Lover of jigsaw puzzles, résumés, and programming, Mrs. Zinck teaches Introduction to Computer Programming—Python at The Potter’s School. She lives in Amarillo, Texas with her husband and two daughters. Additionally, she enjoys playing the handbells in church, helping out as a preschool Sunday School teacher, and crafting.
Erika: What led you to teach at TPS?
Mrs. Zinck: I have been impressed with the rigor and standards at TPS from a parent perspective. When I saw that additional teachers were needed for programming and submissions for additional classes were welcome, I applied.
Erika: Have you taught at places other than TPS?
Mrs. Zink: I have done quite a bit of teaching through co-ops and church roles. My mom was a high school English teacher, and I learned a lot from watching her. I also had quite a few incredible teachers along the way who helped me develop my approach to teaching programming concepts.
Erika: Why did you major in computer science and minor in English?
Mrs. Zinck: I actually started out double-majoring in music theory and computer science with the goal of working for a company like Finale. Later, I took a technical writing course and fell in love with the subject. I loved being able to unite my nerdy computer science interest with the new dynamics of finding effective ways to communicate on paper or screen. I then declared English as my minor, which was highly unusual, but perfect for the field.
Erika: What led you to teach pre-K Sunday School?
Mrs. Zinck: I grew up helping my mom teach preschoolers in Sunday school. When our church announced a need for rotating substitute teachers, I jumped in. That morphed into a regular role at the craft table, to co-director of the class, and then to director. For now, though, I am sitting out due to risk factors in the pandemic. I hope to get back to the sweet kiddos in the near future.
Erika: What do you like best about technology?
Mrs. Zinck: I love how technology can connect us across distance, geography, and time. I also love being able to easily reach into the past using technology, whether that is pulling up a poem online, instantly accessing old scanned family photos from my phone, or running a search to find some advice I was emailed years ago.
Erika: What do you like about jigsaw puzzles?
Mrs. Zinck: I prefer one-thousand piece puzzles, and I hide the box with the photo on it until I’m finished. I love the challenge of figuring out how things relate and not knowing what I’m creating until I’m finished.
Erika: What are three words that describe you the most?
Mrs. Zinck: Observant, determined, and creative.
Erika: What is your dream vacation?
Mrs. Zinck: I like visiting interesting cities. We took a really enjoyable family vacation to Boston a few years ago. Part of me would like to check out Chicago, but I honestly have no idea why specifically. I know that one of my kids would love to check out Disney World—maybe someday!
Erika: If you won the lottery, what would you spend that money on?
Mrs. Zinck: I would donate a big chunk and put the rest back in savings and investments.
Erika: What is your favorite animal?
Mrs. Zinck: I am not much of an animal person due to my many allergies. We do have two well-loved dogs, though! I grew up with a whole bunch of bobwhite quail; I have a soft spot for them too.
Erika: What is your favorite song?
Mrs. Zinck: “Hang on Little Tomato” by Pink Martini.
Erika: What are some of your favorite things to cook or bake?
Mrs. Zinck: I love to bake cookies especially. Over our quarantine period, I have been fine-tuning a few categories of meals, especially new waffle, pancake, and biscuit recipes and homemade pizza.
Erika: What is your favorite Bible verse?
Mrs. Zinck: “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” Colossians 3:23-24.
Erika: What would students who enroll in your class be surprised to find out about you?
Mrs. Zinck: I guess since they cannot see me, it would surprise them to know that my eyes are different colors. The left is blue, and the right is brown.
Erika: Thank you so much Mrs. Zinck for this lovely interview. I have gotten to know you so much better. Your passion for programming truly is an inspiration to me. I hope to see you continue teaching in TPS for the years to come!