Scott Tennant has been voted the BEST teacher at Taos Charter School…well, at least that’s what I tell myself on a daily basis!
Thinking back in time, some of my earliest dreams answering the question, “What do I want to do when I grow up?” have been centered on teaching. Besides wanting very badly to be a firefighter and an astronaut, teaching was always right up there with those other lofty professions. I’m sure that familial encouragement was a big part of it too. For 35 years, my grand-mother, worked for the San Bernadino County Superintendent, my mother was a school psychologist for 25 years, and my father taught special needs and GED programs at the Lewis and Clark State College level for 18 years.
While I always thought that I would make the profession part of my life, I did not want to rush into it too soon. I am a firm believer that to be a good educator, one needs to have real life experiences as an adult that tempers and shapes their beliefs and perspectives about the human condition.
After graduating from high school in ’87 from Tumwater, Washington, college was a temporary and fleeting experience that served only to let me know that I was not ready to continue my learning in the classroom. I eagerly sought other avenues to adulthood. I worked for short stints in New Mexico building spec houses. I lived on a houseboat moored on Lake Union in Seattle. I explored the Aleutian Peninsula, making three meals a day for 125 fish processors in Naknek, Alaska. I was also an expat in Prague, CZ for four years witnessing the rebuilding of Central Europe from the atrophy and slow decline of the Cold War. While I was there, I worked as a production artist for two years at the Prague Business Journal and managed Red Hot & Blues restaurant for two years. After these experiences, I was ready for college. I attended Hunter College CUNY from 1998-2001 and double majored in Political Science and Russian Studies.
I worked my way through college as a freelance production artist in Manhattan and after graduation, I was pondering my next move. I had been married for five years and was a part-time stay at home dad with my first daughter Sally. I was ready for something new and something that would give my family more stability. And then the bombing of the World Trade Center occurred while I was on my way to work. The horrific events of that day still reverberate around the world today and while much about what we collectively believe are truths about the ills of society and citizen responsibilities has been challenged since that time, I was given an opportunity to make positive gifts towards a better future because of it. President Bush (the Junior) authorized a renewed commitment to Americorp and encourage all Americans to reevaluate their role as citizens of this country. I joined Americorp’s TeachNY program at the age of 33 and got my feet wet teaching for three years in impoverished schools within inner-city Brooklyn. That was the most challenging experience of my professional life thus far and frankly, if my wife and I had not relocated to Taos in 2006, I am not sure that I would still be in this field.
I was working on a Masters in Social Studies and Education (nine credits short) when my family relocated to Taos and unfortunately was not able to complete it. After a brief stint at Taos Middle School, I have been at TCS since 2008 loving my job and growing to be a better teacher with every year that passes. In 2015, I received my Masters in School Counseling and hope to be able to transition as a school counselor at some point for TCS (whenever a position opens up).
Academic Resume: 2001 BA in Political Science and Russian Studies, Hunter College CUNY; 2015 Masters in School Counseling, Adams State University.
You may email Mr. Tennant or call him at 575-751-7222 X206.