On the first day of classes I always asked my students to write an essay telling me about themselves. I wrote my own essay to introduce myself to them.

Who am I?

I am the child of parents who thought they could never have children. Born when my mother was 39, my parents considered me a gift from God and a miracle and they treated me that way. I think every child deserves such treatment.

My Grandfather taught physics and engineer at the University of Minnesota’s West Central School of Agriculture starting at the age of 19. He remained an active faculty member at the U for 48 years, eventually becoming resident Superintendent of the U’s experiment station in Rosemount. He encouraged me to think and probe and question. He remains my greatest teacher.

I am the husband of a beautiful woman who I love very much, stepfather to three kids who I love very much, Grandpa Al to three grandchildren and a handful of neighborhood kids.

I love seeing the world through the eyes of children.

I live in my head most of the time, and inhabit a world of ideas.  Ideas are more real to me than physical objects. I can walk by an object and not notice it’s there, I can’t walk by a discussion of ideas.

I am abstract-random in my thinking. I tend to be something of a slob.

I am a teacher. That’s how I define myself. I am at times a mystic, a poet, a philosopher, a recluse, but always I am a teacher.

I am here, in Grand Marais because I want to be. Living and teaching in a small Minnesota town was my goal coming out of college. Teaching physics in Grand Marais was my dream. I taught physics and chemistry for 28 years, now I’m starting a new chapter teaching Special Education.

I have a B.S. from the University of Minnesota in Physical Science (Physics and Chemistry) and a M.Ed. from St. Scholastica.


Al Heine
Special Education
218-387-2271 x299

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