The Teaching as a Profession pathway (TAP) prepares students for a career in education. Students enrolled in these courses don’t just learn about teaching from sitting in their classroom at Fannin County High School; they see first-hand what it’s like to teach young children by working with mentor teachers in various grade levels across the county.
Jill Dyer, TAP Program Coordinator, says, “Research shows that there will be a significant shortage of teachers in the next few years. There are many more teachers who will be retiring than there are students who will complete college degree programs in education. We are growing our own teachers here in Fannin County by offering these students an opportunity to see what a great career it can be.”
Students in the first course of the pathway, Examining the Teaching Profession, recently volunteered their time at Fannin Head Start in Mineral Bluff and the TAP students aren’t the only ones that benefit from these visits. Mary Beth Deal, Curriculum Director of Fannin Head Start said, “Our preschool students get so excited when the high school kids visit because they look up to them as role models. The biggest evidence of their excitement is the smiles on their faces.”
The TAP program consists of three courses that include FCHS classroom instruction and mentoring with teachers who work with ages PreK – 8th grade. In the 2 nd and 3 rd level courses, students work with a mentor teacher several days a week. By the time they finish the pathway, they are actually teaching real lessons that they have written and developed on their own.
Senior Victoria Keaton recently taught a class of 2 nd graders at East Fannin Elementary. “Having the
opportunity to work with these precious children has encouraged me even more to become a teacher and make a difference in the generation of tomorrow,” said Victoria.
Her mentor teacher, Lauren Seber said, “From the time I had Victoria in 2nd grade, I knew she was born to teach. I believe that good teachers are born and not made. Over the years I have watched her as a student and her poise, personal dedication, and determination prevails. She was born to make a difference, and it takes a special person to have the strength and compassion needed to nurture each and every student that walks through the door. Victoria will change the world and positively affect the lives of young children. When Victoria says, ‘I love kids’, she really means it!”
By completing the courses and passing the state-wide assessment, students earn college credit. The classes are open to all high school students in grades 9-12.
Junior, Dylan Walton takes time with Copper at
Fannin Head Start in Mineral Bluff, Georgia.