Tanjela Sims

Senior Specialist, AZ PRIME


Tanjela Sims joined NIET in 2019 as a senior specialist for Indiana TSL. She boldly embraces a growth mindset, positivity and a "can-do" spirit, wholeheartedly believing that with hard work, diligence and the necessary knowledge, skills and resources, every teacher and every student is capable of reaching unimaginable limits.

Tanjela has an unwavering passion for teaching and learning and has spent her entire career working in the field of education. Prior to joining the NIET team, Tanjela worked as a national trainer and consultant for National Geographic |Cengage Learning Education. She has been an elementary and middle school teacher in Louisiana and Arizona, an instructor for pre-service teachers at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College (Arizona State University), and has also worked in the nonprofit sector as an associate coordinator of Community Renewal International's adult education program in Shreveport. Tanjela's array of instructional experiences inspired her current professional goal to ensure that every child, in every classroom, has an effective teacher and high-quality education. 

Additional highlights of her career include serving as a clinical coach for the University-School Partnerships for the Renewal of Educator Preparation (US PREP) National Center (housed at Texas Tech University), and providing training and support to district administrators, school leaders and classroom teachers across the state of Arizona as a regional master teacher leader, with the Arizona Ready for Rigor TIF grant (Arizona State University). As she continues her work in educational leadership and professional development, she is striving to reach her professional goal one district, one school, one teacher and one classroom at a time.

A native of Shreveport, Louisiana, Tanjela holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Dillard University and a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction from Arizona State University. 

 Tanjela  Sims

Who is your favorite teacher?

During my undergraduate studies at Dillard University, my life was forever changed by my amazing advisor and professor, Dr. Patricia Morris. Dr. Morris taught me that being a successful teacher was more than just knowing how to apply content and pedagogical knowledge. She emphasized a holistic teaching perspective and taught me to be an advocate for kids, to be intentional about learning the uniqueness of each of my students, and to recognize the value in building positive relationships.

What do you do in your free time?

When I am not traveling to support schools, I try to make time to embrace my artistic side. I love doing arts and crafts (especially projects that involve painting and building things), and I thoroughly enjoy spending time in craft stores searching for creative new activities and DIY (Do It Yourself) projects.