ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Region 14 Education Service Center held a summit Wednesday to help prepare students who are looking for a career in teaching, as part of its Grow Your Own Teachers model.

Kambry Jones, a senior at Snyder High School (SHS) told KTAB/KRBC about her dreams of becoming an educator.

“I just want to benefit children and give them opportunities that they otherwise wouldn’t have. I just have a love for them,” Kambry explained.

By joining the Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE), Kambry has been able to take Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses through SHS. It was through those programs that she was able to attend Wednesday’s summit for tutors and future educators.

Tina Wyatt, one of the directors at Region 14 who helped organize the summit, said bringing in students for the summit has been mostly beneficial.

As with many lingering issues from the COVID-19 pandemic, a teacher shortage has been cause for concern. Due to the ongoing shortage, this summit was held to help students become tutors and help other students who have experienced learning loss.

“It is so inspiring because we are preparing almost 200 students who have expressed an interest in becoming educators at a time when we’ve got such a shortage of educators,” Wyatt said.

In addition to tutoring, Kambry said she also interns through her CTE course, teaching kindergarten and first grade. With new techniques learned at the summit, she said she’s excited to put the new skills to use.

“I have a really difficult time with discipline,” Kambry revealed. “Being able to talk to them and ask those questions, you know, how can I help them better and be a little more strict with them, but still loving at the same time?”

Wyatt and her team said they were thrilled with this year’s turnout and has confidence in the students who attended Wednesday’s summit.

“So, it’s encouraging to know that our future’s in good hands,” Wyatt added. “Much better hands than we sometimes think with our students.