Conversation with Journalism Advisor


Luke Garcia, Features Editor

COVID-19 affected how students had to learn during the period of online distance learning. Thousands of students and teachers have returned back to school but most of them don’t feel the same while wearing a mask over their face. It makes it hard for teachers to recognize students during class and not being able to see their faces makes it a little harder to distinguish them from one another. Many teachers returned to school happy to teach their students. Mr. Johnson, who is the journalism teacher here at South El Monte High School, is one of those who has returned to teach. The Eagle’s Nest sat down with Mr. Johnson to discuss some of the challenges of the post pandemic school environment and how he is dealing with it. 


 Mr. Johnson has been teaching journalism for almost three years. He also teaches AP Psychology (5 years), and US history which he has been teaching for eleven years. But ever since all the students and teachers had to wear masks, is it hard for teachers to tell who they are because all that is visible is their eyes and hair? Sometimes Mr. Johnson has trouble distinguishing among some of his students. The reason we still wear masks is to keep others safe, but how long will students be required to wear masks to high school? “I feel the challenge with wearing masks on a daily basis, but I understand its purpose,” said Mr. Johnson. At a young age Mr. Johnson enjoyed learning history and now enjoys teaching the subject.


One of the changes to come out of distance learning was students having to familiarize themselves more than ever before with technology, and different learning platforms like Flipgrid, and Nearpod for instance. Mr. Johnson said he saw some really impressive student projects last year that highlighted students’ video production skills, “I was very impressed by many of the projects I received last year,” Mr. Johnson stated, “it really demonstrated students’ ability to adapt and thrive in any environment.” Mr. Johnson said he is looking forward to the upcoming school year in journalism with a new group of students to train how to publish and maintain a school news website, “We have our work cut out for us, but I can already see students adapting to their new challenges and growing.”


 Mr. Johnson never knew that he would become a teacher while he was in high school, but after college, he took the career into consideration. He attended Cal State Long Beach, he then went on to UCLA for graduate school. During his younger years in college, he worked as a server for an Italian restaurant, he also was a promotions assistant for a couple of Los Angeles radio stations. Mr. Johnson loves teaching journalism because “it is an outlet for students to be creative through the writing process, and have access to a laboratory where they can work on creations that make an impact on the school community.”