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The Education Kids Deserve

Attaining Relevance and 21st Century Skills through Curiosity, Creativity, Inquiry, Integration, and Innovation.


Meet Michael

My name is Michael C. Johnson. At the time of my retirement in July 2017, I had served students over a thirty-five year career in public education: fourteen years as a performing arts teacher and twenty-one years as a building administrator.


Throughout my career, and continuing into my retirement, I am a vocal advocate of arts education and the inclusion of quality arts experiences for all children, and I remain a champion of student-centered approaches to assure a high quality and relevant education for every child. I earned my bachelor degree in music education at Willamette University and my masters in educational leadership from the University of Portland, with additional administrative studies at Lewis and Clark College and Portland State University.

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Expertise. Ingenuity. Integrity.

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Either to small gatherings or large crowds, Michael considers it a joy and an honor to present relevant & engaging messages to a wide array of audiences. He's available as a keynote speaker and as a workshop presenter. Regardless of setting, Michael endeavors to  inspire participants and arm them with practical strategies they can readily apply.

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Students and their success in thriving public schools are Michael's top priority. His services demonstrate a commitment to students' success. Allow him to assist your school faculty or the entire district in developing effective strategies for promoting creativity, curiosity, and innovation in your instructional settings. Michael guarantees that student engagement levels will soar as you work together to create a meaningful and relevant learning experience for all children.


In a rapidly changing global reality, how can it continue to be adequate to educate 21st century learners by utilizing 19th and 20th century methods and expectations? Michael's book offers the insight of practical experience and the visionary perspective of where we could be and must be in assuring The Education Kids Deserve.

(paperback and digital)

"Michael Johnson, a highly respected educator and administrator with many decades of service, has laid out a very thoughtful, well-researched and urgent call for action to the education community. His premise is educational practices are outdated and sorely lacking in today's high-paced, ever-changing world. Many students are being left behind by old-fashioned teaching methods such as the "stand and deliver" approach, students sitting in rows, limited class interaction and testing and grades. Furthermore, these practices do a disservice to students because critical skills such as innovation, creativity, teamwork, perseverance, communication, and reflection are not being developed. He asserts that in order to be relevant in today's global world, America's educational system must make a dramatic shift in its approach. This will not be easy to do, as education is mired in political red tape and mandates and additionally, teachers, while wanting what is best for their students, often find change a difficult thing to accomplish. This book does hold out hope for our students, but it will take a huge effort from everyone involved. I highly recommend this book and hope it provides food for thought on how to make schools in the United States effective and successful in educating our kids."

A. Lewis, retired K-12 educator

"This book affords new and practicing educators, as well as those serving on boards of education and other policy-making bodies, a framework for rethinking how teaching and learning ought to look. The author, Michael C. Johnson, presents an important perspective on schools, classrooms and teacher education. I enjoyed his optimistic tone, his professional language and his prioritization of teachers and instruction. He has served as a teacher and principal in both poverty stricken and affluent schools and speaks to the needs of students in all types of environments. I have worked as a university instructor for pre-service teachers, as well as pre-service and in-service administrators, and feel this book could help guide thinking and add to the reservoir of knowledge educators need today." 

Kathleen Hanneman, EdD.

Contact Michael

Michael is happy to engage in conversations about his work, advocacy, collaborations, and inquiries about his workshops & speaking engagements.

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