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8th Grade Teacher of the Year

Tamarah Danzy – Science
2014-2015 Teacher of the Year

  • Bachelor’s of science degree, University of Central Oklahoma
  • Plans to pursue a master’s degree   
  • Certified to teach middle-level science

Eighth grade science teacher Tamarah Danzy began teaching at the 8th Grade Center in January 2008.

“I applied to teach in the Union district because of the great reputation it had,” Danzy said. “I chose to continue to teach at Union because of the plan and expectations the district has set. Our district prides itself on being the best it can be, and striving for excellence.  I want to continue to be part of this Union legacy. “

Danzy grew up in a family of teachers. 

“My father has been in education for more than 30 years,” Danzy said. “However, I wanted to be a veterinarian when I was a young kid. I loved animals and I still do. However, my desire to become a teacher started when I received a job teaching gymnastics to 4-5 year old children at the age of 16. The joy I had when those children learned a new skill or overcame a fear was life changing. At that point in my life, I knew I wanted to be a teacher.  I am still a teacher for these same reasons today and more.  My job is to teach my students science, as well as, prepare them to be successful, contributing members of our community.”

But, like many teachers, Danzy recognizes that teachers face many hurdles.

“The one issue that teachers are facing today is high-stakes testing,” Danzy said. “High-stakes testing results can provide data for teachers to use to aide in creating an educational plan to help students in areas they are struggling.  However, high-stakes testing creates a lot of pressure for students, parents and teachers. This pressure is pushing some great teachers out of education because of the fear of losing their jobs if their students do not perform at a certain level, as well as, keeping people from going into the teacher profession at all.

“Many teachers feel the need to ‘teach to the test’ by sacrificing creativity and innovation in their lessons. This is hindering the education process for students. I believe that the focus should be on student growth and student-based learning rather than a particular test score.  As a teacher, I am happy when a student leaves my classroom better educated and more knowledgeable, not if they received a particular grade on a test or for my class.”

A teacher has to be prepared for these big issues, just like she has to be prepared for everyday issues.

“The funniest thing that has happened to me as a teacher occurred during my second year of teaching,” Danzy said. “I was stepping down from my desk when the heel of my shoe got caught in the cuff of my pants  I fell down to the ground in front of my entire class.  My students were very respectful and made sure I was not hurt. I was very embarrassed. This incident affected my teaching by teaching me to be prepared for anything to happen on any given day, and to always get back up a keeping going no matter what the situation.”

Because of her love for education, Danzy hopes to pursue a master’s degree.

“I plan to be at the 8th Grade Center making a difference in the lives of the students that cross my path,” Danzy said. “I intend on continuing to grow as a teacher by attending professional development to enhance my teaching styles and techniques. I hope to still be involved in coaching and participating in the Union cheer program.”