About me

Kimberly Johnson photo

I taught high school English from 1990 to 2016. When I signed my first teaching contract, it was the fulfillment of a childhood dream. I had wanted to be a teacher since I was five years old and set up classrooms in the basement and enlisted my siblings as students. Nearing graduation from high school and pondering my future, I was swayed by a less-than-visionary guidance counselor who steered me away from teaching as a profession. He told me that there are too many teachers right now. You’ll never get a job. Maybe he did me a favor—I don’t know. I do know that going to college in my thirties was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. And so, I fulfilled my childhood impulse to teach later than sooner.

Computers and English

I began using personal computers as soon as they came on the market in the 1980’s. I remember we had a K-Pro home computer, all DOS, of course. We had no idea what we were doing, but my fascination was there all the same. It was my dad who got me interested in making web pages using an old Adobe editor called PageMill.

Now that I think back to when I fused my computer interest with my teaching, it was sort of intuitive for me. I wanted to publish a calendar for my poetry students so they would always know what we were doing in class on any given day. The class was a workshop style class that depended on students being prepared. Since our school (kind of ahead of its time in integrating technology) offered teachers the ability to create and publish web pages, this would be pretty easy. So that’s how it began.

Web pages combine all the things I love: computers, design, writing, and FUN. I began to put more and more on my web site for students. Whereas some teachers simply listed a brief biography and office hours and maybe a syllabus, I was also putting handouts and links to helpful sites on my site.

Then, in March of 2000, I visited Ted Nellen’s CyberEnglish classroom in New York and what I saw there convinced me that I was headed in the right direction. From this my version of CyberEnglish9 was born.

Sharing what’s here

My web pages began to be the equivalent to my filing cabinet. In many ways, this site is the accumulated “paper” of sixteen years of teaching. One of the tenets of CyberEnglish is “pass it on.” I believe it is important for teachers to share. This site is my vehicle for doing just that.

My digital footprint

Interviews, etc.

Seminars & Presentations

  • November 19, 2011. Conference presenter for NCTE national convention in Chicago with Kimberly Johnson. Topic: “Redefining Professional Development Through Social Networking and Other Technology Tools
  • October 22, 2010. Conference speaker for Illinois Association of Teachers of English. “The Transparent Messiness of Being: What Web 2.0 means for classroom teachers.”
  • February 2008: Presenter at Wisconsin State Reading Association. Topic: Blogs, Wikis and Web 2.0 in the Classroom.
  • November 2005: Co-presenter at the National Council of Teachers of English national convention with Ted Nellen and Pat Schulze. My topic: Presentation: Making it Look Cool.
  • November 2004: Co-presenter at the National Council of Teachers of English national convention with Ted Nellen, Pat Schulze, and Nancy Patterson. Topic: CyberEnglish
  • October 2002: Presented a session on CyberEnglish at the Governor’s Technology Conference, Madison, WI

Workshops/InService

  • October 12,  2011. Blog training for Sheboygan Falls guidance staff.
  • September 30, 2011. Blog Training for Sheboygan Falls High School Math Department. Four math teachers created blogs and published content for communicating with students, parents and peers. In addition, each teacher imagined the blog as a vehicle for extending learning beyond the school day, both for struggling and advanced learners.
  • October 21, 2009. InService for Sturgeon Bay School District. “Horizontal Transparency: What Web 2.0 Means  for K-12 English Teachers.”
  • November 2005: Co-consultant at technology workshop sponsored by ACE, Assembly on Computers in English (NCTE). Topic: Web Pals: Connecting students with mentors who care.
  • Workshop at 2005 NCTE Convention with Pat Schulze and Alex Babione. Topic:Using electronic Moos for collaboration and professional conversation.

Educational Publications