Phone: 910-567-6664 ext. 35238

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Spanish

Hola! My name is Rebecca Johnson I graduated with a BA in Spanish, with Teacher Certification and minors in English and History from Michigan State University in 2011. I also earned a MA in Teaching and Curriculum with a concentration in Educational Psychology from Michigan State University in 2016. I have been a Spanish Teacher at Midway High School from 2012-present, and the Department Chair since 2013. I have been serving as the 504 Chair since 2018. 

I teach because I believe in the infinite potential of every child.

In one of my classes I had a very challenging student. He showed very little interest in learning Spanish and in school overall. It was a daily struggle just to get him to take notes in class. However, the very first time he wrote a pen pal letter he was so excited about communicating with someone that he got up from his desk to get a Spanish-English dictionary to look up new vocabulary words all on his own. I also saw this student’s mouth drop open as he watched a video about La Tomatina, exploring the unusual tomato throwing festival in Spain. As a teacher I live for these moments.

I am extremely passionate about each one of the subjects that I have chosen to teach. I know that my passion may not directly translate to all of my students. Many people have heard the expression “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” Many teachers apply this to their students – you can present the material but you cannot force learning. One of my teaching highlights was having the opportunity to listen to Manuel Scott, an original Freedom Writer, speak and I will never forget one message that he shared. At a previous conference a cowboy came up to him and reaffirmed his saying. However, this cowboy said it was possible to put salt in the horse’s mouth and make it really thirsty. It is my responsibility to make my lessons as salty as possible; to get students interested and engaged by showing them the value of what they are learning.

When looking into my classroom, the environment may appear slightly chaotic; it is busy but focused. A significant amount of time is spent in pairs or small groups so that students focus and are encouraged to use Spanish. Making mistakes is an essential part of language learning. In order to make the students feel comfortable speaking Spanish, it is very important to build a strong classroom community where the students are comfortable around each other. We spend a lot of time in class getting to know one another. Not only is this a great opportunity to create a positive classroom environment it is also a great way to engage students in the target language.

It is not an easy time to enter the education profession. Teachers are facing increased pressure to boost student achievement as class sizes get larger and education budgets are cut due to a struggling economy. It is not a decision that I have made lightly nor is it something that I believe will be easy. As one teacher, I know it is not possible to solve every problem but as Mahatma Gandhi said, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." I do know that if I want to see change it is going to have to come from educators like me who have every student’s best interest in mind.