Johanna teaches at RISE Community School and New Highland Academy and is in her fourth year. She has worked with children and teens with special needs for over 10 years, first informally as a counselor and tutor. I may be a young professional but I can say with confidence that I’ve found my calling in this work.
Why public education?
I have been a strong self-advocate. However, these were not skills that I was taught; rather they were skills I learned through personal struggle and a lot of trial and error. I strive not only to teach my students how to understand themselves as learners and individuals, but also to advocate for themselves and their needs. I teach because because I believe that knowledge is the most powerful tool needed for social justice.
I like to say that Oakland found me. I was initially placed here in Oakland as part of my teaching fellow. I’ve stayed because I’ve fallen in love with this place, its people, and its history of social justice activism.
What are your vices?
Netflix. I’ve spent far too many lazy Saturdays watching Netflix only to look up after hours and realize the sun has set! I’m not sure if it’s the feature that makes the next episode play instantly, or if it is just my love for all things comedy and action.