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Tess McAnally

Alumni Feature: Tess McAnally

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Tess McAnally, a 2018 graduate with a bachelor's in secondary education and concentration in social studies, was recently recognized as a 20 under 2 teacher by the Teaching and Leading Initiative (TLI) of Oklahoma. The honor recognizes 20 Oklahoman teachers with outstanding performance during their first two years in the classroom.

As an OSU graduate, Tess credits her OSU classroom and field experiences for preparing her to succeed as a U.S. history and psychology teacher in Bethany, Okla.

What are ways you've found to make learning come alive for your students?

Creativity is a must when trying to make learning come alive for students. I always try to look outside of the box when coming up with lessons. I often use Gardner's Multiple Intelligences to try new ways to deliver content. If I am excited about something we're doing that day, it is much easier to get them excited about it too!

What is your teaching philosophy, and what is your approach for entering the classroom each day?

Every day is a new, fresh day for me. It's extremely important not to hold grudges against my students, even if we had a rough time the day before. So many things could have contributed to that student acting out, and it's not my job to make them feel bad about it. We all have "those days" because we're all human. We have to learn from our mistakes and move forward.

What OSU experiences prepared you for your career?

I have to credit the whole College of Education and Human Sciences for preparing me for my career. All of my professors, teachers and academic advisors gave me knowledge, advice and confidence that I could take to my classroom. A lot of my leadership comes from my time in the College of Education Student Council. I really learned how to take charge, plan and execute ideas.

What advice do you have for OSU students and future professionals?

My advice for OSU students and future professionals would be to utilize your resources. OSU has incredible programs and services to use that can really make a difference in your education.

What was your reaction to being recognized by TLI with the 20 under 2 distinction?

Over the summer I was notified that I was nominated for TLI's 20 Under 2. My first reaction was, "Wow, someone I know thinks I am good enough to be a top teacher in the whole state?!" I sent in a questionnaire about my teaching style, accomplishments, and goals. A few weeks later I was contacted and told that I was selected. I felt extremely humbled just to be in the same category as these incredible teachers.

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