Amanda Johnson - I AM the AEA

The motto of Townsend Elementary School in Pine Bluff is “give, they’ll give it back to you.” For Amanda Johnson, third grade teacher at Townsend, this motto has proven true.

 “This is my second year teaching,” she said. “Last year, I taught fourth grade at Townsend Elementary. This is my first year teaching third. I graduated from Arkansas Tech University in 2014 with my Bachelor of Arts degree in early childhood education, then went straight into teaching. Right now, I am in the final stages of my master’s program for School Counseling at the University of Central Arkansas, and I hope to graduate in the spring of 2016.”

If this weren’t enough to fill her time, Amanda also is a board member of the Arkansas Education Association’s district five, which represents Jefferson and Grant counties. She serves as the liaison and helps connect the district members with the AEA. She also serves on the public relations committee.

“I was a member of the AEA at the college level for four years,” Amanda said. “This is my second year at the professional level. The reason I am a member is not only for the amazing benefits and discounts it offers, but also because it has allowed me to connect with fellow educators to gain feedback and knowledge. As a new teacher, that is what helps me in my field.”

Amanda joined the AEA early in her career because of the networking opportunities available to her and other members like her.

“The AEA is a voice to the voiceless in legislation issues,” she said. “It speaks up for what its members think is best for all of us as well as the students we teach.”

The AEA is the professional public education membership organization dedicated to improving the quality of education offered to students and making it attractive to teach in Arkansas public schools. To do so requires learning and working environments where teachers and support professionals are equal partners with the board and administration. The AEA is committed to leading and assisting in every possible way to make Arkansas’ public schools the best they can be.

For Amanda, she gets back every day all the attention she lavishes on her students.

“I enjoy the moments in which I see my kids’ faces light up when they find the correct answers themselves or they finally find a book and author they love and don’t want to put the book down,” she said. “I love the looks on their faces knowing that they understand.”