Mrs. Tan is here and already enjoying WA


Dan Allison, Staff Writer

Shirley Tan is a freshman math teacher in her first year teaching at Westford Academy. She answered questions for us to find out a little more about her.

Q: Why did you become a teacher?

A: I just enjoy math and I also enjoy helping people. Helping students to learn math and I know a lot of kids struggle with math and I like helping them learn to understand. I feel like if I have a way to make math fun then I should share it with the students.

Q: What do you enjoy about teaching at WA?

A: I enjoy the culture, the support you get from the parents and administration plus the students here are really great. The students here love to learn and they are very polite as I would say thank you to the parents for raising such good kids and administration for showing the students the ropes of how to behave. I have never taught in a district where they say thank you at the end of the class until now.

Q: Is there anything different about Westford Academy compared to schools you have taught in before?

A: A lot of students here, even the students on the more challenged level work really really hard and you all try and do not give up and that is one thing I enjoy. Everybody seeks help here rather than in my other schools where I had to hunt kids down to give them help. Students advocate for themselves which is a helpful tool to have for college. All of the ninth graders come from the middle school where they are told to this, this, and that but yet they have shown they can speak up for themselves and that is very unique to WA.

Q: What are your goals for this year? 

A: My goal for them is of course to learn math and be strong with basic math most importantly because I am teaching ninth graders. I want them to enjoy math and to see math in a different light, when they say you can apply math in many ways of course you can because you are solving the problem with math but you are also solving the problem with life. Sometimes math can be very challenging but so is life, so might as well have fun with it and hopefully when my students leave in June they will have fond memories of ninth grade math.