High School AP English Student Thankful for a Strong Foundation

Because of you, I am the writer that I am today.  I am taking ENGL Comp II, and my professor used my essay as an example to the class and told everyone I got a 95 which was the highest grade. I now have students asking me to peer review their essays and am overwhelmed. I was in 8th grade and 13 years old when I took your Creative Writing summer class and then Starting Points. I remember it like yesterday. AP English in High School was easy and fun to me. I just want you to realize that you are an amazing teacher. Taking classes with you has given me the foundation I have. Thank you; thank you; thank you.  I am so glad you are teaching again! That truly makes me happy! For one, you are so amazing at it, and secondly, I am glad that students will have the opportunity to have you as a teacher! ☺
Clarissa (Creative Writing, Algebra, Starting Points) age 22, March 2016


Former Student, Inspired by a Teacher’s Genuine Love

Hey, just wanted to say hi. Seriously the new courses (Ancient and Middle) look good and make sense and are very appealing. There is just enough info, and it’s not over whelming… And I’m really happy and proud of you for taking this step and offering all these courses!

Not only that, but pursing your passion even though it may not put you in the financial stability you would like! I really hope that once I figure out for sure what I want to do, am called to do, that I go about it with as much passion and energy as you do!

I was looking at your website and reading what everyone has said about you and it’s all so true! You’re such a great and genuine person with compassion and love for everyone regardless of who they are or where they are. And because of that, you make a great teacher!                         (Starting Points & Turning Points in Western Thought)

Parent Who Agrees With the Hype

You have a gift, and you have a superior reputation for your worldview classes!!!! You should walk in confidence because you have something special that really ministers to young people!!!

I’ve heard about you from multiple, multiple sources who sing your praises!!!!
Sara (Parent, Starting Points 2016-17)

A Parent’s Recommendation

Please, please, please put any or all of the things I shared by phone with you on your site.

I shared them because they are true, I shared because I hope it encourages you, and I would love for my thoughts/words to be shared so that others know what a wonderful teacher and mentor you are to our homeschooling children, and so that others may know that your love for Christ shines brightly each time you enter the classroom!

Thanks for the info regarding Turning Points in Western Thought. I am looking forward to exploring this curriculum and getting excited again about what my son will be a learning!

You share your stories out of love. You let discussion grow and be what it should be, allowing it to go off the grid but then bringing it back on topic. That’s when the magic happens!

You’re teaching the students to go for the meat, not just skimming. Plus you allow the students to take a break! And to bring snacks in the room!

You took time to speak to my son and tell him what’s good about him and his writing. You’re Spirit filled, Spirit led.
(parent) Lori, March 2016

Ninth Grader

I want to tell you how much your teaching has helped me this year in public school. I was going to wait until Teacher Appreciation Week to say this, but I might as well now. I have so many classmates in different classes that struggle with assignments I have no problem with, and a main reason why is because of what I did in your classes. Writing, giving speeches, and studying books (and many more things), are all a breeze for me because of Starting Points and 7th Grade Composition. My English teacher thinks that most 9th graders are not mature writers and speakers, and most of my classmates aren’t. But I am, and every time we have an assignment, I wow her. I give the credit for that fully to you. You really did a great job teaching me, and I thank you for that.
Matt C, 9th


A Parent’s Recommendation


To whom it may concern,

It is my pleasure to recommend Susanne Johnson as an excellent instructor. She has taught both writing and Starting Points at Where Three Roads Meet (a K-8th grade homeschool co-op) over the last several years to our middle school students.

Susanne is a gifted teacher, has a wonderful personality, and the kids love her. She is enthusiastic about the process and cares very much for each child. She is gifted at understanding and helping each individual child work to their potential no matter their varied abilities and/or struggles within a classroom. She has taught two of my boys who are very different students and she was able to draw the best out of each of them. In my experience, students really like Mrs. Johnson and under her tutelage are eager to please and excel.

Please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely yours,
Beth Hileman
Where Three Roads Meet

Worldviews Matter

Parent: I want to thank you for all you do. I was reminded of your heart as I read ______’s paper. I know my two don’t act like it, so you probably do not know what an impact you are having on the students each week. If they don’t quote classics or write perfect papers it’s ok with me because they have learned how God has gifted them and that’s far more valuable. _____ has been going through a difficult time with her best friend, and it has helped her to understand her strengths and weaknesses. I even believe she has more compassion toward others because she knows everyone has different strengths. So Thank You!! Thank You!! Thank You!! Have a blessed Christmas.

