Students Calculove Johnson
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When you enter room 1217, the walls aren’t empty. Like some Barnstable High School teachers, math teacher Mrs. Wendy Johnson decorates her room with motivational signs and posters that say things like “You Can Do It” and “Reach for the Stars” and she works to make you fully believe them.
Johnson has been a dedicated math teacher at Barnstable High School for 20 years. She has taught pretty much every math course offered and doesn’t show favoritism level to level. She takes the time to get to know each and every student, which is one of the many qualities they admire.
“It’s very important trying to get to know every individual on an academic level,” said Johnson, “and then try to figure out how to help each of them individually.”
But Johnson also understands the depth and range of her students and how their struggles aren’t always about a calculus problem.
“Being a teacher has made me a more understanding person,” said Johnson. “It teaches you not to judge people until you get to know them. You have to keep the slate clean with students and let them be themselves until you get to know them in class.”
House B guidance counselor, Jim Buckman, has had many of his students in Johnson’s classes.
“My students love how she makes learning math fun and interesting. They know if they’re struggling, they can go to her for help or ask her questions until they get it,” said Buckman.
Senior Joao Hoffmann has luckily had Johnson for three years. “She made me understand math at a deeper level,” said Hoffmann, “her teaching style is simplistic in a way that makes you understand harder subjects. She makes math fun, even if that’s hard to believe.”
One of the many perks both Johnson and her students experience is a bond over the years as many of her students continue through different math courses.
“A lot of classes I teach are sequential,” said Johnson, “I’ve had the privilege of having some kids three years in a row, which really lets me know the kids. Watching you guys grow up is really cool. I love that.”
Dylan Campbell, a senior in Johnson’s calculus class, also had her sophomore year. “Even last year, she really helped me in pre-calc. She really goes the extra mile– she’s always giving up her time whether it’s convenient or not. She always puts the students first,” said Campbell.
In fact, Johnson comes before and stays after school to offer extra help and for makeup work, which makes math a great deal easier for students with commitments, like sports or jobs.
“She’s an absolute first-rate math teacher,” said Buckman. “She makes everyone– teachers and students–feel welcome. She goes to the end of the earth to get students to achieve.”
To many, Johnson is like a second mom because she doesn’t just care about your life in math, she cares about your life outside of math too. This relationship between Johnson and her students has made her a favorite among all grades and levels.
“Sometimes it’s your personality, but being a mom definitely makes you aware of kids leaving class frustrated because sometimes you see similar things at home,” said Johnson, “A problem that seems little can be a big deal to students.”
Senior Margot Rice has been Johnson’s student many times over her high school career, and also recognizes her ability to care beyond the classroom.
“She is always willing to help and listen, whether it be a math problem or a life problem,” said Rice. “Having such an understanding teacher like that makes the class that much better.”
Many of Johnson’s students take away something from her class other than math, and senior Taylor Carpenter has taken Johnson’s lessons and kept them in mind for the future.
“Being a teacher takes hard work, but Mrs. Johnson truly makes it look easy. I aspire to be just like her someday,” said Carpenter.