Describing herself as a “loving sister, daughter, girlfriend, and teacher who works hard for her community and family,” Tiffany Seeber is not one to brag on herself. She’s the first in her family to graduate college and the first to earn a master’s degree. But her story doesn’t stop there as she fought her way out of a situation marked by domestic abuse, terrorism, and pure chaos. A true survivor with incredible strength and a new appreciation for life, Tiffany shares her story as well as her passion for teaching in this Sheen Magazine exclusive.
Tell us more about yourself.
I was born in Dayton, Ohio and then moved to Freehold, New Jersey as a teenager. So, I have both a midwestern charm and a Jersey attitude rolled into one. I earned my master’s in science education from Rutgers University in 2011. I started teaching shortly after. Now, if I’m not in the classroom, you can find me in the kitchen trying new recipes. I also just discovered a new love for mountain biking and I’m always on the trails with my boyfriend and his two sons.
How has the pandemic impacted your teaching and your students?
I originally dropped out of education due to the pandemic. I had many family members with previous health conditions and simply couldn’t risk it. I wasn’t out for long. I came back once the dust settled and found a great new school. My students are trying their best, but it’s very difficult. Students must be quarantined for up to two weeks if they come near a person with COVID. While quarantining is completely warranted, it’s very frustrating with the frequent absences for both sides. Students are constantly playing catch-up with their work.
I also teach in-person and virtually. Internet issues, sick family members, technical difficulties, and many more problems face my students every day. Not every family has perfect internet or the resources at home and that’s something we must account for. In school, wearing a mask all day is an obvious challenge for students. I also teach with a mask on, which is hot and tiring. Don’t get me wrong, I know that masks are important, and I’ll gladly do my part and wear one, but it’s a challenge. Social distancing with middle schoolers is no easy feat but we manage. We’re trying our best. Patience is the name of the game.
How do you stay self-motivated during these difficult times?
It’s all for the students. I take pride in the relationships I form with my “babies” and I know they need to learn and grow. Some days it is next to impossible. Stress and anxiety skyrocket, but I know my students need me and that’s what gets me out of bed in the morning.
Do you often succeed in achieving your goals?
I try! I’m not perfect. However, those closest to me always say that if I want something, I go get it.
Tell us your experience of modeling for She Exist and what inspires you about the CEO of She Exist, Janelle Harris?
I love being a She Exist model and wish it was my full-time job. I love how empowering it feels and I love representing a brand that does so much for women. Ms. Janelle is a powerhouse. She’s driven and an inspiration to female entrepreneurs everywhere. I wish I could bottle her dedication.
What are some of your greatest accomplishments?
I’m the first person in my family to attend college, the first to earn a master’s degree, and I was just recently accepted into the Harvard Extension School.
What advice would you give someone who wants to mirror your success?
I suggest becoming a substitute teacher first and really get an understanding of how schools work. I also encourage you to have lots of patience and know that you’re getting into a challenging yet extremely rewarding career.
What sense of purpose have you drawn from your community?
In light of the pandemic, teachers must wear many hats. We are teachers, psychologists, social workers, nurses, babysitters, police officers, etc. all in a given day. These hats sometimes weigh a lot, but I know the job is important and needed.
What else can we expect from you in 2021?
You can catch me representing She Exist and advocating for teachers everywhere!
All images by Nicole Jack Photography