Ms. Henninger

Which describes your path to becoming a teacher most closely?

Other: Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science

What did you major in in college and what college degrees do you have?

I majored in English (B.A.) at Davidson College, then the Master’s Degree which is for K-12.

Did you have other full-time jobs before you became a teacher? If so, what were they?

I was a waitress out of college (thought I wanted to own a restaurant), then a paralegal for a law firm doing corporate law for 5 years, then at home with kids from 1987 until I began my master’s work in 2004.

When in your life did you decide you wanted to become a teacher?

In 2004 it finally dawned on me that being a librarian would be great—get to work with a wide variety of kids but not have all the stress of a classroom teacher.

Did you complete student teaching before becoming a teacher? If so, describe that experience.

Did a practicum at Seawell Elementary in Chapel Hill for a semester and my first semester at Hillside was my final practicum.

What are the pros and cons of being certified in the method you used?

I wish I had more experience in the education field per se with classes and such that would apply to what I do. While in school it was nice that I only had to take 2 education classes though since it lightened my work load. Honestly, my years of being a mom has helped as much as anything since I became skilled in realizing when I was being told untruths, what kids might be hiding weaknesses, etc.

Would you recommend your path to becoming a teacher to others? Why or why not?

Well, I loved that I was able to be at home with my kids when they were small and enjoy that time. I have to remind myself of that as almost everyone in education who is my age is 4 or less years from retirement. I am in year 9, so there is a price that I am paying now. Also, I wish I had the viewpoint of a younger person. Sometimes it seems that I am more cynical and tired than I was when I was younger, especially as libraries morph into different spaces than they have been for many years.

How many years of experience to you have in the classroom? Do you plan to remain a teacher or do you have other career aspirations?

I really like many parts of my job and don’t have plans to leave the library. It is a good mix of helping kids who need it, teaching important lessons and not having to put up with crap from kids who are only here to be a distraction to others.