A newer face in the foreign language department has been nothing but a stand out since the day she stepped back into the building she walked through as a student. Señora Henderson has a big heart and focuses on making her students feel like they matter.
Throughout high school, Spanish was always a class that stood out to Henderson. It was more than just the language alone that interested her; it was also the culture. Because she loved Spanish so incredibly much, she decided to minor in it during college.
Henderson attended college at Purdue and received her Bachelor’s Degree of Liberal Studies and majored in Communication. After receiving her first college degree, she decided to continue her education at Indiana Wesleyan University where she received her official teaching degree.
Before Henderson had the chance to use her teaching degree in her own classroom, she spent 10 years working for a construction company that her family owns, R.L. Roofing.
After spending all of that time working at a company, she decided to student teach in a 5th grade classroom at Handley.
Henderson loved student teaching, so when the first year Spanish teacher at LPHS spot popped up, she took a chance and applied for the job.
Because she spent four years of her life in La Porte High School, she really felt at home getting the teacher spot in the Foreign Language Department.
“Originally I wanted to teach elementary school. I love little kids! Then, this position was open. I love the Spanish language so it worked out how it was supposed to. I am so happy I switched gears and decided to teach at LPHS!” Henderson said.
Teaching a foreign language is different than most other subjects. Usually the students walk into Spanish I class without a clue how to speak the language. They might think they do, but then they immediately realize that Spanish class isn’t as easy as it seems.
“My favorite thing about teaching is when I start seeing progress in students. Since I teach Spanish I, it is rewarding to see students knowing little to no Spanish at the beginning of the year to seeing them speaking Spanish in the end,” Henderson said. “I love when they begin to really understand the language. I love seeing when students have that ‘lightbulb’ moment when something suddenly clicks and they understand what is going on.”
Henderson tries doing everything she can to make the classroom more fun for students. She tries spicing up review days with a game of jeopardy or bingo. The games that she plays with the kids help clear up any fuzziness they might still have in a fun way.
“Educational games help my students learn and practice the vocabulary but also motivates them to participate and want to learn. I love the competitiveness I see from my students during these games that we play.” Henderson said.
Outside of the classroom, Henderson continues to enjoy watching competitors. Whether it be in her students or her own children, she tries to attend as many games as she can.
“I enjoy going to all of the Slicer sporting events and watching my students play. It is nice to see them in their element and they always enjoy seeing me there supporting them.”
Henderson isn’t just a teacher in many people’s eyes. She is supportive, kind, and relatable. She makes students feel like they aren’t alone and that they can confide in her whenever they need to.
“I have built a good relationship with my current and past students. I have students who come talk to me about certain things and I am glad that I can be that person in their life.” Henderson said.