Amy Johnson-Henson is a Nonahood resident and teacher at Narcoossee Middle School. She loves history and travel as well as helping teach some of the brightest young minds of the future. Check out our conversation with her below!
NHN: When did you come to Lake Nona and what brought you here?
AJH: I have lived in Central Florida for over 20 years and have worked in the Lake Nona area for 15 years. A year ago, I moved into Lake Nona to be closer to work.
NHN: What does your daily life look like?
AJH: I teach a course called A.V.I.D. (Advancement Via Individual Determination). My day typically consists of teaching students (AVID focuses on skills to help students be academically successful in higher level courses and interpersonal skills), mentoring students (personal issues can often impede academic success), and event planning (putting together fundraisers, student activities, school-wide AVID skills implementation plans, teacher trainings, and AVID showcases).
NHN: What’s the most powerful moment you’ve had while teaching?
AJH: The most rewarding thing as a teacher is when students return, sometimes years after they graduated, to tell me I inspired them to learn more about history or about science. My pinnacle goal as an educator is to instill a love of learning. If I can spark curiosity and the motivation to learn, everything else falls into place.
NHN: What is your favorite part about Lake Nona?
AJH: Taking in a Lake Nona sunrise with a good cup of coffee.
NHN: What are your hobbies?
AJH: Playing the piano, history and astronomy buff, traveling to historic places.
NHN: What is your favorite place that you’ve traveled to?
AJH: Okay … favorite place I’ve traveled … I can’t pick just one: roaming the halls of German Parliament late at night in Berlin, experiencing an opera in Vienna, and hiking along the trail of Lewis and Clark in Montana.
NHN: What’s your favorite song to play on the piano?
AJH: Moonlight Sonata – Beethoven. It’s an emotional outlet.
NHN: What is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you? The most interesting?
AJH: The most interesting things have all been work related. I have worked raising fish for a tropical fish farm, as a tour guide in a cavern, as a concierge for a large hotel in Austin, and did a teaching internship for a semester in The Netherlands. The craziest thing was when growing up in a typical suburban neighborhood in Texas, we lived next to a house where, over the span of about 15 years, the two different families that lived there both had a husband/father who murdered the mother/wife in that same house.
NHN: What advice would you give aspiring teachers?
AJH: Be passionate about what you teach. Students will remember less of what you taught and more of how you taught it.
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