You can feel the magic as soon as you step into Melina Johnson’s classroom at Tuscany Heights Elementary School. That feeling is totally by design. The inspiration comes from the iconic Ms. Frizzle and The Magic School Bus.
“I grew up watching the Magic School Bus, so I try to bring that magic to my classroom,” said Johnson. “When I am teaching them something, I do everything I can to bring it to life for them. I want it to be magical, fun, engaging and connected to the real world. These are concepts they’re going to use in their real life.”
It takes a lot of work and a whole lot of love to emanate that magic feeling for her students. But Johnson is up for the job. She comes from a family of educators. Her husband is active-duty military and that’s what brought her family to San Antonio. She taught pre-K and first graders before teaching fifth grade at Tuscany Heights. No matter the grade level, Mrs. Johnson finds a way to bring her lessons to life – just like Ms. Frizzle.
“I feel like fifth graders are just big first graders in a lot of ways. They love to have fun and work together on engaging activities. They love that magic in the classroom, so I try to bring the fun every day. On Earth Day, I dressed up as Miss Frizzle!”
Johnson just finished her second year at Tuscany Heights. Her impact on campus was felt as soon as she joined the team. Teachers don’t get into this profession for awards or recognition. But it’s no coincidence that she was the 2022 Trinity Prize nominee for Tuscany Heights. She was also North East ISD’s elementary representative in the 2022 Alamo Area Alliance of Black School Educators (AAABSE) Teacher of the Year contest.
“I was so proud and excited. It felt to be recognized and honored, especially as a teacher – sometimes we don’t get our flowers. So, it felt really meaningful.”