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Emily Tanner – Sunset Elementary School

We would like to nominate Emily Tanner, 5th grade teacher at Sunset Elementary School, Davis School District as a KSL Teacher Feature.

Mrs. Tanner is a teacher’s teacher. She is more than a laundry list of great platitudes – her actions speak louder than her words. The words that describe her best are educator, mother, wife, daughter, and friend.

Mrs. Tanner has been teaching now for over 20 years. Her mantra has always been “What is best for the child?” Everything she does, she does with this philosophy in mind. The impact she has made on children’s lives will be felt for years to come. When most of her students look back at their school years, Mrs. Tanner will be top on their list as the person who influenced their lives the most next to their family.

Mrs. Tanner’s influence goes beyond her classroom. She is known for checking up on missing students, even going to their homes if she could not get a hold of someone by phone. Her students will remember her quick wit, great stories, and kind heart. They will remember crying with her over the loss of one of her student’s favorite pets or at the loss of a family member. They will remember her for her encouragement and for her hugs and words of kindness. Mrs. Tanner will be the teacher each of her former students will want their children to have one day.
Mrs. Tanner is the first to get our students singing and doing fun activities while waiting for assemblies to start. She can be found on the playground inspiring and teaching by being there for her students and the other students at our school. She meets with students both before and after school helping them meet their educational goals. She is even helping one of the boys from my class who is struggling, designing special assignments so he can show progress.

Emily is not just a great educator for children; she is a great mentor for the faculty in our school and in other schools. Her teaching influence is felt in all of the classrooms at Sunset Elementary School. When there is a college student who needs a class to complete either a field study or student teaching in, Mrs. Tanner is the first teacher chosen. Over the past several years she has worked with over five student teachers and countless field study students. She has been called upon numerous times to provide in-service/professional development to teachers who need great teaching ideas. She is national board certified and is currently working on her master’s degree, all while teaching fulltime and raising a family.

When I arrived at Sunset two years ago as a new elementary teacher after many years in adult and secondary education she took me under her wing. She helped me survive those first critical months when many new teachers get lost and leave the profession. She taught me how to interact with my new wards. She helped me plan my lessons and make them appealing to the younger set I was now working with. She mothered me just like she did her students. I am a better elementary teacher and person because Emily cares and because she truly lives by her mantra “What is best for the child?”
Emily and her husband David are the proud parents of two boys and a girl. Two of her children have special needs. She works with her children helping them become functional in public educations. She has also worked with countless other children with special needs, helping them to overcome issues in their lives that will make them more productive. Emily has worked as a Scout leader for her sons and for the other children in her neighborhood. She currently serves with the young women in her congregation teaching them by example and by love. She brings her many years as an educator into all that she does. She is best known for the many great girls’ camps she has organized.

Mrs. Emily Tanner truly deserves to be recognized as a KSL Teacher of the Week. She is the teacher all great teachers strive to become and appreciate when they meet one to emulate.

-Jimmy W. Jones

Regarding Emily Tanner as a fellow 5th grade teacher:
If you looked up “funny” or “positive” of “helpful” or “phenomenal teacher” in the dictionary, you would find a picture of my friend and fellow 5th grade teacher, Emily Tanner.

As far as the words “funny” and “positive” go, Emily keeps me buoyed with her enthusiasm, with her ability to find a positive way out of a negative situation, wither her hilarious body language and her gift of finding a funny way of looking at almost anything. When she first came to Sunset Elementary 9 years ago and I first met her, I remember thinking, “Boy! She cracks me up! ” She has continued cracking me up through the years, to the point where I’m kind of held together with nothing but baling string, so fractured is my body from years of laughing.

On the more serious side, the “helpful” and “phenomenal” side, I believe Emily is the grade A standard to which all teachers should aspire. I know I’m a really good teacher in some areas, but I probably only rank “good” without the “really” when it comes to teaching math. But Emily, who is ALWAYS there for me, when I have a question or need advice, pulls me along with her until I, too, often reach the “great” category in teaching math. We work so well together, so closely, as friends and professionals sharing ideas, opinions, and laughter, I honestly cannot fathom working without her.

-Pat Baker

My mom Emily Tanner is an amazing teacher, not just in the class room but everywhere she goes.

When I was younger she was put in as Primary President for our church. That meant she was supposed to help with the other teachers to make sure every kid from 3-12 years old happy and calm. Also with that job she had to help kids write talks and speak in front of everyone. When she got released from that she was put in as a teacher for the Relief Society to teach a lesson once a month to the adult women in our ward. But now she has an even better job that requires much more she is a Young Woman leader. That means she has to plan lessons for teenage girls, listen when they need a person to talk to, and just be their friend.

Now she may teach young woman and fifth graders, but there’s more. My mom helps the kids in the after school every day with their homework. She also helps my friends and former students that are now in junior high and high school. Often her old students will come with math books in hand and she will help them study for a test. After all of that’s done she will also come in on Saturdays to plan lessons and clean her classroom.

My mom is an amazing example of a hard worker. I have never seen a time in my life where my mom wasn’t teaching. She brings fun to the classroom no matter what the subject. But she also makes sure they learn the students that come to my mom’s classroom who aren’t the nicest or the smartest at times but when they come out they have caught up and know how to love learning.

-Emily Tanner’s daughter