Worldviews Matters

Dear Mrs. Johnson
Thank you so much for pouring your time and effort into me. This year will be a year that I will never forget! Even though I was only in Dallas for one year, you have helped me create some of the greatest memories that I will carry with me for a lifetime. You have helped me grow in the Lord in a way that I did not think that I could. Thank you again.
Forever grateful,

Student 2:
The class is hard and it definitely pushes me, but I understand a lot more about other religions and what they believe and the class itself is fun.
The course was well organized and very clear to understand.
I don’t know if you told us or not, but at the beginning of the year and throughout it, tell us that we need to keep all of our papers and file them all in the right place. That’s all. The rest of the class was a great. This is the best class I have ever taken. — H

Student 3:
Dear Mrs. Johnson,
Thank you so much for being such a great teacher. You’ve basically helped me read the Bible and understand it better than I ever have before.

Hinds’ Feet on High Places especially helped encourage me. It made me realize a lot of things I can work on and is still continuing to influence my thinking.

I also like the book on religions’ we read at the beginning of the year. It has helped me a lot to understand other beliefs, especially when I was talking to a Buddhist priest about Jesus.

I love this class and I love talking to you. You have so much wisdom and you’re so understanding. I don’t think I’ll ever forget what I’ve learned this year. I really hope I can take your class next year too.

Thank you so much. God bless. — C

Student 4:
Dear Mrs. Johnson,
Thank you so much for teaching this class with us. Last year I heard of Starting Points and worldviews, but it wasn’t at RHSA. So this year I jumped at the chance to be in this class, and I have not regretted it. I have learned so much about faith. This class has brought me closer to God. This class has helped me realize what I want to do with my life and that is journalism. But at the same time, I feel called to be a missionary. This class has helped me realize how much God actually cares, and at the beginning of the school year, I really needed that. — A

Student 5:
Mrs. Johnson, first I want to thank you for all the talks we have had. I really enjoy talking to you. Your advice has really helped me through a lot. I also really enjoy being in class, the fact that you don’t look at me as just another student.

All the books you have assigned have helped me in so many different ways, most especially Hinds’ Feet on High Places. It is a great devotional!

I also enjoy the fact that you are preparing all of us for college writing.

Thank you so much for teaching this class. You have a sweet heart and a kind way about you.

I really enjoy taking this class my senior year. I hope to see you at graduation.

Student 6:
I have learned a lot in this class. It has helped me with talking to people and it’s made me strive for Jesus. My favorite book was Hinds’ Feet on High Places. I think it’s really helping me with my relationships with my parents and friends. Also, this class overall impacted me a lot spiritually — (8th grade guy).

Student 7:
You asked, “Has this class helped me see God differently? How?”

Yes, in some ways. I haven’t ever studied the Bible for weeks and weeks, so that was new for me. It helped me to understand all that God has done for me and to be grateful for what He has done instead of being mad for what He hasn’t done. It has definitely taught me patience because I am an extremely slow reader. I typically read 5 pages per hour.

Student 8:
You are my favorite teacher! You are so nice and understanding and you actually listen to us! — 8th grade guy

Parent: Thank YOU Susanne! I’ve seen L____ grow mentally and spiritually so much this year because of your class. Your class has been such a blessing to Lisa and me. I hope Lisa can take more of your classes in the future. — L

Thanks so much. I will tell you that ______ is really enjoying your class. She has been so encouraged and felt equipped to have hard conversations lately with peers that she knows do not know the Lord. It is very exciting to see her researching, looking up Scripture, etc. to prepare for these conversations. Thanks for all you are doing to not only teach them but encourage them to live what they are learning. — K

Parent: I wanted to tell you that H______ is motivated and has a love for learning again. She knew she would be away for the weekend and wanted to get all done on Friday. She spent all day working on her homework for her classes and had her quiet time first off. I can’t believe the change I am seeing with the hearts of teachers who truly care for the students and desire to know their hearts.

Thank you Susanne for being a catalyst for change and an example to my daughter of patience and teaching (which means “to draw out”) When a teacher “draws out” from the student, it shouldn’t be blood or tears. It should be loving direction with appropriate discipline without DAMAGING the spiritual soul of the student. Your comment about questions from the students was a welcome breath of fresh air. This is how we learn. A gifted teacher who has a passion for teaching knows how to facilitate a class. She does to let questions take over the classroom time, but always provides the invitation to the student that she is interested and will MAKE the time to hear those questions at some point.

Incidentally, H____ shared with me Friday that she wants to be a teacher. I have always known she has the gift, both my girls do, but she has not had encouraging examples since the 5th. grade. I am sure you can appreciate what a beautiful gift it was to me to hear m y daughter say that.

Parent: Oh, my, what a blessing this lady has been in A____’s life! Anna says when she prays, it is so sweet and real. She is a very patient and kind teacher. She challenges the students to know what they believe. We both have learned so much about writing through all the papers A____ has had to write. She has been very instructive in helping the students know how to write. Just an example of her desire to instruct; A____ had a question about how to write a paper (early on) and e-mailed her with her question. She spent 45 minutes on the phone, talking us through it, giving us examples, etc.

