Name of staff member: Tanya Sims
I have three children: Sarah, Elizabeth and Brian
I also have three step children: Melissa, Sarah, and Annie.
Together Carl and I have 11 grandchildren ranging in ages from 9 1/2 down to 2.
Position in USD #435: 5th Grade Teacher at Garfield
Years in this position: Five
Previous teaching experience: I taught 3rd and 4th grade in Lawrence, KS for 4 years prior to coming to Abilene
Hometown: I graduated from Abilene High School as Tanya McVicker. After attending KSU and getting married toTed Sims we went on to live in Oklahoma, Missouri, and Ohio before returning to Lawrence. Several years after my first husband passed away, I married Carl Sims and moved back to Abilene.
What inspired you to go into education? I was a stay at home mom while my children were young and then spent a lot of time volunteering in their classrooms when they started school. I always loved seeing their eyes light up when they learned something new. I think growing up in a home with a father who was in education must have been a strong influence too. My dad taught, coached, and then was the principal here in Abilene for many years. After my children were all in school I went back to school and graduated from Ottawa University with my teaching degree.
A memorable teaching moment: I remember working with a boy several years ago who hadnít had the best family life as a young child. He was still learning to read in the 4th grade, and we were sitting on the floor reading together. He was really struggeling, so I told him I would just read to him for a while. He sat there intently staring into my face as I read to him, and after a short time he even leaned his head on my shoulder. I realized that the reason he probably couldnít read very well was that he had never been read to as a tiny child at home.
At that moment I realized that I was really making a difference in his life. I knew thatís what was important, and that was why I had become a teacher. As teacherís we hope we are having a positive influence on each and every childís life, but we donít always get those ah ha moments that reassures us.