Ines Ruan relishes the unique personalities of her students. Ruan teaches a fourth/fifth-grade combination class at Mesa Verde Elementary. 

“I like to tell them to be themselves,” says Ruan. “I have a quirky group. I can’t wait to see how they’ll grow up.”

Ruan started with her current group of students halfway through last year when their teacher fell ill. She looped with those third/fourth-graders into this year. She says that allowed her to start this school year with a good handle on where the kids were coming from and where they are heading.

“I enjoy working with students and watching them grow—academically and socially,” Ruan says.

Angelina V. nominated her teacher. She and her classmates appreciate the treats that they get at the end of the week and the attention they receive throughout from their teacher.

“She gets us computer programs that no one else in the school has,” writes Angelina. “She picks out novels...that are between 4th- and 5th-grade level. She knows her students very well.”

Ruan says that her favorite subjects to teach are social studies and math.

“I’ve always loved social studies,” says Ruan, but admits, “as a student, I struggled with math.” 

Her own past difficulties with math make the subject one of her favorite ones to teach!

“I enjoy helping the students succeed and master (math),” says Ruan. When they get it, they learn that “it feels great to master a new skill,” she explains.

The ability to relate to her students means that she shares a lot with them, and vice versa. Ruan says she has her own fourth-grade picture hanging in her classroom.

Ruan is a Tucson native who attended the UofA. She has two children—a middle school-aged son and a younger daughter. She says she spends much of her free time with her kids and enjoys watching them play sports.

“My hobby is being a mom right now,” Ruan says.    

Fun Facts:
Substitution Play: Ruan was a substitute teacher before she took on her own classroom at Mesa Verde Elementary.
Family Ties: Ruan's daughter attends Mesa Verde. She says it can be handy to be at the same school for things like forgotten lunch money.
Edition: 
Tucson
Issue: 
February 2018