Jane Apodaca, a teacher at Bellaire Elementary School, speaks as Tyra Reed, Charlesia Sheard and Mahogany Moore, all freshmen at Shoemaker High School, listen during a Texas Association of Future Educators club meeting Tuesday at Shoemaker High School in Killeen.
 
Brilina Bostic, a senior at Shoemaker High School, leads a Tuesday meeting of the Texas Association of Future Educators. Bostic revived the club this year to help students explore future careers as teachers.
Seniors Storm Tyler and Tim Domont listen during a Texas Association of Future Educators club meeting Tuesday at Shoemaker High School. Members of the club meet weekly to hear guest speakers, learn about the principles of teaching and study for the Education Leadership Fundamentals test — a competitive test members take at regional and state competitions.

Club at Shoemaker High School connects students with future career path

By Rose L. Thayer

Killeen Daily Herald

Every Tuesday afternoon, Brilina Bostic stands before her peers to address official club business for the Shoemaker High School chapter of the Texas Association of Future Educators.

The campus had a chapter last year, but it wasn’t very active, so Bostic, a senior, pushed to make the group more involved.

“Teaching is my passion in life,” she said.

By activating the chapter, she knew she could improve her craft and help others do the same. Members of the club meet weekly to hear guest speakers, learn about the principles of teaching and study for the Education Leadership Fundamentals test — a competitive test members take at regional and state competitions.

On Tuesday, Bostic went over the details of their upcoming state conference in San Antonio in February and the club’s plans for Counselor Appreciation Day.

The nearly 15 students chimed in, voicing their opinions and asking questions.

The meeting closed with guest speaker Jane Apodaca, a fourth-grade science teacher at Bellaire Elementary School, who shared her call to become a teacher.

“It’s not about the paycheck or the summers off, it’s about the kids,” she said.

Apodaca said she reached out to speak to the students after reading about Shoemaker’s teaching program, which allows students to try student teaching at Iduma Elementary School.

“I didn’t know how much I loved kids until I got my own classroom,” said Bostic, who plans to attend Texas A&M University-Central Texas and major in education. After teaching for a few years, she hopes to become an elementary or high school counselor.

Interested in teaching

Tina Tamplen, the club’s sponsor, said only a handful of the members are in the program and the rest are just interested in teaching.

“A part of the educator training program is to encourage young people to be involved in student organizations,” she said. Her idea was to incorporate the Texas Association of Future Educators into her classroom, but club members wanted to open it to the entire school.

“This program is wonderful,” said Apodaca. “It’s great to get a taste of what teaching is like.”

At the end of her talk, Apodaca asked the students questions about what they encountered at Iduma.

“Working with the kids now makes me have that drive to pursue that teaching career that I want,” said Jayna Pengelinan, a junior.

This is Pengelinan’s first year in the club and she’s taking Tamplen’s introduction to teaching class.

“I’ve really enjoyed learning about the baby steps to teaching,” she said. “I’ve gotten to tutor (students). … I really enjoy helping them with what they need to know.”

After graduation, she wants to become a third-grade teacher.

“(Texas Association of Future Educators) really is a good program to be in if you want to pursue a teaching career,” said Pengelinan. “It gives you the experience you need to jump start that career.”

Pengelinan plans to stay in the teaching program, even after she moves from Shoemaker to the new Career Center, where students from all Killeen high schools will be able to participate in the program.

Tamplen, who was named Shoemaker’s Teacher of the Year, will move as well, and while she’s not sure what the club’s future at Shoemaker will look like, she said she is dedicated to doing whatever it takes to keep the students involved and interested.

“It gives them an upper hand,” she said. “Those, if they plan their schedule accordingly, get two years of hands on, quality experience.”