September 27, 2018
Stacey Dallas Johnston is a veteran educator, a blogger, and the person in the meeting who always has a question. After 18 years in the classroom teaching HS English, Johnston is working on Special Assignment with the Nevada Dept. of Education on Teacher Leader Initiatives for the 2018-2019 school year.
This Teacher’s Journey
I launched a blog this year to not just share my experiences as a 18-year educator, but to open up a space where other educators: new ones, veterans, retired, K-12 and beyond can share theirs. Teaching is hard. The narrative around our career is often negative, but there are so many wonderful stories to share.
My journey has been one of triumph, learning, tears, evolution, and reflections. My blog is a step toward not only reflecting on my journey, but to contribute to the narrative surrounding educators and education in a positive way. With 3.5 million educators in the U.S. , there are unfortunately not 3.5 positive stories shared daily. This Teacher’s Journey is a small step in changing that.
As a veteran educator, my experiences have run the gamut. Professionally, I have earned accolades and awards, taken hours and hours of coursework and professional development, attended and presented at conferences. I’ve taught grades 6,9,10,11,12. I’ve taught remediation classes all the way to AP. I’ve taught over 3,000 students: wonderfully creative kids, kind human beings, those who struggle to learn, those who needed school and my classroom for normalcy and escape. My students have suffered experiences that most adults will never have to. I have bought shoes and food for students, paid for bus passes and field trips, been a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. I’ve been privileged to be their mentor, their cheerleader, the one who introduces them to a new book, the one who helps them discover their voices.
By giving my students a multi-faceted education, and by continuing to be a life-long learner and advocate, I have had the pleasure of seeing them bloom into leaders, confident adults, human beings who can overcome even the darkest of circumstances. The extra hours, the extra dollars, and the extra work have all been worth it because my journey has given me the extraordinary opportunity to help young people take journeys of their own.
I am honored and humbled to be one of the adults in the lives of over 3,000 students who helped carve out a path to education, career, and happiness. The stories are many and by sharing them, I hope to let others know how special my students and colleagues are and how important teaching truly is.
I invite you, fellow educators, to share your journey with me. Help me make This Teacher’s Journey the place where anyone who wants to can read about our daily lives, our struggles and celebrations, our professional and personal evolution.
Teachers are people too–people with stories to tell. Let me help you tell yours.