Laurie Rodriguez: What is TAFE?

My name is Lori Rodriguez, and I am an Education and Training pathway teacher here at United South High School. I have been at the high school since 2012; that was my first graduating class. Prior to that, I was a middle school teacher. I taught seventh grade for five years at United South Middle School.

What was cool when I first came to the high school was that my first graduating class included some of my former students. They were really surprised when I remembered their names, and I told them, “Yes, I have a good memory. I remember your name.” It was special because some of them were actually in the pathway wanting to pursue education.


TAFE is a CTSO, which stands for Career Technical Student Organization. TAFE stands for Texas Association of Future Educators. It is our state organization, and we are affiliated with our national organization, Educators Rising.


Here, you can either be a TAFE sponsor because you teach the courses, like I teach the Education and Training pathway, so automatically, we do things involving future teacher activities. If a school district doesn’t have the Education and Training pathway, they can still have an English teacher, a science teacher, or whoever has the time and volunteers. They can still have that CTSO on their campus and still target future teachers.

Sometimes, there are students who can’t take my program because they are magnet students, and their schedule doesn’t allow it. However, they still want to become teachers. They can still participate in some of the events we do outside of campus if they are interested in joining the field.

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