Teacher of the Month February 2017: Michelle Johnson

Tell us about your family:
I live with my husband; Sheldon Johnson and our adopted one-eyed Shih Tzu named Song.

Which grades or subjects do you teach and at which school?
String Orchestra: 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade in Stonewall Jackson Middle and
Lucy Addison Middle Schools

How long have you been teaching?
This is my 7th year teaching.

How long have you been at your current school?
6 years!

What made you decide to become a teacher?
I have always enjoyed helping others. Helping a student discover music and nurture their musical development is especially rewarding and fun.

What advice would you give to a new teacher?
Never, ever give up. If your first plan doesn’t work, something else will. Keep trying until you see the light bulbs. There is nothing wrong with adjusting your plan.
What advice would you give to parents with children in school?
Allow students to explore! I have taught many students who struggle in Academic subjects, but thrive in music class. Music and other fine arts have the capability to spark the fire of learning.

What advice would you give to a student entering a new grade?
Give yourself grace. Allow yourself to learn. Allow yourself to succeed. Allow yourself some mistakes.

What is your favorite part about teaching?
I love seeing students engaged, excited, and enthralled by the process of exploring and mastering a new piece of music.

What would your students be surprised to know about you?
I marched in Barack Obama’s first inaugural parade. It is an experience I will never forget. I hold that very dear to my heart.

What do you like to do when not teaching?
I love to cook! I am an avid Food Network watcher and love to explore new recipes.

What is on your wish list?
Travel. I want to go everywhere!

What are you most proud of?
My sweet little family and our life that we are building together.

What is your favorite quote?
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Elenor Roosevelt

Where are you from originally? What brought you to Roanoke?
I am originally from Franklin County, VA. I went to Radford and the University of Tennessee – Knoxville for graduate school, then came back here to teach.

What is the biggest challenge in your life?
Finding my work and life balance.

Josh Eagan

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