CETUSA honors the teachers who inspire our students – both American and international! Jason Johnston, a World History teacher at Central Montcalm High School in Stanton, MI, is one such teacher. Jason became a teacher after working as a paraprofessional while in college. He genuinely enjoys and appreciates the process of helping teenagers grow into citizens throughout their high school years. CETUSA asked Jason a couple of questions about what inspires him and what he hopes to inspire in his students:
(CETUSA) Why do you think global education and supporting international exchange is important?
(Jason) Global education is critical for me because often students are only exposed to a small piece of the many perspectives that exist. Growing up in a small town, I accepted the perspective of my parents, teachers, and town leaders as being the absolute truth. However, later in life I discovered that there are so many other perspectives and ideologies out there that really need to be examined as well. Aristotle said “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” I truly believe that we must at least consider all of the information available, before making a decision either way on any issue. Students in our small school are much like I was as a young man. They are only exposed to part of the story. Foreign exchange students bring an entirely new perspective to our class and it is important that they share their experiences with us. It is a win/win for all involved.
(CETUSA) What do you hope you are imparting to your students as they embark out into the world?
(Jason) My only hope is that I am sending thinking, analytical, and reflective citizens out into the world. These individuals are living and working in a system that demands this. Especially in the world of politics, it is imperative that everyone has the ability to evaluate information and decide for themselves what the truth is. Social media now allows people an avenue of connectivity that enables them to find others who support their opinion, for better or worse. Hopefully, our students will make decisions based on critical thinking and reflection, and not just based on tradition.