Carissa Baumgartner, SNC Blocker, Inspired to Teach by Her Own French Teacher


Cassi Garrison, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

“I love being here,” said Carissa Baumgartner, a Sophomore Block Student from St. Norbert College. 

Sophomore Block Students, also called SNC Blockers, are students from St. Norbert college studying to become teachers.

They are matched with a teacher at Notre Dame Academy, whom they learn from and gain experience.

Baumgartner, who is from Waterford, Wisconsin, and attended Waterford Union High School, says she chose St. Norbert because it felt like the right fit. 

 “Before my tour of campus, I didn’t think that it would be one of my top choices,” she shared. “But once I finished the tour, I was so impressed and amazed. I knew that it was the right college for me and the best decision.”

In high school, Baumgartner participated in volleyball, National Honor Society and French Honor Society.

She is currently working with NDA’s French teacher, Mrs. Brenda Rentmeester, and she says being in her classroom is “amazing.”

“It is very helpful for me to be exposed to another high school French class and learn the key tricks of being a teacher,” Baumgartner said. “Every day I leave feeling one step closer to achieving my goal of becoming a French teacher.”

She added that Rentmeester answers all of her questions, gives guidance and provides her with great resources to help her in the future. 

“I love learning from my teacher and observing her classroom,” shared Baumgartner. 

Baumgartner also said that she enjoys tutoring students in French because “it feels really good to help someone see their potential and achieve it.”

She shared that a big inspiration to teach French was her own French teacher.

“She developed a classroom environment where I felt comfortable and excited to raise my hand and participate in class,” Baumgartner said. “I think that she was a big reason why I found my passion for French.”

Baumgartner’s advice for someone considering becoming a teacher and participating in the SNC Block Program is to be okay with making mistakes and accept that progress can be gradual.

“Becoming a teacher is a great deal of work, and I noticed how different everything is once you switch from being the student to the teacher,” she said. “So take your time and accept every resource or helpful hand that you are offered.”