Meet Your NILA Board: Exhibit Chair and NAATF President Cara Heminger
What was your motivation to become a language teacher?
My teachers in junior high and high school, Madame Peggy Ruch and Madame Susan Liden in Willmar, MN, were so enthusiastic about teaching us French that I fell in love with the language and culture the first time I sat in their classes. I took a European tour with them as a junior, then backpacked through Europe after college. I became an Assistante d’Anglais in Paris and then got my MA in French Literature. After, I knew I wanted to spend my life sharing my love for learning about other languages and cultures. Being a French teacher lets me share my passion each day!
Describe your classroom approach in five words or less.
Creating lifelong learners, challenging, inclusive.
What would you recommend to educators to build their pedagogy and practice?
I recommend that an educator approach their life and their teaching career with a positive attitude of learning from every experience. We can learn from each other as language teachers, from our students, from our administrators, from brand new teachers, from veteran teachers, and even from our experiences in the community. Take on every experience — every meeting, every class we take or teach, every interaction with someone new — with a curiosity for learning and for being empathetic. I believe we gain so much to broaden our own horizons when we approach our lives that way. This translates to our own teaching when we glean from others what will work with our different students and topics.