Accelerating Texas K12 Education: Bilingual/ESL Education Association of The Metroplex and Their Annual Symposium

Liz Garza-Garcia, BEAM (Bilingual/ESL Education Association of the Metroplex for the North Central Texas Region) President, began her education journey with a simple goal in mind: to become an educator. During her University Studies, a professor changed Garza-Garcia’s direction, instilling in her the idea that if she possessed the ability to speak or learn another language, her goal should be to educate others to do the same. Garza-Garcia spoke with JW Marshall about her road in bi-lingual education and the importance of BEAM’s mission.

“Through my journey of becoming who I am today, I couldn’t have done it without BEAM,” Garza-Garcia said. “I started out in BEAM as a young undergrad. As an undergrad student, I was a BESO member, which is the bilingual education student organization. This organization is built within the universities that have teacher preparation programs.” BESO members enjoy BEAM membership, and this gateway created numerous opportunities for Garza-Garcia for the past eighteen years.

The BEAM community acts as an informational conduit to keep educators up to date on what’s happening in the educational space. “With the challenges we were already facing before COVID, now we’re dealing with everything COVID throws at us and still not being told everything,” Garza-Garcia said. “And so, we try to keep great open lines of communication with our folks, our members, at the higher education sector because they’re the ones who really get into the nitty-gritty of understanding what changes are coming, which ones are going to benefit teachers and which ones can prolong the completion of teacher preparation programs.”

Every spring, BEAM puts on its annual symposium. This year’s symposium will commence on Saturday, April 2, 2022, at the John H Guyer High School in Denton, TX. There is a student essay competition for grades 3-12 with cash prizes. Information on this year’s symposium is available at https://www.beamdfw.org/symposium

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