Program specialist in Atlanta builds rapport with teachers through conversation, empathy
This story is part of a weekly series that celebrates outstanding teachers in our Flipgrid community. Stories by Angela Tewalt.
Years ago, a young Chanel Johnson was the chatty one in the classroom.
It’s not that she wasn’t a good listener or that she disrespected her teachers. Instead, she just loved being around people. She was talkative and extroverted, but she also knew she was capable.
“My senior year in high school, there was Teacher Cadet, a program for high-achieving kids,” recalls Chanel, a K-5 Science Lead in Atlanta, Georgia. “Now, I was the regular kid who teachers would often overlook because I was the talker, but when I asked my teacher to be a part of the program, I learned that even the high-achieving kids struggled, and I was the one who ended up teaching them math.
“That’s when I found my passion for teaching. However many kids were mislabeled like me, I wanted to go into education and advocate for them.”
Years later, she’s still striking up conversations. Chanel believes with all her heart in social learning – that we become better friends, better teachers and better family members when we simply get to know one another.
“If you’re going to come into my classroom, we’re going to talk, because I believe that’s how we learn,” Chanel says. “One of the things that’s never stopped about me is wanting to talk it out. I’m all about listening to different voices.”