Heidi Henderson entered the field of education indirectly through the sciences. She earned a B.A. in Biopsychology with an emphasis on Learning and Memory from Cornell University in 1996. Her work included identifying the physical changes that occur neurologically as a result of learning. She then earned a M. Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Cross Cultural Teaching from National University in San Diego, California. In addition to the usual student teaching, she also worked with an American couple who had adopted a little girl from Tajikistan, to include both advising on child development issues and serving as a Russian language translator. She went on to teach fourth grade, first in San Diego County at a school that served largely-disadvantaged populations, and then later at a Title I school in Durham, North Carolina. After Heidi's students received top scores on the writing assessment in North Carolina, she was asked to become part of a team that focused on training and mentoring other teachers. She then served as a District Writing Specialist for two years.
Family brought Heidi to the Northeast, where she has continued to stay involved in education, with a particular emphasis on writing. She has worked with students of all ages in Rhode Island. She has taught after-school writing workshops to elementary school students and has been an adjunct professor of writing at a local community college. She has also consulted for elementary schools, where she worked with district leaders and principals to help their teachers become more effective instructors of writing. Through these varied positions, Heidi developed the belief that professional development can only truly succeed when key leaders are involved, where the objectives are clearly understood by all, and when participants have the opportunity to receive ongoing coaching and support.
Heidi first started working with Thinking Maps twelve years ago in North Carolina. She saw first-hand how the concepts gave all students a visual foundation upon which they could quickly build, regardless of subject area or grade level. Heidi joined The Balance Between when she saw that the company's methods of professional development blended so well with her beliefs. She is always eager to help teachers and students learn to think and become independent, creative producers of information. Heidi lives with her husband and five children in rural Rhode Island.