Orangeburg, SC (WLTX) - Michele Johnson of William J. Clark Middle School is the Golden Apple Award Teacher for the week of April 3, 2012.
Johnson teaches English.
"At the start of the year I was like, Oh Lord, she's tough, I don't know if I can do this,' said eighth grader Shantavia Edmonds.
"She pushes kids to the limit," says Dr. Lana Williams, the school's principal.
But that's not a bad thing--just ask 8th grader Marshall Ellerbe
"I mean she gives us a lot of work, and yeah sometimes I can't sleep at night, but it's just like working out," he explains. "At first you're hurting, but by the end of the day you're stronger." "I have a passion," Johnson says "I always wanted to give back."
It's a passion already recognized by her school, when Johnson was named teacher of the year by her peers.
Now, her students are responsible for nominating her for the Golden Apple.
So what does all this recognition mean to Johnson?
"It means I'm doing great things," she says. "It means I'm doing my job (laughs) and I hope to do even more next year!"
"I truly believe students are an investment. I feel like if you take time to help them that one day they will return the favor."
Since Ms. Johnson's an English teacher, we thought she'd appreciate this--we're taking this simple stated story of students rewarding a teacher for a job well done, and having one of her students explain the subtext.
"Always be you. Don't change. Every student needs you," says Edmonds.