Posting Date: June 8, 2010
Amy Johnson: Teaching and learning with passion
By Rochelle S. Wilson
Photo by Scott Singleton
Growing up, Amy Johnson wanted to be a Hollywood star. Given her outgoing nature, this could have been a good career choice. However, Amy—who believes the universe is out to do her good—was meant for other things. After graduating from the University of Georgia with a degree in painting, she tried several other ventures before enrolling at Kennesaw State University and pursuing teaching. Now she can’t imagine doing anything else. “The more I teach, the more passionate about it I get. I think I’ll always be in the classroom,” she says.
At KSU, Amy is pursuing her Masters of Arts in Teaching and currently teaches art at American Heritage Academy. A natural storyteller, she strives to make a positive impact on her students by forming personal relationships with them.
Amy enjoys the special focus her KSU professors place on reaching all students in the classroom. Her most inspirational class at KSU covered special populations of students. “It made me so much more aware of how important feedback is to a student,” says Amy. “It’s really important to make sure that you interact with all your students.”
Associate Professor of Art Education Sandra Bird describes Amy as “the kind of art teacher that runs with her creative ideas, and thus makes the art classroom a favored environment.” Bird also adds, “Amy is always eager to try new approaches to the study of art, particularly as it involves developing technologies.”
Amy instructs her students by helping them create unique, exciting products. Her students recently completed projects such as hand-sewn “kawaii” dolls, ceramic jewelry and art for African pen pals.
While at KSU, Amy has specifically enjoyed learning from Professors Sandra Bird, Rick Garner and Diana Gregory. She says, “I’ve been really impressed with their support. They are also so brilliant when it comes to their topics. It feels really wonderful to be in a program where I am learning from such respected persons in my field.”
Amy is scheduled to graduate from KSU in December and is part of the first cohort to go through the MAT in Art program. She attributes much of the program’s strength to the students. “When I sit in class with my cohort, they’re asking the kind of questions that show they’re seeking to become better teachers,” she says. Amy also received the 2009 National Endowment for the Humanities “Picturing America” grant, which awarded her school more than 30 museum-quality poster prints of famous American artworks.
Amy is proud to be a KSU student because of the school’s reputation. She says, “When people hear I’m in a master’s program at Kennesaw, the first thing they say is, ‘Oh, they have a great education program.’ That’s great to hear, and it’s exciting. In art education, a master's degree is a powerful thing."