Abby Himmelrich ’12

Survey Bio Abby Himmelrich Trinity.jpgJOB TITLE: Classroom assistant
ORGANIZATION: Lab School of Washington
LOCATION: Washington, D.C.
GRADUATE DEGREE: Master of arts in special education: learning disabilities expected May 2015

What was your first position after college? The first thing I did after graduating was intern at The Lab School of Washington, which is a school for kids with learning disabilities. I had known that I wanted to work in special education and that I wanted to be in Washington, D.C., but I had to look for teaching positions that did not require teaching certification or a master’s degree. I came across the internship program at Lab and felt that it fit perfectly with what I was looking for. After a year of interning at Lab, I began graduate school to get my certification and master’s degree in special education. I am in my second year of my master’s program at American University and in my second year working at Lab as a classroom assistant. 

Has a liberal arts education helped you in shaping your career? A liberal arts education definitely helped me. I came to my job with a broad range of knowledge and experiences because of the variety of classes offered at a liberal arts college. 

What aspects of your Trinity experience have been important to advancing your career or graduate school experience? I think that the community learning classes were most helpful. I have been able to use so much of what I learned from working in Hartford schools and other teaching settings in my job and also in my graduate studies. I feel that I entered graduate school with knowledge about a wide range of students and the challenges that different educational institutions face. Also, I was always pushed to ask questions and to think critically while at Trinity, which has actually made graduate school easier for me. 

What advice would you give to Trinity students to prepare for a position in your field? I would tell students to take advantage of the social science classes that Trinity offers. Because of all of the psychology classes I took, I have a much better understanding of the students in my classroom, and I feel that I can help my students in ways that aren’t necessarily taught in other classes. Also, get involved in the community. Working with a range of teachers will be the best preparation for when you have your own classroom. Lastly, I recommend that students remember what professors at Trinity expected of them and always put forth that same effort.