Sequoyah High School teacher Rachel LaChine prepares students for future roles as educators through the Career Pathway program for Teaching as a Profession.
The Cherokee County School District offers 38 Career Pathway high school programs, which provide students with a wide selection of job exploration and preparation electives. Through CCSD Pathway Profiles, we’ll regularly share highlights with you from one of these programs. This week’s profile focuses on Teaching as a Profession, which is offered at Creekview HS, River Ridge HS and Sequoyah HS …
Sequoyah High School teacher Rachel LaChine found her career path while a high school student in what was then called the teacher cadet program.
Now, in her 12th year as a teacher, she has helped many students hear their calling through the Career Pathway program for Teaching as a Profession (TAP). Ms. LaChine started the program at Sequoyah six years ago with one class, and it since has grown into a full program.
“Sharing with students my love for learning and teaching, fostering positive relationships and teaching them how to create meaningful interactions with their own future students has been a dream job!” she said, noting that she was inspired as a student by Woodstock High School teacher Laura Cox. “She provided so many opportunities and a student teaching internship that solidified my desire to become a teacher.” [Click here to see more photos from her classes.]
One of Ms. LaChine’s many success stories from the program is Sophie (Roy) Gilmore, who now is in her second year as an elementary school teacher. “I was fortunate to not only teach her in the TAP Pathway, but I was also her Spanish teacher,” Ms. LaChine said. “Sophie is such a dynamic personality and students love her classroom environment.”
Senior Angelina Torres also aspires to teach elementary school, and said the Career Pathway program helps her “gain experience and knowledge for my future classroom.”
“I've learned about how every kid has different needs and different ways they learn and how I can help them,” Angelina said. “This year, I will be student teaching at a local elementary school through this Pathway, and I can't wait to put into practice what I've learned in this class. I'm also excited to learn and gain experience on how to teach kids in a classroom. I'm very grateful that this Pathway was available for me to take and help prepare me for my future career.”
Ms. LaChine loves seeing her students “experience a day in our shoes” as a teacher. They take this role on for a day before starting a student teacher internship.
“Students are given a grade level and standards and are asked to break down the standards and complete a lesson plan,” she said. “Not only do students have to come up with a lesson activator and use different instructional strategies, but they also teach the lesson to the class. After students teach the lesson, we give peer feedback and build students’ confidence before they start their internship in the third year of the Pathway.”
No matter their future plans, a Career Pathway is a beneficial elective choice for students to consider, Ms. LaChine said.
“I believe that providing high school students with hands-on experiences in a career field can help them narrow down their passions and truly guide their future decision making, whether that is college or trade school,” she said. “Career Pathways are a great way for students to learn new skills and try out different career interests before entering the workforce!”
Within the Pathway, classes offered include: examining the teaching profession, contemporary issues in education and teaching as a profession practicum. Students can take the NOCTI (National Occupational Competency Testing Institute) Georgia Teaching as a Profession exam. Upon successful completion of the Pathway, passage of the End of Pathway exam and submission of an appropriate portfolio of work, students are awarded three college credit hours by the University System of Georgia … and guaranteed an interview with CCSD upon graduating from college and earning professional certification. Students can compete in FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) state and national career skills contests focused on the teaching profession.
This Pathway prepares students for careers including, but not limited to: elementary, middle or high school teacher; elementary, middle or high school administrator; school counselor (educational, guidance, vocational), speech language pathologist, school social worker, school psychologist, university professor.
The average income range for careers in this Pathway in Georgia is $47,000 to $103,000. Local and area employers for this Pathway include, but are not limited to: Cherokee County School District, Kennesaw State University, Reinhardt University, Chattahoochee Technical College, Georgia Department of Education.