She is uplifting and encouraging to the students and delights in teaching them (and she tells them that). I don’t know how much of that is just who she is and how much is the character of the students she is teaching. I’m sure it’s a lot of both.

I guess you could say that was a loaded question. Hope my opinion helps. _____ would ditto everything I’ve said and would probably add to it! Ha.

Eastfield College Homeschool Connection WGS 1–Writing, Grammar & Speech–Creative Writing

Parent: This was a super class! Z____ went from having virtually no writing or presentation experience to being able to write a really good paper on any subject. But even more so, he has learned to plan ahead and manage his time, take and act on criticism, speak before a group, do homework on time, participate in class . . . so many things central to class and work life. Awesome!

Parent: Mrs. Johnson was so encouraging and the style of writing taught (sensory writing) has been really successful for my son. I have recommended this class to my friends.

Parent: Excellent class! Have recommended to several students. Good selection of assignments to meet course objectives. Written handouts on expectations for writing assignment were especially helpful (i.e. should use sensory language 5 times, should be 10 sentences or more, etc.) Public speaking assignments were outstanding.

Parent: We are having a lot of fun with this assignment and adding and subtracting on a daily basis. The last e-mail I sent was to thank you for such a wonderful job. N____ has loved this class, and it is teaching her more than writing. I am more of a check-list person and my biggest weakness is seeing what they are getting accomplished instead of just seeing what all hasn’t been accomplished, so your encouragement has been priceless. This is the first time she has taken an educational course outside of the home and she really wants to do it on her own. It makes her feel like she is in school like her friends and not just home schooled. Thanks!

Parent: Mrs. Johnson was wonderful. I would highly recommend her class. She is caring, interesting and knowledgeable.

Parent: Mrs. Johnson was very knowledgeable on the subject. She also had all the necessary teaching material. She made the class enjoyable.

Parent: Excellent instructor!!!

Student: The class was great. I loved it.

Student: Mrs. Johnson is a very nice teacher. It would be nice to have more breaks.

Parent: Susanne is a wonderful teacher (at Homeschool Connection at Eastfield College). I believe with all my heart C_____s future will be different due to this class.

Parent: Mrs. Johnson was very helpful in suggesting ways to improve study habits. She also was willing to stay after class to talk with students or parents to help them with any problems. I think Eastfield College is very fortunate to have such a dedicated teacher. This is our second child to study with her.

Student: I loved sending in our rough drafts on Friday. It was great to have instruction on our papers before turning them in.
Loved the class. I really liked your stories and how you teach. You have a very good teaching voice; it is easy to understand. I learned a lot and would recommend this course to anyone.

Parent: Susanne is a wonderful instructor. She takes time with each student. Very encouraging and knowledgeable.

Eastfield College WGS 2–Writing, Grammar & Speech 2

(Susanne always asks students for suggestions on the evaluation)

Parent: Mrs. Johnson has been such a great teacher, as well as a friend. She knows how to connect with her students in a way that makes them feel comfortable to express themselves in every way. 2006-7 ECC

Parent: She is a great teacher, wonderful to work with. Sticks to the syllabus. Overall amazing teacher and friend.

Parent: Great resource to homeschooling families

Student: Helped improve my skills very, very much. The teacher was fun and informative.
You knew exactly what you were doing. You were well-prepared. After taking this course, I understand and know all about the structure and grammar of writing.
Thank you for teaching me. I have become a much better writer during this class than probably all my other classes, and you put it in terms I could understand. Now I believe I am much more prepared for college and the SAT. I learned all the steps for assignments, and I felt we were going at my pace, not the class’s. Thank you.

Student: I thoroughly enjoyed the method you presented in the curse. You made the class fun and enjoyable while still getting across the subject matter. You adapt quickly in class to better fit the students’ needs. I really like how you get to know your students. You have excellent flexibility.

I find great difficulty trying to think of something negative to say. The only time I was the least bit frustrated was where to place everything in my binder. If you could tell your future classes every time you give them a paper where to place it, then all the binders should be well organized. I like to know where to place everything.

Student: Thank you so much for teaching WGS! Your class is so awesome! The five-paragraph apers, the PowerPoint, the How To demonstrations were really great. I enjoy being in your class. I think that everything you did in class this year is really good! DO NOT CHANGE A THING!!! May God help you in your classes to come.

Parent: Thank you! S___ has grown leaps and bounds in the area of writing and speaking in front of people and I’m thrilled! Hope to get to know you too in the future.

Student: Such a wonderful teacher, my mom thinks so too. I think I’m ready for college. Though Mr. Johnson does give out a little too much work, it’s for good, reasonable intentions. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who is willing to do the work. She is one of most understanding, caring teachers that I ever had. Thank you, Mrs. Johnson!

