Q and A with Tanya Bouma


Q: When did you first get passionate about helping students?

A: I’ve always been passionate about helping students.  My initial thought for a career path was to be a Speech Language Pathologist, but then in college, I switched to teaching, specifically English & Spanish. But when I took this job at PHS, I found my true calling: to work with students who sometimes fall through the cracks of our educational system.

Q: How do you help students at PHS?

A: My day is spent helping students with homework a lot.  Sometimes I reteach things, and sometimes I just need to prod them to get things done.  Other times, I spend my time “counseling” them through issues in order to help them reprioritize things, so that homework can get done.

Q: How does helping students make you feel?

A: Honestly it’s not about how I feel.  I’ve been blessed to be a blessing.  And that is my goal each and every day.  If I can somehow be a blessing, I’ve reached my goal.  So I guess if it makes me feel anything, it’s proud when I see their accomplishments.

Q: What are the biggest challenges in your position?

A: The biggest challenge is not taking the emotions and struggles of the day home to my family.  I have had to learn how to leave some things that are said, done, or not done at school.  I have walked into school and remembered that each day is a new day with a fresh start.  Another challenge is when I see a student struggling, and no matter what I do or say, it just doesn’t seem to help.