Make the Greade An Amazing Teacher

Meet Brian Johnson, Make the Grade an Amazing Teacher

Akron Beacon Journal 

Entertainment & Life 

Meet Brian K. Johnson, Make the Grade: Amazing Teacher 

Posted Nov 4, 2019 at 9:34 PM Updated at 7:47 AM Name: Brian K. Johnson 

School: Currently, Findley CLC; formerly at Akron Garfield High School (27 

years) 

High School Alma Mater: Warren G. Harding High School in Warren; Class 

of '84 

College: BM University of Akron 1990; American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria 1997 and 1999; The International Lyric Academy of Rome in Italy 

2002 and 2006 

Family: Wife Susan W. Johnson, kindergarten teacher at Robinson CLC, Akron 

Public Schools 

What subject(s) do you teach (grade level)? Music; K-5 general music; past: high school choir director for 27 years at Akron Garfield High School 

What is the best part of your job? Sharing my love and appreciation of music and opera with my students by singing operatically to/with them on a daily basis. Even though we have roughly ten different languages spoken and 27 countries represented at Findley CLC, music is a universal language. When our students see someone they know their daily music teacher, Mr. Johnson) singing professional opera or musical theater on YouTube, it allows me to answer real world questions about a professional career in teaching or performing and all that it entails, such as education, job opportunities, self promotion, diet/exercise, being a good colleague, potential salaries and career longevity. One student even dressed up as me for Halloween. Huge compliment. 

> man 

What is the most challenging part of your job? Working with so many students of various ages from different countries, with different cultures, experiences, religions and languages; and making sure that each and every music class offers something fun, rewarding, challenging and inspiring as well as being educational for each student, which is no small task. 

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Is teaching kids the same today as when you first started? Kids are kids and will always be kids. What has definitely changed is that we have to work so much harder and be more creative in our approach to teaching. Today's students have been through so much at such an early age that we have to really be in touch with each student and what he/she has been through and what he/she may be going through. Further, we need to reinforce to parents, students and the community that when the children are in school with us, they are in a place of love, caring and safety in addition to being an institution of learning. 

Your students would be surprised to know that you... In the mid '80s, I performed a rap for the Shamu Show at Sea World. 

What's your hidden talent? I am a sponsored player for E-Force Racquetball, and I play at the highest level of amateur racquetball: Men's Open. I won my first and only State Title (Men's A) at age 50 

If you weren't a teacher, what would you be doing? Professional opera singer or professional sportscaster 

After a long day at work, what's the best way to relax? Hitting the gym and then taking a long motorcycle ride on some new roads and finding a restaurant to have a great meal. I am an avid motorcyclist!!! 


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