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michelle johnson

michelle johnson

Sierra College

Career Roadmap

michelle's work combines: Education, Writing, and Communicating / Sharing Stories

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Day In The Life

English Instructor

I turn students on to the thrill of reading, writing, and all magic in between.

Skills & Education

Here's the path I took:

  • High School

    William Jennings Bryan High School

  • Bachelor's Degree

    English Language and Literature, General

    California State University-Sacramento

  • Graduate Degree

    Creative Writing

    California State University-Sacramento

  • Certification

    Tourism and Travel Services Marketing Operations

    Travel Careers Institute

Here's the path I recommend for someone who wants to be an English Language & Literature Teachers, Postsecondary:

Bachelor's Degree: English Language and Literature, General

Graduate Degree: Creative Writing

Certification: Tourism and Travel Services Marketing Operations

Learn more about different paths to this career

Life & Career Milestones

I've taken a lot of twists and turns

  • 1.

    Scholarship to attend University of Nebraska at Omaha as an education major.

  • 2.

    Money ran out, Didn't qualify for financial aid, parents said it's time to move out.

  • 3.

    Got married.

  • 4.

    Had a child.

  • 5.

    Got a divorce.

  • 6.

    Went back to school--waitressed, bartended, moved out on my own. Discovered a love of learning.

  • 7.

    Graduated nine years later with a MA in Creative Writing--the first in my family!

  • 8.

    Continued waitressing and bartending while teaching as an adjunct professor at five campuses; five years later my first full time interview for a tenure-track English professor opened. I got it! Woo!

Defining Moments

How I responded to discouragement


    Messages from Parents:

    "How are you ever going to make a decent living with a degree in poetry?"

  • How I responded:

    Though parents are pivotal people in our lives, I also had incredible mentor/teachers who believed in me and encouraged me when I wanted to quit. I also had other supports outside of the education arena who saw me and the magic light in my eyes when I was learning and writing, they saw me through.

Experiences and challenges that shaped me

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  • I was a single parent who worked full time and went to school full time; I was too proud to believe I should ask for financial aid. That changed when I lost my job and had to apply for welfare. It was humiliating but a valuable and humbling exp.