Tnaya Scott: 'I do love the work I am doing'
Del Rey Woods Elementary
Before Tnaya Scott stepped into a classroom, she found herself heading toward a career in the medical field. That quickly changed because she found herself liking the interactions she had with children while teaching at a preschool.
As she pursued her love of working with children, she began working in the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District’s afterschool program (Expanded Learning Opportunities). For three years, she served as site director at the ELO program at Olson Elementary School. Her trajectory changed toward becoming an elementary school teacher as soon as MPUSD launched its Alder Residency Program.
“Christie (Kieffer) came and told us about the residency program, and that’s all she wrote,” Tnaya said. “I loved the experience and felt like I got what I needed to support me in the classroom. I felt it was so beneficial to collaborate with aspiring teachers from other areas. I learned about cultural diversity and inclusion, and this prepared me for the work our district is moving into. It was an amazing experience. It was a lot, but it was very rewarding and I walked away like ‘I got this for myself.’”
Tnaya has been with MPUSD since 2017. She began her residency teaching in 2nd grade and is completing her second year as a kindergarten teacher.
“My heart is in kindergarten for sure,” says Tnaya. “I love what the district is heading toward with inclusion and being all about diversity. That has made me so happy to be a part of. I want to be part of that change that we see happening. I know the past and love seeing where it’s heading and being a part of that.”
Tnaya is a product of MPUSD. She attended kindergarten through 12th grade in the district.
“I am from this area. I was born and raised here. I feel like this district is my home. I grew up in this district and I wanted to teach in this district to help the kids in the area that I grew up in,” she enthusiastically states.
She especially loves Del Rey Woods because she gets to see her students from the past. By being able to stay at Del Rey Woods, she gets the opportunity to see her kindergarteners advance to the upper grades.
“I like how small our school is, and to see my past students and touch base with them,” says Tnaya.
Growing up in the area, Tnaya even has the benefit of teaching children of peers she went to school with years ago.
“I say to my students I know your mom or dad and I am able to build that relationship with them,” she says.
From the moment the first bell rings, Tnaya’s classroom is high energy and moving constantly.
“We come in, release energy, and talk to each other. We then jump into rigorous work where we push each other to do our best and try our best. They are doing amazing,” she says.
Each day begins with phonics and moves into math. Her students love writing and they are even publishing their work. The children then move into music and art time before participating in some down time of free choice.
Perhaps what inspires Tnaya most is being able to joke around with her students.
“Having that rapport. Hearing their stories about what they are doing over the weekend or after school, that is what drives me. Just having that time with my students and to be who we are,” she says. “I do love the work I am doing and I want to be the teacher that has this ever lasting memory and impression on my students. The culture here at my school has allowed me to build those relationships with my students."
When she is not busy, Tnaya enjoys relaxing with her family, which includes playing with her kids, going to the park or sporting events with the kids and her husband. She has one child in preschool and the other attends Del Rey Woods, where she teaches.