Johnson finds connection in education

By Amanda Duchsherer
Digital Communications Specialist

MINOT, N.D. – Megdalyn (Kuske) Johnson finds inspiration in her students, community, and the written word.

Johnson graduated from Minot State University in 2016 with a bachelor’s in elementary education and a concentration in kindergarten. On May 10, the commencement graduate student speaker will make another trip across the stage to receive her master’s in education with a concentration in English.

While writing a thesis is a daunting process for any grad student, she found joy in the process.

“I’ve always really loved to write. When I was young, I wanted to be a writer and I really have a passion for it. I love the way I can put words together to create something,” Johnson said. “A thesis isn’t always the most fun thing, but I’ve enjoyed it because I love to write.”

Her thesis focuses on how scripted curriculum can impede a teacher; a subject Johnson is passionate about.

“I think right now, sometimes the curriculum can be so confined and you have to follow a script. I believe, as teachers, we should be able to use those tools that are in the curriculum and put it in our own words and add to it,” she said. “I love how kids think, and I love that moment when I can bring what I know and incorporate more hands-on activities. It’s important to me that they’re able to connect to it, not just hear it.”

Johnson grew up with parents, Steve Kuske '86/'06 and Sherry (Ammon) Kuske '87, in the education field but following their footsteps wasn’t her original intent.

“When I was first planning on going to school, I wanted to be a physical therapist before I wanted to go into English. But I altered my plans,” she said. “I started my first year here at Minot State and started taking generals. I got a job at Minot Public Schools for CLC (an after and before school program) and got to work with kids. Then I knew I was on the right career path.”

Johnson found a home in the education field and at Minot State.

“I have loved how close knit the campus is. I love the students here because they’re like family. It’s like how you know everyone in a small town, I feel that at Minot State,” Johnson said. “There’s been opportunities to do so much here that I didn’t realize I would have. I thought I would just come to school and pass on through but coming to Minot State has really opened up so many opportunities for me. It’s been fantastic.”

The community built in her undergraduate years continues to grow.

“I didn’t realize how many friends I’d meet. Just having that time to live in the dorms, meet people, have those relationships — because those relationships are going to last your whole life,” she said. “You never really think you’re going to college to meet people that will be a part of your life forever.”

It is that connection Johnson enjoys most about teaching, as well.

“I really think the best thing about teaching is, again, the relationships you build,” the kindergarten teacher said. “I’ve learned a lot about dinosaurs. I’ve learned that there’s going to be struggles. Sometimes, at 5, they’ve gone through more than I ever will in my entire life. And I’ve learned that, not matter what, there is beauty in it. There’s compassion. There’s love.”

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 05/01/19   

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