Tanya Jacobson and I became friends very quickly after meeting at a social event through an exercise group we are both members of. She is laid back and easy-going which makes her very comfortable to be around. Tanya was born in San Antonio while her father was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base, but spent most of her life in the Midwest; mostly in Colorado. Tanya’s mother taught dance when Tanya was a child and now teaches migrant students in Laredo, Texas.
Tanya left the television industry after 15 years to seek new opportunities. Despite swearing she would never teach, Tanya became a tutor in Laredo and realized how much she enjoyed the reciprocal impact between herself and her students. Tanya chose San Antonio because she felt the city offered lots of opportunity and things to do; soon after, Tanya went through alternative certification through the San Antonio Independent School District to become an elementary school teacher at a local school.
Having a background other than teaching allows Tanya to think outside the box. She utilizes lessons she learned from dance to engage her students by using songs and dance steps in her lessons. Tanya admits math was not her favorite subject, but has learned to love it through the stories her students share in class about how they recognize math skills when eating pizza or baking with their parents.
Parental engagement, Tanya believes, provides a huge advantage for young learners. Tanya encourages parents to help their kids with homework, even if only 15 minutes. Tanya believes investing time and showing interest encourages and builds confidence in young learners.
Sometimes, limited resources are an issue in her classroom so, if she could be gifted anything for her students, it would be Base Ten block sets for each student to facilitate learning math.
Tanya has learned valuable lessons from her students. The most important lesson; never assume what a child knows or doesn’t know. While each child has a different story, all deserve to know they are loved and that they are important. Now, in her second year of teaching, Tanya has learned how much influence adults have over children and feels privileged to have this opportunity to teach.