Teacher feature Q&A: 15 questions with Citrus Valley’s Shannon Rooney

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)

Teaching Reflections

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.

Fun Facts

Q: Are you more of a coffee person or a tea person?

Rooney: Tea

Q: What is that one movie you can constantly watch and never get bored of?

Rooney: Inception

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).

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