FLUSHING — Elms Elementary School teacher Sue Johns has been selected as the Flushing Education Association’s (FEA) Teacher of the Month for April. Johns, who currently teaches fourth grade at Elms, has been with Flushing Community Schools for 31 years.
Below is an interview between the FEA and Johns:
FEA: Why did you become a teacher?
SJ: Simply, I became a teacher because I wanted to share my love of learning with students and wanted to make a difference in children’s lives. Throughout my school age years, I had some amazing teachers who made a big impact on my life. My dream was to be THAT teacher for students. I wanted to make them feel important, encourage them and help them realize their potential. I feel that because a teacher has the opportunity to shape and influence young lives, it is one of the most important jobs in the world!
FEA: What motivates you to put in the blood, sweat and tears that education requires?
SJ: The young people motivate me to put in the blood, sweat and tears that education requires. I love working with them. They are all unique with diverse personalities, backgrounds and potentials. Some come from challenging backgrounds and need extra support in different ways. Others are highly, academically motivated and need me to challenge them. There is only so much I can do in the short time I am with them, but I am motivated by the thought that I can make a difference in a young life.
FEA: What role do teachers have in a community?
SJ: One of a teacher’s many roles is to support, encourage and mentor students. As a teacher, it is critical to get to know each student as an individual—to understand their abilities, needs, learning styles and cultural background. Building a caring classroom community, establishing a positive rapport and being a role model are essential.
FEA: What is a moment you’d like to share from your profession?
SJ: Some of the most rewarding moments of my profession have been when I witness a student learning something new. That twinkle in their eyes and sparkle in their smile makes me know it is all worthwhile!