WITN's Teacher of the Week: Brenda Hensley of Parkwood Elementary School

This week's WITN Teacher of the Week is Brenda Hensley, a 5th grade math and science teacher at Parkwood Elementary In Jacksonville.

Hensley received her elementary education degree from Campbell University and her K-6 certification from East Carolina University.

The person who nominated her wrote: Mrs. Hensley celebrates the differences in kids and helps them to realize that greatness comes in many forms. She pushes the kids to learn all that they can, but she is always there to guide and support them along the way. The school and Mrs. Hensley have implemented a program called "Code to the Future" where these students have been learning the fundamentals of computer coding through scratch and robotics through Lego EV3s. When you walk into her room, you will not see traditional desks. Instead, you will find collaborative tables, yoga balls, bean bag chair and all types of adaptive seating environments. She allows kids to choose the seating that best suits their preference for learning. This is just another example of understanding the varied needs and desires of kids."

She started teaching Pre-K in Onslow County Schools in 1992. Prior to that, Hensley was the director of a preschool. She worked at Summersill Elementary School in Jacksonville for the next 21 years, in Pre-K, 2nd, 4th and 5th grades before moving to Parkwood Elementary.

Mrs. Hensley wrote, "My philosophy of education is you must teach the whole child. I try to recognize that there are cirumstances outside of school control that often cannot be controlled. But it is the teacher's job to ensure that their students feel safe, supported, and engaged. Inspiring young people to become the best they can is be is my ultimate passion when working with my students."