Patty Tanner – Grade 6

Patty’s Journey

“It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end.”
-Anonymous

What is your favorite subject to teach? I love everything, you know. Specifically, I love American history, reading, and math. In fact, when we went to our new model (Grade 6 transitioned to a middle-school model with teachers specializing in particular subjects during the 2014-15 academic year) I didn’t give any of my subjects up.

What do you love most about your life right now? I love that I’m still seeking challenges. I still have the passion and the enthusiasm to learn new things and go to new places. I’m always evolving. And it’s not just at work, but in life.

What got you started in teaching? I used to be a buyer at Sak’s, and I was good.  Eventually, I became in charge of my own store. But I traveled a lot with work, and when I got married, we wanted children right away. So, I stopped working. That was a major adjustment. I got involved with many things, including the PTA, but I couldn’t stop working forever. And… I used to love retail, but the end of the year, all you had was numbers. At the end of the school year, you have people that you have impacted. It’s so much better. Our work, as teachers, lives on forever, not like film or literature… the legacy is people — the coworkers, the students, etc.

So, how did you get started, then? I was already at Sak’s when I finished college. I later got a preschool credential at UCLA and worked at Temple Judea. I was going to teach in public school, but this opportunity came along, and I ended up at Wise instead.

You’re coming up on 20 years here at Wise. How does that feel? I’m happy, but I’m also happy that I had other work experiences, as well. I’ve had chances to pursue other opportunities, but I like what I’ve built here.

What makes Wise a great place to teach? Teachers get to take curriculum and present it in their own way. Wise also encourages growth. We’re always bringing in new techniques and new technologies. As a teacher, you always keep growing here. It really allows us to continue to stay relevant into the future.

That sounds lovely. Speaking of the future, what does the future hold for you? For me? It’s hard to say. I want to teach until I’m no longer effective, and keep growing all the while — education, travel, anything that allows for an opening of new worlds.

Awesome. What’s something we might not know about you? I think I’m such an open book. Maybe, some people don’t know that I’m into all kinds of different music, not just the Beatles, but Maroon 5, Train, Taylor Swift…

Maroon 5? Oh, I have several of their CD’s. One’s in my car right now. Also, I love movies, especially mysteries.

What’s the silliest thing you’ve ever done? Maybe some people don’t think that I’m silly, but I think that it becomes obvious in the classroom. We joke all the time. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I can be serious, but in a consistently nurturing way.

What’s in your fridge right now? Berries. I love berries. Yogurt. I don’t like processed food, so I have a lot of ingredients — fruits, vegetables, cooked chicken, salmon, etc. I’m a pretty healthy eater, except for my sweet tooth. I love to cook. I took classes when I wasn’t working.

Patty, enjoying a moment of solitude