Life School preparing educators for the future

Daily Light Report

At a time when school districts across the country are facing shortages of teachers, one North Texas School is working to create a new generation of educators for the future.

Life High School Waxahachie is preparing teachers for tomorrow through its Education and Training Program of Study.

The Education and Training program, first adopted by Life School in 2016, creates a pathway to prepare students to become educators upon graduation. The program consists of four, year-long courses and is available to students beginning in their freshman year.

Pictured are Aryana Keathley and Katie Chester.

In the first two years of the program, students take Principles of Education and Human Growth and Development. Years three and four include practicum-based work in the classroom and students serve as teachers aides for neighboring Life School Elementary campuses.

Any students who complete course levels three and four are then eligible to receive their Teacher Aide certification, for which Life School pays, and are employable to any school district in Texas immediately upon high school graduation. Many will go on to receive their four-year degree and become certified teachers.

“Preparing students for Life is a critical part of Life School’s mission. By offering the Education in Training program, we are creating a clear career pathway to any student interested in pursuing education,” said Leigh Dopson, College, Career & Military Readiness (CCMR) manager for Life School.

For the first time in district history, Life High School Waxahachie (LHSW) started a Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE) chapter and took more than 20 students to regional competition. Seven of those students will go on to compete at the State competition in March.

The competition consists of various events including Impromptu Lesson Planning, Public Speaking, Humanities, Creative Lecture and more. Students who are advancing in one or more events are: Katie Chester, Breanna Guerrero, Aryana Keathley, Naila Munoz, Amonjae Sealey, Amber Scott and Iman Stanmore. Allison Alexander and Kaylea Brodin will compete again for an opportunity to advance to finals.

“These kids have worked so hard on these projects, and for some of them, this is the first time they have competed in a school event. To go in on our first year and have so many kids advance is insane, but we are just getting started. We have already started planning for next year,” said Taylor Jasper, the education and training teacher for Life High School Waxahachie.

The TAFE State Competition will be hosted March 3-5 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. Following state, students can advance to the national competition hosted in Washington, D.C.