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American Program Bureau Speaking to the world for over 50 years

LouAnne Johnson

Inspirational Teacher & Author
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Biography

Renowned public school teacher LouAnne Johnson doesn’t back down from a fight. A former Marine Corps Officer and US Navy Journalist, Johnson took her military discipline and commitment to the classroom, motivating the students that no one else could. A nationally recognized educator, Johnson’s bestselling novel, My Posse Don’t Do Homework, was adapted for the movie Dangerous Minds, staring Michelle Pfeiffer. Wrestling with a class of challenging adolescents facing their last chance at school, Johnson worked to bring out the inherent value in each of them by honoring their spirit and nurturing a newfound sense of self-confidence. Johnson’s unconventional style works by encouraging students, rather than condemning them; persuading rather than threatening; and earning respect rather than demanding it. Her constant support and unorthodox teaching strategies instituted a phenomenal success rate in her students, earning a first place ranking in higher grade point averages while simultaneously increasing student self-esteem, academic achievement and class retention. Bringing the same captivating spirit to her talks as she does to the classroom, Johnson is now sharing her remarkable story and insight with audiences around the country.

An author of 11 books, Johnson’s common sense, humor and practical ideas about education come to life in her writing. Johnson not only writes books directed at teachers, including Teaching Outside the Box: How to Grab Your Students By Their Brains, but at students, including Muchacho and That Darn Donkey! Her award winning young adult and children’s books are as encouraging to students as her teaching, encouraging perseverance in the face of challenges, and faith in oneself when all seems lost.

Johnson's knack for finding original solutions to intractable problems has not only made her an exemplary teacher, but also a popular and inspiring speaker. With her years of experience working with challenging students, Johnson has more than a few stories to tell. A passionate advocate for public schools, Johnson shares her insight into and solutions for the growing complexities that public schools are facing, motivating audiences to fight for every student. Tough, funny and wise, Johnson reveals the valuable life lessons she learned from her students, showing audiences how to succeed against the odds and to believe that anything is possible.

RESUME

  • 2012,: Became the first woman inducted into the DINFOS military journalism Hall of Fame
  • 2012: Published That Darn Donkey
  • 2011: Published Kick-Start Your Class
  • 2010: Won the Skipping Stones Award for multicultural books for Muchacho
  • 2009: Published Muchacho
  • 2004-2005: Published Queen of Education and Teaching Outside the Box
  • 1996-1998: Published The Girls in the Back of the Class, School is Not a Four-Letter Word, and Two Parts Textbook, One Part Love
  • 1992: Published My Posse Don’t Do Homework
  • 1981: Honor graduate from company at Marine Corps Officer Candidate School and commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant
  • 1971: Enlisted in the U.S. Navy
  • Education: Bachelor's in Psychology, Master's in Teaching English, and Doctorate in Educational Leadership

Topics

Teaching Outside the Box

Johnson shares the strategies and philosophy that have enabled her to successfully motivate students from many different cultural and economic backgrounds. She shares her technique for detecting the bullies and outcasts in a classroom, along with the findings of her recent research into the connection between nutrition and aggressive behavior, and the effects of essential fatty acids on brain function. She outlines her own practical strategies for turning reluctant readers into eager readers. Johnson's anecdotes about her experiences in the classroom will bring tears to your eyes and laughter to your heart.

The Power of Choice

A highly motivational presentation that often inspires audiences to laughter and tears, Johnson shares her journey from Caucasian small-town Pennsylvania to multicultural inner-city California, and the experiences that shaped her teaching philosophy. She attributes her success as a teacher to the "unteachable" students who taught her how to teach them. Johnson outlines the lessons she learned from those students, as well as the classroom situations that inspired those lessons and the strategies that teachers can use to motivate students to choose success over failure.

The Queen of Education

With humor and passion, Johnson outlines her plan for saving our public schools, using common sense to issue "royal edicts that are in the best interest of the children of this nation and not in the best interest of politicians." For example, Queen Johnson will require that every elected government representative in this country must spend two full weeks in a public school classroom teaching from the curriculum and materials available – and living on a public school teacher's salary. Although Johnson's edicts are not meant to be taken literally, her message is: our public school system can and should be saved.

Dangerous Minds

Johnson takes the audience behind the scenes for a look at the metamorphosis from the nonfiction book My Posse Don't Do Homework to the semi-fictional movie Dangerous Minds. This talk features karate and kissing in the classroom, Miss J's take on racism and respect, candy as a motivational tool, inspiring reluctant readers to tackle Shakespeare, the poetry project and Emilio's real story.

Develop Your Dangerous Mind!

Witty, entertaining and inspiring, Johnson shares the best of the life lessons she has learned while pursuing her "impossible" dreams. Her latest dream, an audio book narrated by her fictional bilingual character, Eddie Corazon, former juvenile delinquent and current poet philosopher of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Eddie's poetry will inspire students of all ages to reach for their own dreams.

Follow Your Dreams

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