Brett Johnson is a sixth grade science teacher. He has taught at the Hingham Middle School for last 14 years.
Why did you become a teacher? When I first went to Tufts, I was a math major and had plans to be an engineer. During my freshman year I took a child studies class in fall, then took another in the spring. So I was working with kids. After taking calculus in college math wasn’t as enjoyable as I thought it was. I definitely loved working with kids. So that freshman year I decided to switch majors, and I transferred to Bridgewater State to major in elementary education and psychology.
What is your favorite part of the job? Working with the kids. That age group is so much fun! They are still young enough to be excited about school and projects, and mature enough that you can hold really nice discussions. It’s a nice balance.
What do you like best about teaching science? Sixth grade science combines a lot of topics, including physics, chemistry, and oceanography. We really like to do hands-on activities like the unit we just finished on amusement park roller coaster rides. We try to show how concepts can be applied in real life, and by giving them memorable experiences now, when they take these courses again a few years from now, they’ll remember the concepts.
Do you have any children? I have two daughters aged 8 and 6, and a son who is 3.
Do you have any hobbies? I love to golf – I try to sneak out whenever I can. I try to go running and we like to go to the beach a lot, down to Duxbury and the Cape a couple of weeks in the summer.
What’s your favorite book? Mine is “The Killer Angels” by Michael Shaara, and his books that followed.
What’s your favorite movie? I love comedies – and I can watch the same movies over and over, which drives my wife nuts.
Favorite food? My Grandma’s lasagna, and my wife’s fajitas.
How would you describe your middle school self? Looking back I think I was awkward, but I did well in school even though I didn’t try very hard. That’s why now I try to encourage kids to do their best effort even when they can coast by – that there’s no easy way out, and you shouldn’t be looking for one.