Deb Johnson


Ridgeway Elementary School, Manchester, 2nd Grade 


“When I was in second grade, I had teachers that really inspired me and my love of books and learning. I knew even at that age I wanted to be a teacher. I was a classic learner who took in everything that I learned. 


“I have taught at a few different schools, from pre-k up to 5th grade.  I want my students to feel comfortable and safe, because when they do, it really allows them to open up their minds and explore. I want them to know that I care about them and am invested in them, and I am going to do everything in my power to help them be successful. 


“I have always used a Shining Star theme in my classrooms, so when they first come into my classroom, I tell them, ‘Welcome to my classroom, you are my shining stars, you are special and unique, and as a classroom of stars we are going to shine so bright this year.’


“I love my school. There are supports in place for any families that might have needs outside of the classroom, so I do the Power Hour after school program, so if any kids need extra support, we spend extra time with them after school and give them homework help if they need it. 


“One of the things I love to do is challenging the kids to learn more in a fun way. I had one kid in my classroom, she was such a natural learner, and she was way beyond her years. She became a really good peer coach to others in the classroom; she understood my jokes, which is really nice in second grade. In 2nd grade their personalities are really blossoming, and it is fun to watch. I remember she was really cool. 


“I have kids that I had in Kindergarten that are in 5th grade, which is the grade kids can volunteer to come during recess and sign up to be a teacher’s helper and help read with kids, and help with their math facts. They help me put all the papers in the mailboxes. They are such great role models for my 2nd graders. 


“Every year is rewarding to me. I feel like I am a constant learner, because I am always learning how to reach each individual student with their own unique learning style. I feel like they inspire me all the time to always be a learner.” 

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