Johnny Walker

Master of Arts in Teaching with a concentration in social science

Education: BA, History & Political Science, Yale University
Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
Occupation: 10th and 11th grade Social Science teacher

Why did you choose USC Rossier?

I chose USC Rossier because of the high quality of faculty and students, its commitment to teacher preparation in urban education, its name recognition and the respect that USC commands for job prospects in Los Angeles, its focus on Common Core and education technology, its convenient online classes (I have two young children), and for the possibility of completing a rigorous master’s program in a comparatively short amount of time.

What do you love most about teaching?

I love the totality of what the profession represents and what it demands from those who dedicate themselves to it. Teaching fulfills so many of my interests, passions and talents, yet it exposes my weaknesses and challenges me to develop skills that will serve me in other aspects of my life as a husband, father and citizen. Teaching is a profession that braids planning, performance, social justice and advocacy, and that requires reflection, demands measurable action and fosters deep connections between people that can have profound and lasting consequences.

What is your most memorable moment?

I taught a lesson for a seventh grade history class where they all wrote a paragraph comparing two primary source documents. They had just taken a district assessment the week before that most had failed, and a majority of the students were demoralized by that experience. But, by the end of the two-day lesson, every student was able to complete the task. And, upon completing that assignment, the class broke into spontaneous applause for themselves. I was moved and humbled to have played a part in helping them to build an academic skill that directly affected their self-confidence.

What is next for you? What do you plan to do after graduation?

I was hired to teach 10th and 11th grade social sciences at the school where I’m currently finishing my guided practice. I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity that the school is giving to me, and I also feel extremely grateful for the positioning, preparation and confidence that USC Rossier gave me to compete for the job — and then for the support, skills and practices to sustain me through my first years as a professional educator.

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