Sonya Heard has just been named as a GaTAPP ambassador. As a GaTAPP ambassador, she will represent Georgia Charter Schools Association’s GaTAPP program at the Georgia Professional Standards Commission’s Lead Ambassador Conference in June.
Heard is a fourth-grade English Language Arts Teacher at DeKalb Academy of Technology and Environment and a current candidate in GCSA’s Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy (GaTAPP) program. GCSA’s GaTAPP program is a performance-based, job-embedded alternative teacher preparation program that allows educators to earn an induction and professional teaching certificate through demonstration of proficient classroom performance, external field experiences, and support from an assigned Candidate Support Team. Last year, GCSA GaTAPP graduates had higher overall 2018 Preparation Program Effectiveness Measures than similar Georgia providers.
Heard says the GaTAPP program offers the flexibility that is needed to complete her education while working.
“I have enjoyed all of the workshops and the facilitators that work in the program. I would highly recommend this program because they offer a “hands-on” approach to learning!”
Heard graduated from Georgia State University. She taught in a private school for 15 years and began teaching at D.A.T.E. in 2017.
“I have wanted to teach since I was a child. I loved my teachers … I decided to become a teacher in order to impact society,” says Heard.
Heard enjoys working as an educator at DeKalb Academy of Technology and Environment because it allows her to be flexible and creative when teaching students. She also enjoys D.A.T.E’s environmental focus.
“At any given moment I may have chicks visiting or we may be going to water the plants in the Aquaponics area. When the students go outside we may get one of the turtles and bring them with us to the playground,” says Heard. “The fusion of the environment and content education are awesome to me!”
Heard also says she is able to add a high level of rigor to the classroom as a result of teaching in a public charter school.