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Donna Tanner

Donna Tanner Education Program Coordinator Middle/High School Teaching

Some of Dr. Donna Tanner’s best teachers have been little children.

The words and wisdom of these wee ones have inspired Tanner throughout her career from first grade teacher to principal to college professor. The lessons she learned along her educational way she now shares with her NECC students.

“I have always believed that I learned so much from my teachers, more from my colleagues, but most from the children over the years,” she says.

NECC offers Associate of Science degrees in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, and Liberal Arts: Middle/High School Teaching which provides a two-year foundation for individuals interested in pursuing a career as a teacher. At Northern Essex, all programs integrate classroom learning with practicums or field experiences that provide real-world experiences.

Tanner has accumulated more than 35 years of real-world experiences working in the field of education. A field she cares deeply about believing it to be a life changing profession for both teacher and student.

“I want to continue to help future teachers see how their imagination, vision, knowledge, and grit can make a difference in the lives of children,” she says. 

She enjoys nothing more than talking with students about a future as a teacher. Today, the language of educators includes terms like common core, second language learners, social curriculum, and assessments. Concepts she incorporates into her curriculum.

“It’s important to attract future teachers who find this world fascinating and want to use their interests and passions to guide and make a difference in the future of our world,” she says.

When she reflects on her profession, Dr. Tanner is quick to quote a former professor, who often said, “Teachers can be bearers of gifts. Not only do we have the privilege of introducing great literature to young, imaginative minds, but we also have the priceless opportunity of giving each child the gift of believing in him or herself.”

“I think about the many children I have learned and worked alongside over the years,” she says. “It has been exciting to touch their lives, find their strengths and their special ‘greatness’,” she says.