Recently, the six schools in the Milford School District announced their nominees for Teacher of the Year. The six nominees will compete for the title of District Teacher of the Year which will be announced in May. Milford High School’s (MHS) nominee, Tanya Humes, is proud to have been chosen as the nominee for the 2016-’17 school year.
Humes earned a B.A.A.S in English from University of Delaware and a M.Ed. in Secondary Education from Wilmington University. She has been teaching ninth grade English in Milford for seven years, three years at the Academy and four years at Milford High School. Married with two children, Hume’s daughter Briana is a nurse at Beebe Hospital and her son Wesley is in ninth grade. She was surprised and humbled by the announcement that she had been selected as Teacher of the Year at MHS.
“I was sincerely astonished and honored to be named MHS Teacher of the Year,” stated Humes. “I work with an amazing group of teachers who are very passionate about their profession and am humbled to represent them at the district level.”
The decision to pursue a career in education came from Hume’s desire to directly impact the lives of students and that passion continues to inspire her today. “I have continued working as a teacher because as much as teachers give of their time, money, and energy to students, we receive so much in return,” said Humes. “I believe one of the most critical components of my profession is to open students’ eyes and “see” what is going on around them and become knowledgeable, erudite members of the community.”
Humes states that the biggest challenges she faces in the classroom today are the changes that are looming on the horizon for the educational field, especially funding. “It is dispiriting when programs are cut that directly impact a student’s well-being, not just academically but holistically,” she said. Regardless of those challenges, she says that the students themselves make the career a rewarding one. “No matter what kind of day I may be having, once I see the students and interact with them, I forget my troubles and without fail, they bring a smile to my face and lighten my spirits. They truly give more than they receive.”
Her inspiration to start a career in education was the English teacher she had in ninth and eleventh grade, Mr. Hastings. She states that he never accepted mediocre work and constantly pushed the boundaries of her knowledge. Her inspiration after years in the classroom comes from her students. “The student who struggles to understand a concept I am teaching and the look on his/her face when he finally “gets” it, the student who struggles through personal issues to pass his/her classes, the student who needs to be “seen” to feel relevant…they are my inspiration at the end of the day,” said Humes
When asked about what advice she gives to new and future teachers, Humes states that they should understand that change is inevitable and to stay strong. “Our main goal as teachers is to teach students, not just the curriculum, and as long we remain true to that goal, everything will work out,” Humes said.
The Teacher of the Year Award was established by the Delaware Department of Education in 1965. Schools nominate building educators who then compete for the title of District Teacher of the Year. The winner of that award competes at the state level and, if chosen as the Delaware Teacher of the Year, then competes nationally for a national award. Since its inception in 1965, three Milford teachers have been named Delaware Teacher of the Year – Mary Decker in 1973, Penny Shockley in 1988 and Mercedes Ferrari in 1992.
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