Gifted 2nd Grade Teacher
Gifted 2nd Grade Teacher
Hi! I’m Alisa Johnson. I love to teach – I think I’m excited about teaching because I love to learn. I am the one who can’t remember not wanting to go to school; who always loved school and who vowed to read every book in my elementary school library (I read a lot but didn’t quite get there!). 2018-2019 will mark my sixth year of teaching gifted second graders at San Tan – what a privilege it has been!
I am originally from Oklahoma – my husband and I migrated to Arizona for a job move in 2000. In addition to school and reading, my other passion from the time that I can remember is music. I was the kid whose parents had to beg to please STOP practicing the piano. When I graduated from high school, my father told me that I should study something that I really loved in college – “College only works if you are committed and commitment works best coupled with passion,” he said. I majored in music and graduated with an undergraduate degree in piano performance (University of Oklahoma. – home of the OKLAHOMA SOONERS!)
When we started having children, I fell in love with teaching and homeschooled my kiddos. When our youngest was in 1st grade, I began to think about the possibility of actually teaching other folks’ kids. I enrolled in an accelerated, dual-track masters program at ASU which allowed me to complete graduate work, get certified and teach full time. I COULD NOT have even thought about completing my graduate program without my family’s support
Capturing the art of teaching remains my ultimate goal. I am Christian and one of the things that continues to fascinate me is the over 164 times in which teaching/teachers is referenced in the Bible. I feel most connected to God/the Bible when I’m reading the parables and how Jesus related to and taught his disciples and the multitudes. He consistently started from where people were and then challenged them to think beyond. My goals as a teacher are the same: taking students where they are and challenge them to think about their potential and the power of learning. Learning is the most important thing we do – learning about ourselves, about God’s plan and purpose for our lives and then learning about the world around us.
Two of my all-time favorite quotes are Matthew 5:1: “Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them…” and from the poem by John Donne, “No man Is An Island: No man is an island entire of himself, each man is a piece of the continent; a part of the main…” Both of these quotes suggest that we are meant to grow in our understanding AND we are meant to be in community. My ultimate goal is that at the end of our time together, students and parents realize that together we have accomplished much. I love to integrate subjects; I love to find math in reading and social studies in math and science in art. I am committed to introducing students to global awareness – our global community. I love integrating cultures and stories into the classroom. I think it’s important that students realize that there are people who
have very different life experiences but that have the same basic values and goals for themselves and their families.
My favorite movies always evolve around the same themes – the opportunity to change; how circumstances propel people to act, the ability to make a difference. My all time favorite movies include “Finding Forrester”, “Goodwill Hunting”, “The Visitor”, all of the Madea movies (Tyler Perry), “The American President”, the James Bond, Indiana Jones and Bourne movies.
I continue to read a lot – my favorite authors include John Grisham, Stephen L. Carter, Dan Brown, Jhumpa Lahiri, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I also enjoy children’s authors A LOT!
I love to TRAVEL – in a car, plane, train, for two days or 2 weeks – it doesn’t matter. Just packing a suitcase gets me excited! I also am a “wanna be” crafter. I collect foreign currency from around the world! My husband and I also love craft fairs and farmers’ markets. We love to support local artists, farmers and entrepreneurs and to try new things.
Every time I edit the story of my life and I realize that it keeps getting better! I’m thrilled to share my passion for teaching with San Tan families!