Class Act! 10 questions for Tanya Rock


Submitted by Denair Middle School

Name: Tanya Rock

Family: Husband, Nick; son, Sean (9); daughter, Brianna (7)

School: Denair Middle School

Subject taught: Math

Experience and education: After earning my degree and teaching credential at CSU Stanislaus, I began teaching math at Prescott Junior High.  After four years of teaching, I made the decision to be a stay-at-home mom for a while.  When both of my children were old enough to be in school, I began working part time as a substitute teacher at their school.  This is my first year back to teaching full time.

Why most inspires you about teaching? The students.

What are your biggest challenges as a teacher? I’d have to say that my biggest challenge is meeting the students’ needs on the various levels that they are on in the time constraint of 50 minutes per day.

What is your favorite teaching tool or activity?  I find whiteboards to be especially helpful in math.  They allow students to practice problems and work out ideas while allowing me to quickly assess how each student is doing.

How has Common Core affected your classroom strategy? I’ve found it to be more effective to guide the students to discoveries in learning rather than to just tell them things directly at times.

What do you want your students to remember? Math may not always seem easy at first, but everyone has his own way of learning, and with patience and perseverance everyone can be successful.

How can parents support what you do? I would say that the greatest support that parents can give is to spend time with their child and to communicate with both their child and with me.

What will it take to improve academic success in DUSD schools? I am new to the district, so I am unsure of this answer!

What’s next in your classroom? In seventh grade, we have been adding and subtracting integers and will be moving on to multiplying and dividing integers next. In eighth grade, we are just wrapping up our geometry unit, which included the Pythagorean Theorem and Triangle Sum Theorem and will be moving to similarity next!

What would surprise people about your job? I think some people are surprised about how much fun I have teaching. Elementary teachers frequently assume that junior high is difficult to teach, but I truly enjoy it.

What do you do for fun? Ours is an outdoors family for sure.  We love to go camping, fishing, swimming and playing at the beach.  For my personal quiet time, I enjoy reading and painting.

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