Johanna Chaney is now teaching at VMT after 19 years at J.W. Nixon

The Magnet Tribune: Justyne Bernal
Johanna Chaney poses with some of her PAP World History students.

After 19 years of making an impact on students’ education at J.W Nixon High, Johanna Chaney is now a teacher at Vidal M. Trevino magnet school.

Before she became a teacher here, she never had the opportunity to experience all VMT has to offer. This includes performances, ceremonies, and much more.

“Today I attended the 16 de septiembre ceremony and I’ve never been to anything like that. I’ve had students from VMT at Nixon that would say ‘ma’am you should go,’ but since I was (a) tested area I was never able to attend anything,” she said.

Chaney was impressed when she attended her first VMT celebration and how she was given the opportunity to watch her students’ performances.

“…I actually enjoyed it. It was a good experience because I got to see the kids and their talents. I was very excited to say ‘that’s my student, that’s my student’ in the choir playing the accordion and then some of them were playing the violin and it was just amazing to see them doing their things. It was very nice.”

Chaney believes that her former students at J.W Nixon High School are not very different than students here VMT.    

“Students are students everywhere, but I do notice a slight difference I wanna say. Not much of a difference,” she opined.

Although she has not been here long, she has been able to feel welcomed by everyone whom she has interacted with, allowing her to feel very welcome in her new campus.

I think that here at VMT it’s a new experience for me… It’s a really good experience: I like the atmosphere, I like the administration, everybody is very helpful, all the teachers have been very supportive and the students are fantastic. ”

— Johanna Chaney

“I think that here at VMT it’s a new experience for me… It’s a really good experience: I like the atmosphere, I like the administration, everybody is very helpful, all the teachers have been very supportive and the students are fantastic,” she said.

Chaney mentioned she has been able to gain an advantage that she did not have at her previous campus. She hopes that having the support the fine art’s teachers can help her keep the students on task all semester.

“But that’s the only advantage that I have here as compare to over there it would just be only the parents, they were the only support. I feel like I didn’t have any other support like how am I gonna get these kids motivated, how am gonna get them to do and learn for what I need for them to learn so they could take this test and pass it,” she said.

“I guess just the atmosphere here could get them motivated by telling them you know your fine arts teacher is gonna want you to succeed in my class as much as I do,” she added.

Chaney feels that this has been a drastic change in her life. Although it has not been easy, this change has allowed her to learn how to put important things first in order the be the effective teacher she has always been.

“…. What has changed mostly in my life… so many things. But I think I just haven’t gotten organized completely yet because when I first got here everything was just so quick. But I think its made me have to. To learn and adapt to situations and prioritize. Like what’s more important to decorate everything or get the lesson ready. That’s what is it, prioritizing,” she said.

Chaney has been teaching one particular subject her entire teaching career, trying to get prepared for exams. Now she is teaching Advanced Placement U.S History and PAP World Geography.

“History is one of my favorite subjects and I think particularly for U.S. History its important for the kids to know about their country,” she said.

Although things Chaney has opened a new chapter in her career, Chaney hopes to positively impact her students’ outlook on their country’s history.

“I’m a very patriotic person and I like the inspire my kids to be that way also,” Chaney said.