BESO President Dulce Munoz said she enjoyed seeing how real-life situations can be integrated into classroom teaching methods.
“It shocked me how the everyday activities that we do can be utilized as an example to teach social studies in the classroom, all while still covering social study TEKS!” she said.