“The whole world opened to me when I learned to Read”
“The whole world opened to me when I learned to Read.” Teacher extraordinaire, Tasney Thomas, infuses her love of reading and positive outlook to every child that graces her classroom. It is her childhood that has helped to shape who she is today.
Tasney, 31, is a native of Daytona Beach, FL. “My mother (Clarissa Smith) has made many sacrifices in life to raise her children and watching her take on the role of a single mother taught me life’s most important values.” Tasney’s aunt, Marsha, gets credit for her development. “My aunt Marsha was and has always been in my corner uplifting and encouraging me to remain steadfast in my faith. Both of these women have enhanced me personally and spiritually to become the woman I am today.”
Tasney’s grade years were full of achievement. She relishes in becoming student of the year (1st grade/Westside Elementary), top reader in the reading counts club (4th grade/Spruce creek elementary), middle school dance ensemble team, and JV cheerleading (Spruce creek high school).
She would go on to attend Bethune-Cookman University in 2011. There she learned a valuable lesson. “In 2013 I ran for Miss Bethune-Cookman University. I did everything I thought to do which was campaign to the best of my ability. Unfortunately, all her efforts didn’t amount to a victory. “I cried for a few days and couldn’t really fathom the loss until I came to terms that I really didn’t lose.” She began to realize something. “I lost the competition, but I gained a lesson of being content with losing and understanding that every assignment is not for you. I took the loss as honestly a win, because now I am much more content with losing something that I not meant for me.” As she looks back now, Tasney realizes that the loss taught her a very vital lesson in life. “I now respond with losses as reminders that even if I go out for something or I am competing for something, I am okay if I don’t win. There will be more opportunities to win other things in life. That position only lasted for a year had I won, but the lesson that I learned will last me a lifetime.”
Tasney has a love for singing. She’s proud of being a part of recording five albums. She recently was also a member of the Maverick City Music gospel choir.
But teaching is her focus of her passion right now. “Every morning I enter into my classroom and pray over my student’s desk. This I believe sets the tone for our day, as I invite Jesus to rest on our classroom. From there, I go about my schedule, challenging my students to work twice as harder than others. I push them as far as they can go and encourage them throughout the day to complete assignments. I also have challenges for students and have them set personal goals for themselves. My philosophy on education is simple. We don’t know how far students can go if we continue to stand in their way. I accelerate my students and monitor them throughout the day. My career is based on meeting the needs of every single student that walks into my classroom. To create a space for them to dwell and learn comfortably.”
Tasney list of interests and hobbies is extensive. Going to theme parks, going to breakfast on Saturday mornings, thrifting, traveling, eating seafood, planning events, doing ministry, and supporting her students outside of the classroom is just a few. “For fun, I like to travel to places I have never been. I love adventurous activities and anything that has to do with thrill seeking. I also like to plan events that gather and celebrate women.”
Although “my strengths include determination, dedication, creativity, originality, flexibility, and detail-oriented, a few weaknesses that I’d like to get rid of is the idea that I can’t make a mistake and trying to please people that I love. For years I have had this idea in my head that If I can avoid making a mistake, I won’t make anyone upset with me. I love to please others and ensure that I have a clean reputation.”
“I want to be remembered as the woman who had the most generous heart for others. Someone who was consistent and supportive. Brave and bold, yet compassionate and kind. Someone who gave education their all and supported her students no matter the cost or distance. I want everyone to look back at my life and be inspired and challenged to do more for others. I want people to remember my life as a creator and innovator. To remember that creators are not meant to live inside a box, but to LIVE outside of it. I want people to see Jesus and to be remembered for nothing less than giving everything that I have.”