Eye on the Storm interviewed our Head Teacher Librarian Ms. Andersen as she prepares to retire from teaching at the end of semester one. Ms. Andersen has recently been recognized as Teacher Librarian of the Year by the Ontario School Library Association.
Eye on the Storm: How long have you been teaching?
Mrs. Andersen: I have been teaching for 43 years (since 1971), but I did take breaks for family.
Eye on the Storm: Where did you start teaching, and what grade?
Mrs. Andersen: I first started teaching at Harbord Collegiate [in Toronto]. I was a librarian and I taught grade 9 and 10.
Eye on the Storm: Why did you become a teacher librarian?
Mrs. Andersen: I became a teacher librarian because I didn’t have a library in my secondary school and when I went to the University of Toronto I was captivated by their library. I loved the library there and I wanted to be able to give the same experience to all students. My desire was to teach students in high school how to research. I think that knowing how to research is a very valuable skill that every student needs.
Eye on the Storm: What schools have you taught at other than J. Clarke Richardson Collegiate?
Mrs. Andersen: There are too many to list but a few include Greenwood Secondary school. I taught there for 2 years. I also taught ESL with the Toronto District School Board. I taught at Kirkland Lake CVI and I moved to Yellowknife and taught ESL to Vietnamese refugees.
Eye on the Storm: When did you start at J. Clarke Richardson Collegiate?
Mrs. Andersen: I started in 2002 when the school first opened. I was on the team that opened the school.
Eye on the Storm: What was your most memorable moment as a teacher librarian?
Mrs. Andersen: It is so hard to just choose just one but the best moments are when students that don’t usually read books come up to me and tell me how amazing a book that I recommended to them is.
Eye on the Storm: What is your favourite book?
Mrs. Andersen: It is too hard to choose just one but one book that I really love is Pride and Prejudice. I just adore the love story in it.
Eye on the Storm: What are your plans for retirement?
Mrs. Andersen: I want to continue to be connected with education. I want to supply [teach] from time to time and help in the library when I can. I want to take time to garden and spend time with my 4 grandchildren. I would also love to travel, explore and just drive around and go sightseeing.
Eye on the Storm: Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to sit down and do this interview, you will certainly be missed by the staff and students.
Mrs. Andersen: You’re welcome.
Well, there you have it from our extremely dedicated Head Teacher Librarian, Mrs. Andersen. I know that the whole student body at J. Clarke Richardson Collegiate appreciates the hard work that Ms Andersen put into building our library since 2002. From all of us at Eye on the Storm and J. Clarke Richardson Collegiate, happy retirement Mrs. Andersen! We wish you all the best in your future endeavors!