Johannah Nanke, West High School

By April 22, 2021 Uncategorized

Position: 9th & 11th Grade English Teacher

Years Teaching: 9 years

Hobbies/Interests: Traveling, volunteering, hiking with my dog, cooking, reading, and gardening

What do you enjoy most about teaching? Being an advocate for and with my students to help them realize the future they want to see, building a community, and watching them grow and learn and figure out who they are.

What do you find most challenging about teaching? The hardest part is the emotional toll that teaching takes on you- knowing the trauma your students are going through, and carrying that with you to inform your instruction. Every student has had different experiences that shapes who they are, and meeting each of those needs is hard, but leads to my favorite part: watching them bloom and become who they want to be.

Best tip for new teachers: Your students are not monoliths- take the time to get to know them and learn to work with them, not against them. Understand that behavior is functional- it almost never has to do with you. If you need support, as for it! You never have to do it alone.

Best tip for career teachers: Don’t be afraid to change up your style! It can be re-invigorating to your practice. Be true to what works for you and your students. Along the way, you might find yourself among some pretty cool humans.

Favorite piece of advice for students: Don’t take criticism from someone you wouldn’t go to for advice.

What being a Gold Star Teacher means to you: Being a Gold Star Teacher is incredibly humbling and also wonderful- thank you to everyone who has been a part of my support system. You have truly helped me get here. It means I am able to get more resources to help my learners, who are the best part of my day. I promise to continue to grow and learn from you to be the best teacher and leader I can be- you are my inspiration.

Watch Johannah’s video here!