Inspirational Teacher & Author
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. Read More >
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"Your presentation was outstanding. Our Tulare County superintendents, administrators, and staff were thoroughly impressed! Your accomplishments and career experience make you invaluable to our students across the nation. Thank you for your humorous yet informative presentation."
"LouAnne was wonderful! We had the opportunity to take her out to dinner on Thursday night and she was so much fun… such a breath of fresh air. Her keynote was perfect for our group and she received a standing ovation. Attendees were thrilled that she signed books and they kept her busy. The positive comments keep on coming in."
"Her perfect combination of humor and seriousness of purpose touched the hearts of the audience and revealed to them a deeper understanding of various factors (i.e., poor nutrition, adverse conditions in the physical classroom environment, preconceived attitudes about ability, etc.) that cause some students to cloak themselves in a protective persona of defiance and apathy.
I would highly recommend LouAnne to any school division that is searching for a speaker whose credibility has been validated by her own personal and professional journey."
"LouAnne’s keynote address was inspirational and the subject of many conversations during and after the convention. Those attending your follow up workshop were well served and upbeat about their opportunity to hear more from her. Please accept our sincere “Thank You” for serving as a keynote presenter at the 2006 OSBA Convention."
"I am amazed at the information you shared as the keynote speaker and in the first break out session. I find you inspiring and incredibly motivating! I cannot wait to go to school and share this with my colleagues!... I was so moved by your words and experiences you shared today. Thank you for all you do for the children and I hope I have the pleasure of hearing you share again in the future!"
"LouAnne’s presence and excellent presentation helped to make this conference a tremendous success. We admire her talent, skills and positive message she conveys. Keep up the good work; America’s children and youth are counting on LouAnne!"