Peggy Johnson, 3rd Grade Teacher at St. Rose School in Northeast Portland
Nominated by Darcie LaMotte (parent)
Mrs. Peggy Johnson has been a part of St. Rose School for over 30 years. Last year she considered retiring, but stayed because she heard how amazing the upcoming class of kids would be. As a parent, I am extremely grateful for her staying one last year. She is pure joy for our kids and the school. Mrs. Johnson incorporates singing in much of her curriculum, which the children truly enjoy! She also has a love for frogs. You can find them all over the classroom. Here are a few of the words to describe Mrs. Johnson when asked by parents and staff: affable, joyful, nurturing, the quintessential teacher, peacefulness, sincere and passionate. Words to describe Mrs. Johnson by her students: fun, happy, best teacher ever, kindhearted, sweet, awesome! My daughter said the favorite part of her school year is Mrs. Johnson, singing with Mrs. Johnson and math. Thank you for honoring Mrs. Johnson by being Educator of the Week!
Congrats, Peggy, from all of us at K103! Get to know Peggy Johnson:
What inspired you to become an educator?
I was inspired to become a teacher because of all the wonderful teachers I had growing up. Because of them, I found so much joy in learning. They built my confidence in myself and gave me opportunities to excel.
What do you like most about teaching?
Seeing their excitement when learning something new, their enthusiasm over simple joys, their ability to start every day fresh, and their seriousness when tackling a challenging problem are all things that are delightful to see.
What has changed the most since you began your career in education?
The thing that has changed most in the last 46 (!) years is probably the influence of technology in (and out) of the classroom. Children have more and easier ways of accessing information. Of course, the challenge is to preserve their innocence so that they are not over-burdened with world events that are so beyond their control.
What would you like parents to know about your job?
I would want parents to know what a privilege it is to spend so many hours a day with their children. That they would place so much trust in me to affect the minds and hearts of their young ones is such a big responsibility and one I take very seriously.
Share a favorite story about your years in education.
I’m not sure there is one easy answer. Over the years, I have had the joy of sharing many hours of service to the community with my students. Third graders lead a “Mac ‘n Cheese and Tuna, Please” food drive every year—going to all the classrooms to sing special songs to encourage donations. They lead a clothing drive for Northwest Children’s Outreach and then visit one of the group’s warehouses to spend time sorting and organizing the donations. And they visit Providence Child Center several times a year to share time and friendship with the PCC kids. I love to see the children helping others and doing really important work. And when I retire, one experience I will miss most is sharing music with my class. We sing nearly every day—patriotic songs, songs for math, science, social studies, seasons, holidays, and faith. When the class just breaks out in song on their own, my own heart just sings!