Posted: 4/29/20

TAMIU College of Education Provides Free Online Teaching Resources to Educators, Parents


Dr. James O'Meara
Dr. James O'Meara, College of Education Dean  

Texas A&M International University’s (TAMIU) College of Education  is providing a broad range of  free online teaching resources to help support both parents and educators as they continue to deliver home-based education to Laredo’s children throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response. 

College of Education Dean Dr. James O’Meara said the initiative provides online tools to parents and caregivers supervising lessons at home and professional development opportunities for educators. 

“This is something that we can do to help, and we’re honored to be able to do so.  Supporting learning in a crisis is a difficult undertaking for caregivers and parents and educators too.  That’s why we’ve assembled a broad range of online toolkits that offer curated resources that can really help keep that virtual classroom going at home for Mom and Dad. They will also help our educators continue to strengthen the awesome skills that  they practice daily,”  Dr. O’Meara explained.

The online tools are part of a rich set of resources that are part of a TAMIU collaboration with Sanford Programs at the National University System.  The collaboration advocates both virtual classrooms and Social Emotional Learning  (SEL) to  drive successful teaching and learning.

Available from TAMIU’s College of Education website, two distinct curated toolkits are available:  one for caregivers and parents and one for educators, O’Meara said.

“The Harmony at Home Toolkit is for caretakers and parents and provides SEL-focused tools that build healthy relationships and develop boys and girls into compassionate and caring adults.  In these stress-filled times, this is especially crucial to children’s’ development.   The second online toolkit is Inspire at Home and prepares and supports inspirational teachers through research-based knowledge, tools, and practices,” he said.

SEL involves activities that equip learners with skills for understanding and managing emotions, setting and achieving positive goals, feeling and showing empathy for others, establishing and maintaining positive relationships, and making responsible decisions. Learners with these skills typically perform better in school, are more likely to attend a university and enjoy improved levels of quality of living across their lifetime, researchers believe. 

O’Meara said it’s especially significant that both local school districts:  Laredo Independent School District and United ISD, are using or planning on using both toolkits.

“The Harmony at Home toolkit has been used by LISD counselors and the Inspire at Home toolkit will be used by United ISD for professional development opportunities for  their teachers this Fall,” he observed.

O’Meara said he wanted to encourage caregivers, parents and professional educators to access the free resources available to them online at: https://www.tamiu.edu/coedu/sanford-partnerships.shtml

“The TAMIU College of Education prepares the majority of educators within a 150 mile radius.  We’re enormously proud of our graduates and our programs. We’re a lead South Texas partner in the Texas A&M University’s System’s “We Teach Texas” campaign.  This is our mission and our passion and we are happy to share our resources with our hometown.  As we have said throughout the University’s response to the pandemic, we are TAMIU Together, Laredo Together,”  O’Meara concluded.  

For additional information contact the College of Education at 956.326.2420 or email coeinformation@tamiu.edu

Registration for Maymester, Summer and Fall semesters is currently underway online through Uconnect. For more on registration, contact the Office of the Registrar at 956.326.2250, email registrar@tamiu.edu or visit their website at https://www.tamiu.edu/registrar/

As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, TAMIU’s campus is closed to the general public. Online and virtual services at the University continue, practicing all CDC Guidelines on gathering, masking and social distancing and with most staff working remotely.  Office hours are subject to change and it is recommended that phone or email contact be made first to determine the office’s schedule of operation. Entry to campus is only open to students, faculty, staff and those having legitimate reasons to be on campus.  An online directory is here.

The University’s dedicated COVID-19 website is updated daily and includes information on office schedules and services, an expansive FAQ, quick links, student resources, official information links and much more.