Ms. Van Genderen Teacher Profile


Alexander Diaz

Ms. Van Genderen poses for her profile picture. It’s her first year teaching, she teaches English.

Xander Diaz, Writer


 Ms. Van Genderen:


Where are you from? 

“I was born in Michigan but lived in Minnesota for a year-and-a-half, lived in Kentucky for six years, lived in Arizona for a year-and-a-half, and moved to Lincoln and have been here for the last six years.”

 What was your dream job as a child?

“A firefighter because of the huge coats.”

Do you have any spouses or loved ones at home?

“I am not married, but my parents are living in Lincoln and my sister and brother live in Arizona.”

What college did you go to?

“University of Nebraska-Lincoln”

What subject do you teach?


Do you have any separate jobs besides teaching?

“Right now, no, I do not. I have just started teaching. Usually I get to school at 7:50 a.m. and leave around 5:00 p.m.”

How was your first experience as a teacher or student teacher?

“I don’t think I could have had a better first experience. I actually student taught at Lincoln Southwest with Ms. Benson and Mr. Heimes as well, and both of those teachers are just really good teachers and have very good strengths and make being at Southwest such a good school.”

Did you teach anywhere else?

“Southwest is my first school.”

What do you do for fun?

“I do a lot of crafts and I really like to do hand embroidery, like cross stitching with the hoops and I do all the needle work, but anything crafty.”

Is there any specific reason that you started to teach?

“I had a lot of important teachers in my life who showed me the person I was and who I wanted to be. They invested in me and showed positivity and I realized it was something I can do.”

If you had to be an animal for the rest of your life, what animal would it be and why?

“I would love to be a bear because no one messes with a momma bear. I could hibernate whenever it’s cold and gross outside. I would love to sleep for half a year.”

When was the day you knew you wanted to be a teacher?

“My senior year, I was in a theater production and I got to a point where I didn’t know and thought I would go into theater production, but it was in the production where I realized I didn’t want to do that for the rest of my life.”

What is your biggest strength as a teacher?

“My positivity. I don’t always know what I’m doing but I like to pretend I do and I always try to stay positive in my class and I hope my kids feel the same.”

In 10 years what do you hope to accomplish?

“I hope to be a better teacher and I hope to build a community of people around me.”