First black man to earn top pre-K teacher of the year title in U.S. state

In the classroom of teacher Johnathon Hines the children are learning not just by sitting at desks and listening but through singing and dancing.

Johnathon teaches a pre-k class at Barack Obama Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia, and wants his pupils’ first experience of the classroom to be a fun one.

His goal is to inspire the children and thinks of them as his own. His stellar methods of teaching have earned him recognition as not only Georgia’s Pre-K Teacher of the Year but the first black man to earn the title.

The trailblazer shared his biggest goals with KHOU11 News.

“Now I have the opportunity to inspire other males in early childhood. And that’s definitely one of my biggest goals,” he said.

“I know how hard it is to be a teacher. The love and passion that you have to have to come in the classroom every single day. It’s definitely a calling, and that is my calling.”

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He works hard to create a fun environment so his pupils won’t be bored and will instead develop a love of learning.

“Cause I feel like when a child is engaged, the more they will learn,” he said.

“Pre-K is the first year a child will experience school, so I want their first encounter to be a loving, nurturing encounter. And also allow them to have fun and still be a 4-year-old.

“What I love most about my job is seeing the growth in my children.

Treated them as if they were his own kids

“Sometimes students come in being only able to recognize a few letters. But by May they are able to write their first and last names, read a short story. But even grow as a person. They develop self-confidence. They develop social and emotional skills. The growth is really important in pre-K.”

Jonathan said he had 22 children in his class and treated them as if they were his own kids.

Now he hopes his well-earned accolade will inspire other men to teach.

“I have the opportunity to inspire other males to get inside of the classroom,” he said. “It speaks volumes because there’s so many teachers in the state of Georgia and to be the number one pre-K teacher means a lot.”

Please share to celebrate Johnathon’s success and to all those teachers who come to work every day ready to nurture and inspire.