Happy Friday! This week's Fabulous Female Friday features one of my best friends, Mandy Johnson. My path first crossed with Mandy's when I was student teaching. Mandy was a first year teacher at the school where I was student teaching, and I think that the two of us were both too frazzled to realize how much we had in common! Thankfully, I ended up working at that school, a year after I graduated, and Mandy and I have been family ever since! Mandy and I know that the best ways to cheer each other up usually involve something sweet and delicious and/or a picture or video of adorable animals.
Johnson, Music Teacher
"I am so honored to be part of
#FabulousFemaleFriday! I have been a music teacher for eight years now, but
have transitioned from middle to high school in the past two years. This will
be my third year with the ‘big kids’, and I am still constantly amazed at how
they rise to every challenge and make beautiful music together. They make the
endless rehearsals, many many performances and long nights worth it with their
smiles, creativity and genuine love for what we do!"
When do you feel
your strongest? I always feel my strongest when
my life is in balance- making sure I spend enough time with family and friends
as well as pursuing professional goals.
On your most
difficult days, what keeps you going? On my
most difficult days, I remember that I am proud to be in a profession where I
have the privilege of helping people and making the world a better place every
day. Sometimes students come back and thank me for things I thought were so
insignificant at the time… knowing that any moment could be that moment keeps
me on my toes. Even a well timed smile can turn someone’s day around- I know
their smiles do that for me!
What do you
value the most in yourself, you relationship with your spouse/partner, and your
family? I am constantly impressed by my
family’s wisdom, humor and love. My Mom and Grandmother have been such strong
influences in my life and taught me how to be true to myself and my calling. My
Father reinforced his belief that choosing a job solely for it’s salary is
never worth it if you don’t love what you do. One thing they all impressed upon
me either through their example or their words is that when you find a partner,
he should be someone who makes you laugh. Someone you have fun with. Your best
friend. I feel so lucky that their wisdom lead me to Vinny, who is my rock. Any
man who is brave enough to jump in with my loud, wild family and still knows me
well enough to rush me to the hospital for surgery when I insist I’m fine is a
rare treasure. For myself… I think I most value my creativity. It’s a gift from
both sides of my family that allows me to solve every problem that comes my way
while still having fun! It’s something that puts a smile on my husbands face.
Most of all, I feel like it is the essence of who I am and I’m so glad I’ve
found a life that thrives on that gift.
So far, what have been your greatest accomplishment(s)? Being brave for others when dealing with situations that would
have scared me to death when I was younger. The amount of humanity you see as a
teacher can be overwhelming. One year a student came to me with a sensitive
abuse situation. Being able to act as a first responder, listen to her and then
get her the help she needed was both the greatest and most terrible
accomplishment I can think of. Before I got my degree, I wanted to avoid
teaching older students because some of these situations just made me sick. It
took me a long time to realize that these situations don’t go away because you
close your eyes to them. Students need someone trustworthy and informed who
will reach back when they reach out. I’m so glad I can be that person. Watching
that student get help and grow stronger and more confident made my heart feel
like it was going to burst.
What advice would you give to your younger self? Own it. Own YOU! Don’t apologize for who you are- revel in it!
Labels: #girlboss(es), Fabulous Female Friday