Hello and welcome to my portfolio! My name is Vanessa Johnson and I am a 7th year teacher and recent graduate. This website showcases my work as a student at Johns Hopkins University, and my experience as an educator at Madison High School. I am currently teaching a 9th grade English and Reading Intervention, and I am the campus Dyslexia Specialist at my school.
Growing up in a low-income community, I remember how challenging it was to gain a fulfilling education. I was surrounded by others who like me, were products of poverty stricken single parent households who wanted more than anything to make it out successfully. Though the journey was not easy, I am a first generation college graduate who dreamed of making a difference in the community that helped me become who I am today. Through my journey I encountered many mentors, educators, and business professionals that encouraged me to become a teacher. I believed that they only way I could make a difference in my community, was to give back all that I had learned. This first led me to get a Bachelor of Arts degree in English at Tuskegee University and to also join Teach for America. With this, I believed that I had a strong connection to our inner city youth, and thought that I could serve as an example for others looking to make a difference in our world, letting them know that they too can be that difference.
After graduating from undergraduate school, I moved to Houston, Texas to start my career as an educator with Teach for America. It was then that I realized that our students were at a huge disadvantage. These experiences have made me realize my purpose. I want to better our students for tomorrow, and in doing that, continue my work as an educator to facilitate the primary responsibilities to accomplish the overall goal of student achievement. I currently serve as the team lead for Reading Intervention. I play an active role in mentoring new reading teachers and leading collaborative planning sessions. I also work closely with my campus Teacher Development Specialist to determine the needs of teachers in my department and the students. I pride myself as a life learner and always attend professional development to expand my instructional and coaching skill sets. I am a firm believer in making education accessible to any and all students.
Before I began to pursue a Master of Science in Education: Educational Studies, I found myself thinking about how I best serve my students. I wanted to understand how to effectively apply the foundational pedagogy to be the best educator I can be, especially because I service such a special population of students. Through the coursework of my graduate program, I have learned how to go about reducing the achievement gap, to share my newfound knowledge with my peers, and to help eliminate inequality in our inner-city classrooms.