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McJohn inspired by his parents' love of teaching

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 by Joan Aguon Charfauros

Guam - For Jose Rios Middle School teacher Francis McJohn, life was all about school. "My dad has been an educator for 40+ years and my mom was a one-to-one aide for more than 25 years," he explained.

"My parents are the biggest thing as to why I became a teacher."

It was during his senior year in high school, when he made a career decision. "I had to decide if I wanted to be a teacher. I thought about it, am I making a career decision already? Where kids were going to go to college and see what its like. Me, I was like, Dad, I am going to become a teacher," he recalled.

McJohn says there was a pair of social studies teachers in high school that influenced him as far as what he wanted to teach. "Mr. Jack Shook and Mrs. Huey. They were my favorite teachers in high school. She made everything fun," he beamed. With everything from history to geography, how does this third year teacher keep his students engaged and eager to learn?

McJohn explained, "My methods deal with the fact that I think a classroom environment, it shouldn't be a high stressed  and we can have a discussion. I think an open discussion classroom is my style of teaching. We talk about things. It's not cut and paste, but if its benefitting them, that's fine."

As for what considers his biggest challenges? "My challenge is challenging myself. If you could reach 25 out of 30 students most teachers will take that but I think there should be no shortage. You need to make sure you get everybody," he said.

In the end, McJohn hopes that his students leave with a sense that it wasn't a waste of time. "There were sometimes I was in school the whole year went by and I didn't learn anything. My work ethic is a certain type of note-taking life lesson taking care of people, respecting people. I'll take that," he shared. "Some kids don't have anybody that believes in them. I think you give them that little bit hope. Remember it down the line that he cared."

"It may help someone someday and I think that is the biggest thing for me."

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