Anne Henry has been a professor of geology at Sinclair since the fall of 1992. Henry started as part time faculty, but later in April of 1994 she accepted a full time teaching position.
Henry originally went to school for geophysics. Her dream job at the time was to work with nice computers at a big oil company and tell them where to drill.
She said she’d always had a “typical nerdy science fascination,” that’s part of why she chose the field she did.
Additionally, Henry has always had a love for rocks and how the Earth worked. She used to have a shoe box full of rocks she had collected, hidden behind the couch as a kid.
“I would go to school and my mom would throw the rocks back in the driveway, and I would get home and go find them again.” Henry said.
Throughout Henry’s educational career she kept hold of the dream of working in geophysics, but over and over people kept telling her she should teach.
In high school Henry tutored math and latin, and in college she tutored business classes and calculus. Repeatedly her students asked her if she was going to teach, and when she said no, they would say “But your so good at it.”
Continuing into grad school Henry was a teacher’s assistant for a lab section, and once again students insisted she should teach. Then in her last year of grad school an opening popped up to teach an Earth science class at Sinclair.
“Being a penniless college student I thought; are they gonna pay me? Yep, alright I’ll do it.” Henry explained.
And two years later when a full time faculty position became available, Henry decided she was good at it and the pay wasn’t bad, so she would give it a try.
Even though it isn’t a comfy office job at a big company, with a big salary and fancy machines, Henry doesn’t necessarily regret her decision to become a teacher. Working at Sinclair allows for a flexible schedule, let’s her stay local and she enjoys working with her students.
“It’s one of those things where you have to do what you enjoy doing, you can’t be just in it for the money, because the money don’t mean as much unless you enjoy it.” Said Henry.
When asked about her favorite part about being a teacher, Henry laughed and said, “It’s not grading, I’ll be honest with you.”
Henry enjoys the “Ah-ha moment,” as she describes it, that she sees in her students.
It’s when she sees utter confusion on the faces of her class, and then she explains it more or in a new way, and all of a sudden the wheels start turning and the students begin to understand the concept.
“So many students come in so science phobic, and they think they can’t do it, or they have been told they can’t do it, and to see that confidence come out… I enjoy doing that.” Henry explained.
Henry is also quite known for her analogies in the classroom. These analogies range from food items such as fudge or marshmellows, to cats. She said one of her favorites was using making rice krispies to explain the texture of molten rock.
Henry enjoys teaching because she enjoys helping her students learn, her witty analogies and one liners engage a class in the topic and lighten the mood of a lecture day. One such topic Henry manages to make engaging is the importance of dirt, and in the words of Anne Henry “Did you appreciate your dirt this week?”