Faculty Profile: Rebecca Fensholt, Instructional Assistant

One of our newest faces at TDS isn’t really new at all. We first met Rebecca Fensholt as a substitute teacher in 2018. Her good-natured adaptability and intelligence quickly made her an indispensable part of our faculty. This year, we are so pleased to have Mrs. Fensholt as a permanent faculty member. As an Instructional Assistant, she is ready and able to step into any classroom from Transitional Kindergarten through eighth grade when teachers are away from school. She also supports Lower School classes with small-group instruction and connects daily with students of all ages. You can learn more about Mrs. Fensholt in her own words below.

Amie Tedeschi
Lower School Coordinator

What is your previous teaching experience?
This is my fifth year teaching, my second year at TDS, and my first year working as an instructional assistant. I started as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Kansas where I studied the philosophy of natural and social sciences. As a GTA, I realized that I had a passion for teaching and an interest in introducing philosophical and critical inquiry to younger students, which prompted me to leave my program and pursue a career in K-12 education. When I’m not at TDS, I’m still teaching philosophy via online courses as an adjunct professor at Wichita State University.

What attracted you to Triangle Day School?
The way the community at TDS prioritizes student growth and transformation. Every person in this school is involved in every other person’s learning, and that creates a really wonderful, school-wide connection and fosters a sense of belonging.

What do you like most about TDS?
The students! When I started subbing last year, I thought that I would come in occasionally to get some firsthand experience in a K-12 environment. The more I got to know the students, the more I wanted to come in whenever a teacher needed a substitute so I could catch up with the kids. They’re awesome!

Family and Pets?
I have three dogs (Islay, a Great Pyrenees; Chuck, a Rottweiler/Lab mix; and Potato, a pit bull mix) and one cat (Beardsley). My husband and I met at the University of Kansas where he earned a Ph.D. in math, and he is now a mathematician for Great Minds, an education non-profit organization.

Hobbies and Interests?
I love to cook, play board games, and go camping and hiking with my dogs. I travel whenever I can – this year I’m going to Cuba and Belgium! I’m also involved with a neighborhood organization that is working to preserve the historic Hayti neighborhood in Durham. On Friday nights, you can usually find my husband and me at the Retro Film Series at the Carolina Theater. Oh, and I just started writing crossword puzzles this summer. My first puzzle was accepted last week!

Favorites?

  • Planet: Saturn
  • Foods: Macaroni & cheese and pizza
  • Plant: Sunflower (the Kansas state flower)
  • Color: Yellow
  • Writers: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Graham Greene, and E.B. White
  • Board games: Spirit Island and The Cones of Dunshire
  • Restaurant in Durham: Mothers & Sons
  • Basketball team: Kansas Jayhawks (Rock Chalk!)

Hopes and Dreams?
I hope to become a social studies teacher in the next 1-2 years. One of my long-term goals is to develop a K-12 philosophy curriculum. Outside of my professional goals, I hope to keep traveling, keep adopting dogs (shh – don’t tell my husband!), and keep learning new things every day. When I retire, my dream is to move to Bologna with my husband and spend all of our days cooking, eating, reading, and strolling under the Italian porticoes.

Fun Facts?

  • Last year, I backpacked over 100 miles along the West Highland Way in Scotland.
  • In college, I won a national award in Radio Sports Reporting for a story on women’s flat track roller derby. I also used to DJ!
  • I once spent a summer in Guatemala learning an endangered language, Kaqchikel. I also speak German and a little bit of Wolof, which is a language spoken in Senegal.