Student: This class was great. Mrs. Johnson used great sources to help us learn the material. It was a fun class, and I enjoyed Mrs. Johnson and everyone in this class.

Parent: Thank you so much for all of your patience. My daughter and I love you. You’re a God-sent blessing.

Mrs. Johnson was a great teacher to learn from. She’s cheerful every time I come to class and makes sure that we understand the work that is put in front of us. She makes the class enjoyable and fun.

Student: Mrs. Johnson, Thank you sooooo much for teaching me this summer. I am going to miss you so much. I hope you come to Rowlett and you can be my English teacher. I hope I can see you soon.

Student: Dear Mrs. Johnson,
This summer has been excellent! At first, honestly, I thought that this class was going to be boring and meaningless. I was so wrong! This has been extremely beneficial to me and you are a great teacher. Your method and style has helped me out a lot and you are a wonderful person. I’m so glad I met you. Take care.

Student: I am really missing your class. It really helped me prepare for the work that I now do at Eastfield College. I would not be able to do it without you. — B

Parent: Thank you so much for your wonderful teaching! I know ____ learned more than he even thought he could! We really appreciate you! Thanks again

Parent: You have been a Blessing in my son’s life. He has learned so much ! Have a blessed summer

Parent: Thanks, Susanne!! The certificates are wonderful! V_____ has been so blessed by your class this year! Thank you is not enough to say!: ) &mdash: D

Parent: Susanne, you are a wonderful God send –Love you much–

Eastfield College Student evaluations — Structured Writing

Student: I loved this class so much. You are a good teacher and companion. I look back (and laugh) to when you didn’t know me and wasn’t sure I could keep up with the class since I was younger. I am so glad I had the privilege to be in you class before you leave. I am SO SAD THAT YOU ARE LEAVING! I love you!
“Was prepared for each class session” “Strongly Agree” “for sure!!!” “Encouraged students to ask questions and express ideas” “Strongly Agree” “for sure!!!” “Started and ended the class at the designated times” “Disagree” “Its not a bad thing though”
As far as time, there were times when we went over a little, but you never went too much over for it to be a big deal. You are a great teacher, and I feel that you made it very easy for me to learn because you were very clear on what you were talking about. Keep it up! One more thing. Make one syllabus! Not ten million. Lol. Love you bunches!

Student: There was a lot of homework, but I was proud of how much I was able to get done every week. I enjoyed the books we read and I believe my writing skills have improved greatly. I also enjoyed the Bible studies and learned a lot more about the Bible this year. Although I wish there were less homework and deadlines, I am amazed at how much I accomplished.
This was a great class! I enjoyed your uplifting words and took your stories to heart. Thank you so mucy for your class!
I think verses throughout the year would be appreciated by students. The verses always helped me through my day, and I loved them. Also, hearing what God gave you was one of my favorite things. This class has helped me tremendously. I enjoy it eventhough there was a lot of writing. Writing about our worldviews really opened our eyes, and I’m very thankful you made us do it!

Student: Appeared knowledgeable and current in this field/subject Very “Strongly Agree”
I would take another course with or recommend this instructor For sure “Strongly Agree”
Mrs. Johnson did an awesome job teaching me. She always helped me when I needed her. If I had any trouble at all, she never put me to the side, but was right on top of it to see what the problem was. She is relable and trustworthy and relaxed enough so I wouldn’t freak out. Made me view the Bible in a new way.
How are you? I miss you! A lot’s been changing lately, I began school this year at _____ where I have a crumby writing teacher 🙁 M____ and I agree that we want to fire her and hire you!!!! Oh and I’ve finally decided what I want to study for at college: I still want to be a author, but for the time before I publish anything, I want to be a RN.
I like school, but I do miss you! You really taught me how to write my thoughts. I also appreciated your openness and love for me and your other students. I just wanted to tell you so you’d understand the respect and admiration you earn. I’ve gotta go. Write back okay?!?!??! — L

Hi Susanne,

Thanks for sharing the When Worldviews Collide study guide book with us. This does look like a very good resource. It goes beyond the basic vision I have for Starting Points. As you know from the study I only present 2 non-Christian works (Frankenstein and Wizard of Oz). It is important forour children to first understand what and why they believe before introducing other views of the world.

The materials in this resource fit into the instructional model I have established if they are used after the students complete Part 3. This would allow time for the children to be firmly establish in their Christian world view. Then they would have a way of examining and evaluating the differences between what Christians believe and the belief systems of other people of the world.

If you were asked by a family or a group to teach Starting Points, I would simply tell them about the substitutions — so that they will know beforehand.

I hope that helps. Have a great day.

David Quine


Student: I’ve been taking algebra since my freshman year, and I never understood it. I’m at the end of my junior year now and algebra comes so easy to me because of this class. I actually want to work ahead sometimes.