James Johnson

Master of Arts in Educational Studies with Secondary Teacher Certification

James  Johnson, School of Education

Field of Study: Master of Arts with Teacher Certification (MAC) - Secondary History Student

Year in Program: 1st and only!

Geographic Region: Bloomfield Hills, MI

Undergraduate: Birmingham Seaholm High School, University of Michigan LSA

Prior to UM: After graduating with a B.A. in Psychology (History minor), I spent a year serving with AmeriCorps as a volunteer tutor and mentor at Detroit's Cody High School through a program called City Year. I gained invaluable experience working in a school and designing individualized lesson plans, as well as working with students with IEPs and other special needs in a generally high-needs environment. City Year also emphasized community service, and provided me several opportunities to give back to the city of Detroit. I have worked at the Common Cup Coffee House for five years, and have also held jobs at the University Housing Information Office and as a research assistant in the Department of Psychology. 

The best part of SOE so far: The SOE provides a unique opportunity for MAC students by giving us experience working with students from practically the moment the program begins. My work at Scarlett Middle School over the summer was a lot of fun, and I am enjoying my placement at Skyline High School now. I don't know of any other graduate or certification programs that give their students this much experience teaching and observing in a school. It is what set U of M apart when I was applying and has been the best part even now. I also really like having classes with familiar faces. The MAC program is a fairly tight-knit community and we enjoy having the opportunity to see each other regularly. 

After graduation: I will be teaching history wherever I can find an opportunity to do so! I am not picky about the environment in which I can find a job; I would ultimately love to return to Detroit but am not in a rush to do so at this point in my life. I want to be the best teacher I can possibly be before I take on the challenge of working in another high-needs (or "priority") school, where I feel the students deserve and need the best teachers more than anyone else. I love working at Skyline so far and would gladly stay to work there if they have an opening at the time and are willing to hire me! 

Teach me something! My favorite thing about Ann Arbor is the food. There is such an array of things to eat and atmospheres in which to eat them. Some hidden gems I have found that don't necessarily break the bank are Casey's Tavern, Madras, Old Town, Frita Batidos, and (most importantly) Franks. If I am just trying to relax and get some good food while I do a little homework for the MAC program, I'll be at Franks getting some bacon and eggs or their "famous" french toast. Love that place!