Johnson takes on first year of teaching

Damon Dillon and Dylan Harty

Hollie Johnson leads a lecture for her seventh-grade science students. Johnson is one of several new teachers at DMS this year. (Brendan Heilman)

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth part of an ongoing series to introduce new teachers at Duncan Middle School.

This is Hollie Johnson’s first year of teaching, and she excited to be here.

Johnson is teaching seventh-grade science and the seventh-grade elective investigating science, as she works with her teaching partner Shay Stewart.

She said she is happy with how the way this school year is going so far, and she feels like the kids will learn a lot in the school year, despite the difficulties they may face as a result of COVID-19, including quarantining, wearing face masks and having to stay in assigned seats.

Hollie Johnson talks to her class. (Brendan Heilman)

Johnson said she is loving the current school year, but one thing she isn’t fond of is the masks. Although she doesn’t mind them, they can be hard to deal with at times.

She said she feels that with the way things are going so far, she doesn’t think Duncan Middle School will have to return to distance learning, but she can’t tell for sure. Instead, she is working to prepare for virtual lessons if needed, but she would much prefer doing in-person learning.

Johnson has been teaching her students to use several programs on their Chromebooks so they are prepared in case a school closure or quarantine results in them having to work virtually.

Some fun activities that they have done so far in the classroom include an egg race and a marble track, and both of which taught them Newton’s Laws of Motion.

The egg race took place in investigating science, and the students built a protective car made to prevent their egg from cracking while going down a ramp.

During the marble race, the main goal was to build a race track and try to make their marble be the slowest on the track.

Her personal goals for this year include getting more teaching experience for herself and helping the kids to have a fun experience while also learning new things.