National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes
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National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes


Our next guest was just named
the national teacher of the year. She was honored in Washington DC and
even got to meet the president. But more importantly, this is how she reacted when she found
out she was gonna be on my show.>>Hold on just a second.>>Drink some water, drink some water.>>Take a breath.>>Aah!>>[LAUGH]
>>From Waterbury, Connecticut, please welcome Johanna Hayes. So I love this story,
tell everyone how you got into teaching.>>I always knew I wanted to be a teacher,
and then in high school, I got pregnant. Yeah, sucks.>>[LAUGH]
>>And they sent me to an alternative school,
because it was frowned upon. And I got a job, I was working and
then I was probably about 26 or 27. And I woke up one day, and
I was like this cannot be my real life, I have to at least try, and
I went to a community college. I didn’t tell anyone when I enrolled, because I was like seriously if I mess up
again nobody’s gonna forgive me two times.>>Right.>>Community college then I went on and
get my bachelors, then I went back and got my masters. Went back and got a six year degree, and
now I’m the national teacher of the year. [LAUGH]
>>And now->>[APPLAUSE]>>It’s amazing. And obviously being the national
teacher of the year is a big deal, and teachers make such a difference. And it makes a difference and I think
you saw the difference between changing schools on where you went and
how much teachers influence you. And how did that growing up and being in that situation
influence the way you teach now?>>I think it totally influences
the way I teach because I get it. I grew up in that same neighborhood
where those kids grow up and I’ve seen the same things,
I’ve experienced the same type of failure. And when they say to me, you don’t get it,
I’m like, accept that I do.>>Yeah.>>Accept that I do and
I know where the end of the journey is.>>Yeah.>>I want them to know that your journey
is not determined by where you begin. And they can’t see that far out,
but I can.>>Right. That’s a really good thing to remember. Your journey is not determined
from where you begin.>>Yeah.>>And you teach kindness in your class,
which I love and I think that that’s under rated. I think people learn math and history and all these things, but
I think that’s an important curriculum. Don’t you think that every teacher
should teach kindness and compassion?>>Absolutely, that whole thing. It doesn’t matter how good your grades
are, or where you rank in class, if you’re not doing anything to help
anyone else, it doesn’t matter. What have you done? And I think for most of my kids, they’ve
been on the receiving end of aid for so long that they don’t know how
good it feels to help someone else, to be the giver for once. So when we do community service,
they become the givers, and they’re different people after that.>>Yeah.
>>And I think people should just learn and understand how important
that is just nurture, empathy.>>Right.
We have to take a break. I have something for
you when we come back. We’ll be back. You got to meet the president. That must have been exciting.>>[LAUGH]
>>I mean, isn’t he the coolest guy? He’s just so charming.>>My gosh. I thought they were gonna
kick me out of there. They were like, stand still. I was like, this is as good as it gets. Like it was so surreal. That was still.>>Yeah.
>>I was still.>>Well, I don’t blame you. It’s an exciting thing
when you meet president.>>First of all,
I’m never getting invited back.>>Well,
>>[LAUGH]>>You don’t know that.>>You’re right.>>No, you don’t know that.>>You’re right.
[LAUGH] You’re right.>>Don’t say that.>>I’m a history teacher, so the office
of the president for me, was just->>Really?>>Yeah.>>[LAUGH] really? Who did that?>>I know. It’s exciting. So, let me tell you why we’re here. Not just to celebrate
National Teacher of the Year, but I know that the school is struggling, and that a lot of teachers spend a lot of
their own money trying to help students. I know you pay for prom dresses and tuxes
and everything and help all the students. So, first thing is our friends
at Shutter Fly want to give John F Kennedy High School
a check for $20,000 so that->>[APPLAUSE]>>So out of your own pocket, I know you’ve been spending money. So, Shutterfly wants to give you $20,000.>>[APPLAUSE]
>>You, that’s-
>>[LAUGH]>>Yeah, that’s the school that’s you.>>[APPLAUSE]
>>I want to thank Russel Crowe good bye, and I’ll see you tomorrow. Be kind to one another good bye. [MUSIC]

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