Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Teachers of Tomorrow connect with kids at Longhorn Halloween

Skyler Sharp
Naomi Hamm an early childhood education junior with Teachers of Tomorrow, hands out candy during Longhorn halloween on Speedway on Oct. 29, 2023.

Children chatter with anticipation as they watch HookEm, donned in a spooky ghost costume, make his way around campus. On Sunday, UT organized Longhorn Halloween for the children of the Longhorn community, transforming Speedway Mall into a celebration adorned with balloons, haunted trucks and pumpkin patches. One booth in particular, hosted by Teachers of Tomorrow, participated in the festivities by handing out prizes. 

Teachers of Tomorrow, a student organization for aspiring teachers, volunteered to host a booth at the event. Since the pandemic, Elena Nguyen, junior and President of Teachers of Tomorrow, said she’s worked to revamp the club for increased member engagement.

“I love building the community among freshmen, especially because I didn’t get to have the same experiences as them because I came out after COVID,” Nguyen said. “Organizing events that I wished I had (my freshman) year is super fun.”

Nguyen said Longhorn Halloween presented a chance for members to connect with children.

“I love providing opportunities for incoming teachers to interact with kids because a lot of the people who are entering education have not had a lot of opportunities to interact with kids since COVID,” Nguyen said.

Greta Spanyers, an applied learning and development junior and club vice president, said she worked closely with Nguyen to plan the event.

“We already had a tabling activity (before), and we had a lot of extra supplies, (so) we thought it would be perfect for kids to come and play because we had a spinner,” Spanyers said. “They spin the wheel and whatever it lands on, that’s what they’re able to choose.”

Naomi Hamm, an early childhood education junior, said the volunteer experience proved beneficial to her interests.

“I really liked being a part of something where we’re able to interact with (kids) instead of being behind the scenes and learning about what it is to become a teacher,” Hamm said.

Hamm said the group wanted to bring a positive presence to Speedway.

“We hope to create happiness within the UT community (and) in the staff’s and faculty’s families,” Hamm said. “We want it to be fun and enjoyable and where (kids) could earn different things as well.” 

Outside of volunteer opportunities like Longhorn Halloween, Nguyen said that Teachers of Tomorrow provides valuable support for students in their career goals.

“(I have) been exposed to a lot of things that I wouldn’t have been exposed to in my education classes,” Nguyen said. “We had a first-year teacher panel and they discussed the hands-on stuff that you can’t really be taught, which is super beneficial.”

In addition to the career benefits offered by the club, Spanyers said that the organization also builds meaningful, lasting relationships.

“We’re trying to be a support system for the members and somewhere that they can feel they have a community in college,” Spanyers said. “We want our members to feel they can be comfortable and they have somebody to be their friend because (Nguyen and I) met our best friends at (Teachers of Tomorrow) and wanted that same experience (for others).”

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