HUNG-YU (TANYA) LAI
Summit Public School at San Jose
San Jose, California
Tanya Lai still remembers the words of her middle school science teacher: “Science is the language of nature. By learning science, you are learning to appreciate and explore the wonders and beauty of the world.” The words fueled Tanya’s passion for science.
While she was pursuing a double major in physics and mathematics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Tanya became involved with “The Wonders of Physics” science outreach program which brought in families for lab tours and demonstrations. She loved seeing how inspired the students were and realized she wanted to teach. “It was as if I was seeing myself when I first heard the words from my science teacher that had unwrapped a world of wonders.” She continued to gain teaching experience through supplementary instruction sessions for struggling college students taking physics.
Tanya considers that “the greatest challenge for beginning teachers is not to teach the way they were taught. It is easy to fall back on the familiar method and forget the changing demand of students.” She is looking forward to being part of the KSTF community, where “enthusiastic, passionate teachers bounce ideas and create lessons that engage and deliver.”
Born in Taiwan, Tanya graduated from Moscow Senior High School in Moscow, Idaho. She spent her last year of college in her country of birth, teaching conversational English classes and volunteering as an English teacher to 8th grade girls at a children’s home. She hopes to teach in the Bay Area.