Hobbies: Piano, movies, theater, crossword puzzles and walking
Education: University of Chicago- B.A
Harvard University- M.A in regional Studies- East Asia (Japan)
Radcliff Publishing Corps
George Washington University- M.A in Secondary education
Came to Blair in: 1999
Current Job: Foreign Language Teacher
Previous Jobs: University of Chicago Press
High School teacher in Chicago
Extracurricular: Co-sponsoring the French club with Mme. Keenan
Michael Honigsberg grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania having no idea he would find himself in Maryland as a high school French teacher. Now that he is here, however, he feels he has a fulfilling career that matters.
Honigsberg was born in New York City and lived there until he moved to Pennsylvania. He went to Monroeville High School and then attended to the University of Chicago. Honigsberg majored in Eastern Studies and learned Japanese. Subsequently, he lived in Tokyo, Japan for a year to continue his studies. Honigsberg gained new perspective from his year away from home. "Having grown up a white man in America, [being in Japan] where I was visibly, different was really a conscious raising experience," he said. "It was really different standing out and not just blending in." After a year, however, he missed home too much and moved back to the U.S and settled in D.C.
The love he had for Japan was not forgotten, though. He furthered his knowlege when he attended Harvard and earned his masters in Eastern Regional Studies. Honigsberg thinks his interest in Japan was sparked by a trip his dad took. "My father had gone to Japan when I was a little boy and he brought back pictures," Honigsberg explained. Those pictures always intrigued him. Also Honigsberg's father, as well as his brother, studied German, and he did not want to follow suit. "I wanted to try Japanese because I wanted to try a language that was really different," he said. After Harvard, Honigsberg's life took another turn.
For two years, Honigsberg studied at the Radcliff Publishing Corps for two years and then began to work for the University of Chicago press writing descriptions of books. It was here he it was time for a change. "I felt that I wasn't really satisfied with the jobs I had," he said. He went to George Washington University to get a M.A in secondary education. "I had always thought about teaching as a possibility," said Honigsberg. "I had good memories of teachers from high school. I was looking for something that would use my knowledge of languages and be more people-oriented."
So far, he has been teaching for six years, three of which were spent at a public school in Chicago. He is now a French teacher for levels two and four at Blair. He thinks his interest in French may have also been sparked by childhood experiences. "When I was really little, my parents had friends who were Belgian," Honigsberg said. "We would visit them and they would teach me little expressions." Now, he enjoys himself as he helps others to learn as well. "You're dealing with so many people all the time; every day is different. You know all those clichés [about teaching], they're true.
If he could live his life over, Honigsberg says, "I probably would have become a teacher sooner. As a teacher, you can make a difference."
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