by Heath Johnson

I am the fourth grade teacher here in Bassett. I also Head Coach Football and Assist in Basketball.

I got into teaching because my younger brother who is 12 years younger than me, taught me how to love and deal with children. From the first time that I interacted with a group of students at my local preschool I was hooked. Full of wonder and excitement, children make each day new and exciting.

I think that men need to be aware of how great a profession like this is. But it comes with unique challenges. When you teach in large suburban areas, I think more men are accepted and certainly sought out. But here in rural areas, like I teach there is still the old time thoughts, that this is a woman’s job. When I graduated I was told that I would be welcome in schools with open arms because I was a man. That didn’t happen. AT ALL!! Rather, I had no mentor teacher, I learned the Standards and how to teach them, practically by myself, no one really checked in on me, I was left on an island. Certainly made me better in the long run, and as I start in on my fourth year I am getting much better at handling all my duties.

To elaborate a little more on my first experience, its hard to put into words. Simply put I was asked by my brother’s preschool teacher if I would stop in. I did. I had never had so many kids on my lap. They were impressed and enthrawed with me. I knew right then that I could make an impact and they would listen. I still have that today. Even though I teach fourth and not younger children, I still have them enthrawed. I love the pressure of being a good role model and I accept the challenge. I live my life so that the kids have something to copy. I know that what I say and do has impact on kids. I know that I can push them to be better students, athletes and people. With so many kids in my classroom and on my teams that don’t have fathers, I am an island for those kids. A male to talk to. An example that men can be caring, kind, and understanding.

I love my job, but not where I teach it 🙂 If that makes sense. I love teaching and coaching and so often I feel that only about ten percent of my capabilities is being utilized by my employers. I am actively seeking a job somewhere in the state of Nebraska. My wife is also a teacher, and hopefully by the end of the year we will have come to a decision.

Heath Johnson
Bassett, Nebraska, USA