Teacher Feature – Ron Tanner
Written by Imogen Dietz, 9th Grade
“I don’t teach math, I teach students.” This is a phrase Mr. Tanner, algebra two and geometry teacher, repeats to all of his classes on the first day of school. The mantra has guided him through thirty-five years of teaching, and he strongly believes it.
Mr. Tanner grew up in Phoenix and attended Coronado High School, moving on to attend ASU after that. He explained that he has been involved in the arts “from the beginning”. One of the first things that sparked his interest in singing was a radio show he used to listen to as a kid. He continued to sing throughout high school and college and now spends his free time performing in the Orpheus Male Chorus. From attending musicals and plays from local companies and traveling shows alike, to singing in the chorus for twenty-five years, Mr. Tanner continues to be involved with the arts in the Valley for his whole life.
Mr. Tanner has taught geometry and algebra two at ASA for four years. However, his teaching career has lasted for thirty-five years; he has taught at over four different schools in the Phoenix area. He took a break from teaching for around ten years when he entered the construction field. He retired after that but then chose to come back from retirement to work at ASA. He is a beloved teacher by his students, who appreciate both his skill and experience as a math teacher.
Many students listen attentively as Mr. Tanner gives memorable advice about attending college and where to go after high school. “If you know what you want to study, attend university,” he says. “However if you don’t, then you may want to consider first attending a community college and then moving on to a state university from there.” This plan could be more financially efficient and useful. He also inspires his students in other ways, such as the quates he writes occasionally on his board. Every year Mr. Tanner also reads the novel “The Little Prince” to his students, hoping that it will affect them in the same way that it affected him when his teacher read it to him in high school. He says that it changed the way he thought about things, and he loves the tradition of reading it to his students.
Mr. Tanner is loved and an experienced teacher at ASA whose students are thankful for the advice he gives in addition to his appreciation and involvement in the performing arts. He will always be remembered for the care he puts into the work he does and the attention he gives every member of his community.