Abby and Brittany Hensel now — Everything about their thriving career in teaching

Abby and Britt

The popular conjoined twins who have defied all odds have come a long way from first appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show when they were just six years old. Their growth has since been the subject of numerous documentaries, magazines, and series and the two even starred in their own reality television show in 2012.

Since then, Abby and Brittany Hensel have retreated from the public eye for some time and have not made any media appearances in more than eight years. However, rest assured that they are both well and good, and have thriving teaching careers in their hometown, Minnesota.

Key Takeaways

  • Abby and Brittany Hensel teach mathematics to fifth-graders in Sunnyside Elementary School in New Brighton, Minnesota.
  • The twins were paid a salary of one person despite having separate teaching licenses and contracts.
  • The school and students’ supportive response eased certain reservations people might have had about Abby and Brittany’s situation.

Abby and Brittany Hensel started their career in teaching by becoming part-time teachers in an elementary school in 2012

Though the twins have shed the spotlight for a few years now and have not been seen by the public recently, it is known that Abby and Brittany are currently working as teachers in Sunnyside Elementary School of the Mounds View Public Schools which is located in New Brighton, Minnesota. The school’s website lists the twins as math teachers for fifth-graders.

After graduating from Bethel University, they went on an extensive tour of Europe and traveled to London, Rome, and Venice before joining Sunnyside Elementary School in September 2012 as part-time math specialists, teaching fourth and fifth graders.

This was documented in the series titled ‘Abby and Brittany: College and Beyond’ which aired on Australian national television in 2012. In a clip of the show uploaded on YouTube by Naked Stories, Abby and Brittany expressed their excitement about starting their careers in teaching.

“We got a job, which is really exciting. We are fourth and fifth-grade math specialists so we will have two classes of math. It’s part-time which is nice, so we will be kind of transitioning into the teaching world,” the twins said.

The twins were chosen by the school from 175 applicants as Principal Paul Good said that he was looking for a “very excellent” candidate for the position. He further explained that Abby and Brittany’s exuberance, math knowledge, ability to solve problems, and excitement about teaching got them hired.

“They came to our school and sat around our table with myself and four other teachers. After the interview, I showed the girls off to the front door and I came back into the room. Before I even sat down, one of the people said, “Run after them, hire them, give them the job”,” said Mr. Good.

Sharing similar sentiments, Abby and Brittany said that they connected really well with the staff and came to know after the interview that the job was a perfect fit for them.

The twins were paid one salary together despite having two teaching licenses and separate qualifications

Abby and Britt

While Abby and Brittany were teaching part-time in the school, they were paid a single person’s salary despite having separate contracts for their teaching job. Abby explained;

“We are only part-time, so obviously we don’t get a full salary but what they are doing is just splitting [the salary] into two and giving me half and Brittany half. So, right now that’s good.”

Even after becoming full-time teachers in the elementary school, Abby and Brittany’s payment scheme remained the same. However, the twins did not have many complaints about the situation and were understanding of the arrangement as Abby told The BBC in a 2013 interview that future negotiations were always possible.

“Right away we understand that we are going to get one salary because we are doing the job of one person. As maybe experience comes in, we would like to negotiate a little bit, considering we have two degrees and because we are able to give two different perspectives or teach in two different ways,” said Abby.

Meanwhile, Brittany provided a different perspective and said that in some ways they can “do more than one person”, saying that when one of them teaches, the other usually monitors and answers questions. Thus, offering more than what a single teacher can.

A similar instance was captured in another prior episode of the series ‘Abby and Brittany: College and Beyond’ posted by Naked Stories in which Abby and Brittany could be seen teaching a class of fourth-graders as a part of their student-teaching assignment during their senior year of college at Bethel University.

As they asked their students what it was like having two student-teachers, a student replied that “if Abby was talking to one person, and I have a question, I can just ask Britt.”

However, the payment matter did not come in between the twins and the school as Abby and Brittany continue to teach at Sunnyside Elementary School. Besides, the school believed Abby and Brittany’s position as teachers serve as role models for the students to not only excel in academics but also in overcoming any challenges in life.

“I don’t think there’s anything that they won’t try or something that they couldn’t be able to do if they really wanted to. To bring that to children, especially kids who might be struggling, that’s very special, that’s learned through lived example,” Principal Good told The BBC.

Putting certain concerns to rest, Abby and Brittany have always received support from every school that they have taught at

Though the student-teaching assignment marked Abby and Brittany’s first step into teaching, their supervisor Geri spoke about certain initial concerns they had about how the students would respond to such a “unique and special” situation. But the young students surprised everyone by being very welcoming of the twins and treating them as a part of their learning environment.

“Once you arrive at the place where you just recognize them as very qualified and dynamic teachers, then it becomes a non-issue really. And that process for kids, I think, happens [snaps fingers] like that,” explained Geri in an episode.

Moreover, Mr. Moberg, the principal of the school where Abby and Brittany taught fourth-graders as part of their student-teaching assignment, affirmed his support and said that there would be no hesitation on his part in hiring the twins and putting them in a classroom.

“There is no question in my mind that they will really change the world for the better and influence lives in ways that those like myself, as one person, never would be able to do,” said Moberg.

Similarly, when Abby and Brittany were hired by Sunnyside Elementary School, Principal Good mentioned how it was an “uncharted territory” and said that he had talked with the Human Resources division to get a better understanding of how to proceed with the recruitment.

“We did have a meeting with [Abby and Brittany], I mean the HR did just to kind of determine how they were going to deal with… because the reality is they are starting to work for teaching till retirement.”

When asked about how the school planned on introducing the twins to the community, Good explained that the school had its public relations person compose and sent out letters to the community and he planned on reintroducing them to the community during an open house.

“But I think that after anyone sits with these exceptional young women, any of their concerns will vanish absolutely… I am absolutely thrilled that they are here and that they are going to join our community,” he added.