Ms. Toni Tarsi has been a teacher for 35 years.

Why did you decide to become a teacher?
I “played school” all the time as a young child. Perhaps being the oldest of five daughters created the “I want to be in charge” scenario. I always embraced the planning and organizing of everything I did—a prerequisite for all teachers.

What are your goals as a teacher?
My primary goal for my students is to give them the foundation for not only academic knowledge and skills but for moving into high school with life skills. I hope that no matter what they study, they will have the organizational foundation in which to be successful.

What would your students be surprised to find out about you?
My students may be a bit surprised to know that I gave DISCO dance lessons in the 70s!

Any embarrassing teacher moments you are willing to share?
I suppose it was when my grade partner and I supervised a school event in the gym and played a racing game on four-wheeled scooters… She rode while I pushed. Needless to mention, it was quite the sight. Unbeknownst to us, we were filmed on security video; the coaches watched it and shared it for all to see!

If you were trapped on a desert island with your favorite book, what would it be and why?
I would have to settle down with a good mystery… James Patterson or Mary Higgins Clark. Sometimes I reread books without even realizing it. I suppose on a desert island it really wouldn’t matter!

Is there a quote or saying that you live by?
Where there’s a WILL, there’s a WAY!!!

Is there anything that you would change in our schools?
With all the tragic events happening in our schools today, I pray for peace and safety for our students while they are learning in what should be the safest place for them.

Valrico Teacher of the Month is sponsored by Brenda Wade at Signature Realty

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