Lea Johnson: Instructor of the Year

Lea with NCE Staff celebrating at Coco’s Italian Market

Today we celebrate Volunteer Instructor, Lea Johnson, who has taught Estate Planning with NCE for over 5 years! Lea has been named Nashville Community Education’s 2016 Instructor of the Year. NCE is grateful for Lea’s years of dedicated, reliable, quality instruction. We know that you, the students, recognize Lea’s efforts in class, but what you may not know is that she is also amazing to work with administratively. We are so appreciative of her organizational skills and commitment to the program. To celebrate we took Lea to lunch at Coco’s Italian Market and gave her some items to commemorate our gratitude.

Lea will once again be holding several sections of her Estate Planning I and Estate Planning II classes, free of charge, this Fall! You do not have to take Estate Planning I to take II, but you should because they are separate classes with unique information and you’ll love them both!

LeaJohnsonToday, let’s learn a little more about Lea:

What neighborhood or area of town do you live in?: Inglewood

Profession: Attorney

Why do you teach at Nashville Community Education?
My mother is a retired Metro Nashville Public Schools elementary school teacher. It’s in my blood!

Before I started my own law practice, I worked for the Legal Aid Society. While there, one of my most enjoyable and rewarding experiences was doing community outreach not only with NCE, but also at local churches and civic events. It is something that I have continued to do as much as my schedule will permit.

Although you are teaching a class, what have you learned through students or others?
It is great when students are engaged in class and ask lots of questions. I always learn from the questions they ask, and revise my upcoming class to include some of the questions from the previous class. My law practice focuses on estate planning, and the students’ questions are good reminders for me to try and see things from my clients’ perspectives.

If you weren’t teaching a class, what class would you be taking OR what class are you taking in addition to teaching?
I love this question, but I don’t think I could narrow it down to only one class! My top 3 would be:

1. Any of the creative classes– oil painting, ceramics, sewing. My undergraduate degree is in fine art, and I just don’t get the opportunity to do these things as much as I would like.
2. Italian– so that I can travel to Italy and be able to communicate!
3. The new Stand Up Paddle boarding class. I have tried this a few times, but would love to actually learn the skills and have a new hobby.

What’s one thing we would be surprised to learn about you?
I started taking ballet classes when I was three, and I really haven’t stopped. I still take classes when my schedule allows. When I was in junior high, I was an apprentice with the Nashville Ballet.

What’s the last book, podcast, or blog you read or listened to?
I really enjoy the This American Life podcasts. I just re-listened to a 2015 podcast called “Status Update.” It opens with three preteen and teenage girls discussing how important it is to them that their friends comment positively on the selfies and photos they post on social media. At the same time, they seem to understand that, deep down, this is really unimportant and meaningless behavior. I was pleasantly surprised by the insight they seem to have in their own behavior/ feelings; however, they continue the behavior- which is bewildering.

You can find out even more about Lea via her professional Facebook page!

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