Online Edition of The Cardinal Times

Q&A with Ren Johns

June 17, 2020

Why are you leaving teaching? 

I’m leaving teaching because I have been working on a side project for the past few years, helping families in the Portland metro area find child care. It all started because I had such a hard time finding child care for my own small children, but I realized this is actually a huge problem in our community. Every county in Oregon is considered a child care desert, meaning there is one daycare slot for every 3 kids who need one under the age of two! This is so unacceptable to me – how are people supposed to work without having safe (and don’t even get me started on affordable) options of places that can watch their kids? I’m fired up about this and want to help families figure it out.


Who will you miss the most when you leave? 

First and foremost, I will miss my AVID students who I’ve had the privilege of working with for 4 years and who will be graduating this year! I will miss the surprising unexpected things students say, their goofy jokes, that fantastic moment when you can see someone else really understand something, the way my freshmen always remind me how uncool I am…all of it. I will miss incredible colleagues from whom I have learned so much. 


If you had one piece of advice that you could give to an incoming teacher who is new to the field of teaching, what would you say to him/her?

I would tell new teachers to sign up for the PPS Mentoring Program, to find at least one great colleague in their dept to help them figure out the ropes, and to listen to what your students – when something is not working, they will always tell you.most when you leave?

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