Gabriela Martinez,16, a rising junior at Palmview High School, said she has always felt a calling to teach.

This summer, she and fellow aspiring educators are getting an early start on their careers during UTRGV’s Those Who Can, Teach program.

Those Who Can, Teach is an interactive, weeklong summer program for rising high school juniors and seniors interested in education.

Students receive training on how to engage with students using the latest technology, and interview teachers about the work they do.

“I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, but now I’m even more sure,” Gabriela said.

Run by the UTRGV College of Education and P-16 Integration in collaboration with UTRGV Continuing Education, the program was introduced to the university as a pilot in 2016 in Brownsville.

This year it has expanded to serve students in the Upper Valley by hosting a camp on the Edinburg Campus, as well.

The four week-long camps on both campuses are serving, collectively, more than 80 students.

For Judith Jimenez, 16, a rising junior at Palmview High School, the Those Who Can, Teach program has brought invaluable insight into what she hopes will be her career.

“We got to interview teachers and students at the College of Education, so I asked them what it was like and what to expect,” Judith said.

According to Dr. Maria Elena Corbeil, associate professor of educational technology in the College of Education and P-16 Integration, the program is designed to give future educators the tools necessary to conduct lessons efficiently in the 21st century.

“In the College of Education, we train teachers to use technology in a purposeful way,” Corbeil said. “If there are ever any glitches with the equipment or the Internet connection, we almost welcome it, because we also want them to be teachers who are prepared to shift gears and adapt to any situation.”

The program helps students develop vital teamwork and communications skills, Corbeil said

“They’re great students, very enthusiastic, but at first they were really shy,” Corbeil said. “By the middle of the week, they really come out of their shells and blossom.”

UTRGV offered the program June 5-9 on the Edinburg Campus.

  • The second session is underway through June 16, on the Brownsville Campus.
  • A third will be offered exclusively to South Texas Business, Education & Technology Academy (BETA) students June 19-23 on the Edinburg Campus.
  • The college also is offering a fourth week of training to BETA students at its Holmes Cadet summer camp June 26-30.

By J. Edward Moreno, UTRGV News