Can you tell us about yourself?
“Hello. My name is Heather Henry. I work at Porter Elementary as a 5th grade teacher in Mesquite, Texas. This is my seventh year in the classroom.
Why did you start a career in education?
“I started my career in education because I wanted to help kids grow. I had amazing teachers growing up and without them and without their love and their support I wouldn’t be where I am today. So, I wanted to give back. I actually grew up in Mesquite and went to a Mesquite school. So, I loved coming back home to give back to my kiddos.
If you could have any other job what would it be and why?
“If I could have any other job my dream job would to be an actually be an Instructional Specialist within Mesquite ISD to work closely with teachers to help them better their practices and in turn touch the lives of more than just the students in my classroom. I would want to be able to work on school cultures so that every child and every staff member felt loved and appreciated and part of a family.
How are kids different now than 30 years ago?
“Kids are different from 30 years ago. Well one, I wasn’t born 30 years ago so, but they are very different. They have access to so many different things. The technology they have grown up with wasn’t even invented 30 years ago. So, kids that have cell phones or laptops and computers at home that was something that 30 years ago kids didn’t really even have access to. They have grown up in a generation where technology is king. It’s a good thing, there are pros and cons. As teachers, we have to think about that, think about where our kids come from, and what they have access to.
How is teaching different now than 30 years ago?
“Teaching now has obviously changed because our kids changed. We have to change with the times because if we don’t, we are going to miss our kids. We have to incorporate things within our classrooms that are technology based that are more engaging and collaborative in nature because we are preparing our kids for jobs that don’t exist yet. And so we are giving kids opportunities to work through problems and work together.
What is one thing you would change to help kids learn better?
“If I could change one thing to help my kiddos learn, is that they could have access to books and literature, and access to experiences outside of school. My school is considered a low socioeconomic school and many of my kids don’t necessarily have access to books or internet or have computer access where they can work on things at home. Many of them don’t have opportunity to do different things. So, if we are reading about a book about baseball, so of my kids have never been to a baseball game. Or if we are reading a book about fishing, most of my kids... they have an idea, but they have never experienced it. So, it makes it really hard for kids to connect with the things they learn at school if they don’t have that background knowledge to support that.”