By NADIA CENICEROS
Shannon Rooney, an advanced placement and honors biology teacher at Citrus Valley High School, in her 28th year of teaching, answers 15 questions about herself.
Mrs.Rooney has been a teacher for 28 years (Jasmine Rosales/Ethic News Photo)
Q: Is there anything that you wish you’d known when you were a first-year teacher?
Rooney: I wish I knew that it was OK to be friendly and chat with students. I was afraid to be a person that first year and I had a lot of classroom discipline problems as a result.
Q: In your opinion, what is the best part of teaching?
Rooney: I love watching my students grow and decide what they want to do when they graduate from high school.
Q: What is the most frustrating thing about teaching?
Rooney: The state is constantly changing the responsibilities placed on schools. It is hard for all of us to keep up; classified, teachers and administrators. That or the lack of cell service in the E building.
Q: If you never became a teacher, what do you think your other job would be?
Rooney: I would probably have been a veterinarian.
Q: Who inspired you most to become a biology teacher?
Rooney: It’s a tie: My 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Fields or Mr. Rooney (Shannon Rooney’s husband, Rob Rooney, also teaches AP Physics at Citrus Valley High School).
Q: What is the most difficult topic that you have taught your students?
Rooney: Gene Regulation is very complicated. Students must work hard to understand how most cells contain the same DNA, but cells use that DNA differently.
Favorites and pet peeve
Q: What is your favorite life story you tell your students?
Rooney: I did not intend to be a teacher. After I graduated with my Bio degree, I was a substitute teacher at Colton High School. I was subbing in a biology classroom, and I was having a great time answering genetics questions. Long story short, Colton High offered me a job. 28 years later and here I am, still teaching high school Biology. I love my job. Keep your options open, try different things, you never know where one of those choices will take you.
Question: What is your favorite lesson to teach in biology? (In AP or Honors Biology)
Rooney: The Bacterial Transformation lab in AP Biology. We insert a gene into a bacterium, and it produces a blue pigment.
Q: What is your favorite thing about your students?
Rooney: I just enjoy chatting with my students. Teenagers are full of energy.
Q: When you are not teaching, what are your favorite activities to do?
Rooney: Reading, walking with Ozzy (my dog) and Mr. Rooney or Pilates
Q: What is your favorite thing in your classroom?
Rooney: The University and Navy Pennants that represent each of my family members.
Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
Rooney: I dislike when someone asks a question, and another person makes a comment that makes the other person feel bad for asking.
Q: Are you more of a coffee person or a tea person?
Q: What is that one movie you can constantly watch and never get bored of?
Q: What brings your mood up when you are down?
Rooney: Chatting with my daughters, talking to my students or playing with Ozzy (my dog).