Success in the Making: Zion Johnson

“TCC has always been part of my life!” says Zion Johnson, an education major with plans to graduate in the Spring of 2024. “For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had family members attend TCC and talk about how great the school was.  So, I applied so I could be a part of the greatness!”

Johnson plans to teach in the elementary field, teaching first and second grade.

“College has not always been a walk in the park for me,” says Johnson.  She attended Langston University for two years before transferring to TCC. Johnson says she left Langston for financial and personal reasons. Although the decision was not an easy one, she says it is the best one she ever made.

Johnson considers her greatest accomplishment so far to be working with kids on their literary skills. Her success with those children was featured in an article in the Fort Worth Report this summer. (This literacy-focused summer camp in Fort Worth helps boost the reading skills of students of color | Fort Worth Report)

She worked with children at the kindergarten level at the AB Christian Learning Center’s literacy-focused Freedom School primarily for Fort Worth ISD students who come from lower-income families. The six-week program develops or enhances reading skills as well as prepares students for the upcoming school year.

As a servant leader intern at the camp, Johnson discovered a lot of children who couldn’t read, write or spell. Her strategy was to print the letters of the alphabet for her students to trace, then teach them the sound of each letter and how they become words. At 10 years of age, she actually taught her 85-year-old grandfather to read using a similar method.

By the end of the program, Johnson’s students knew all of their vowels and the order of the alphabet.

“Working with the Freedom School has been the most rewarding job!” Johnson says. “I started working as a student leader intern and have progressed to become a site coordinator. Throughout the program, I have worked with a multitude of kids. Each child has taught me many things!” Johnson goes on to say the most successful thing she experienced with the program is the improvement in their reading skills.

“When the program started,” she said, “I had kids that couldn’t spell their names or know the difference between most letters and their sounds, as well as knowing how to read. In most of their households reading isn’t encouraged. So, seeing an improvement in their literacy skills is the most success I have experienced with this job!”

Johnson admits working with these children and seeing her progress in her teaching skills made her want to teach professionally.  So, what does this education major with a passion for teaching want to do after she graduates?  After getting her bachelor’s degree, she will definitely teach, but ultimately, she wants to be a superintendent for a school district.