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Acero - Jovita Idár

Mr. Ryan D. Johnson » About Me

About Me

Mr. Johnson was born and raised in the Chicagoland area and now lives on the far south side with his lovely wife, two dogs Xena and Gare, cat Lucy Chef Meowly, and a variety of scaled friends that crawl, slither, and swim. He likes to read, play video games, run, ride his bike, and swim (badly).  Science has been his favorite subject since he dissected his first owl pellet in 4th grade...which his wife thinks is gross.

El Sr. Johnson nació en el área de Chicago y ahora vive en el extremo sur con su encantadora esposa, dos perros Xena y Gare, la gata Lucy Chef Meowly y una variedad de amigos con escamas que gatean, deslizan y nadan. Le gusta leer, jugar videojuegos, correr, andar en bicicleta y nadar (mal). Ciencias Naturales ha sido su materia favorita desde que diseccionó su primera bolita de búho en cuarto grado...que su esposa piensa que es asqueroso.



April 2013 – Present: 7th-8th Science Teacher Jovita Idár Elementary, 5050 S. Homan Avenue,  Chicago, IL

School Science Leader dedicated to an inquiry-based, hands-on methodology to learning. Firm advocate for an interdisciplinary approach to science, storytelling, the incorporation of lab, and a focus on writing in STEM. Highly-qualified professional educator license with over 24 hours of specialized and certified training in school environment, health, and culture. Enthusiastic about education strategy and stewardship for English Learners in the sciences, leveraging technology, community, and relationships to build strong science identities in students, families, and staff.
  • Created, wrote, designed, and instituted curriculum aligned with NGSS and CCSS, revised and revamped for the Covid-19 remote and hybrid experience. Prioritized research-based labs and written communication.
  • Drove significant growth in Chicago Public Schools REACH Science Performance Tasks and ACERO standardized assessments (20.3% above District). Lessons based in UbD and anchored with strong objectives.
  • Strict observance of data driven decisions for formation of units, lessons, accommodations, interventions, and differentiation. Used Excel, SPSS, G*Power, and other statistical methods to meaningfully analyze data.
  • Partnered with ELA, Math, Social Studies, P.E., and Music teachers for interdisciplinary study.
  • Constant and consistent use of researched based instructional strategies for English Language Learners including SIOP model of planning. Balanced use of technology and online tools with hands-on instruction.
  • Created a K-8 toolkit to facilitate science instruction with labs, lessons, field trips, and assessments.

May 2010 – April 2013: Substitute Teacher (K-12): School District 303, 201 S. 7th Street, St. Charles, IL

  • Substitute teacher across all core subject areas as well as P.E., Music, Technology, and Art, and grades (K-12) while pursuing master’s degree. Honed skills by putting theory into practice and teaching a variety of abilities and grades.
  • Requested for long-term assignments in 7th grade science (2 weeks), and 6-8 Special Education (two 1 month assignments). Worked closely with teachers to implement rigorous, high quality lessons.
  • High priority first call list. Had chances to work with many different ages and content areas.

January 2008 – April 2010: English/Science Teacher and 6-12 School Manager Surat Thani, Thailand

  • Taught English and Science at Suratthani English Language School (Super English) and Thidamaepra Intermediate School as an international visiting instructor. Promoted to Thai-School Manager overseeing ten teachers at four schools, providing a communication bridge between English and Thai speaking staff.
  • Trained and observed new teachers in the standards, expectations, and gave sample lessons for observation.
  • Provided formative and evaluative feedback based on Danielson framework to improve instructional quality
  • Developed an orientation guide to lead new teachers to effective practices.
  • Co-organized social opportunity groups for cultural and language understanding and appreciation.
  • Co-developed the curriculum for Prathom 1 (Kindergarten) – Prathom 6 (5th grade).

September 2007 – December 2007: Substitute Teacher (K-12): School Districts 303 and 304, IL

  • Taught all grades K-12 in two districts. Many opportunities to work with Diverse Learners across multiple grades.



2020-present: Developed writing program in the Middle School Science classroom to foster growth and achievement of the NGSS standards and goals. Created the ‘A.D.E Approach’ for writing that is A² D² E² (Accessible & Appropriate | Diverse & Differentiated | Engaging & Enjoyable) to facilitate efficacy and engagement.
2020-present: Founded and ran a network-wide professional learning community of 6-8 science teachers.
2020: Co-created, wrote, and presented bilingual information to families about Individualized Education Programs.
2019-present: Created Middle School Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Model focused around the whole child and the importance of prioritizing mental, social, and physical health for optimal learning potential.
2018-present: 2x unanimously elected a representative on the school-level Professional Solutions Committee.
2015-present: 6th-8th grade Boys Soccer coach: two division championships and two second place finishes.
2014-present: Developed and established more than ten after school clubs including Middle School Science Fair (6-8), Elementary S.T.E.M. club (3-5), Science of Running (4-6), Edible Science (K-3), and Science is Awesome (K-3)
2014-present: Led annual bilingual Family Book Club and Science clubs as well as quarterly community events.
2014-present: Lead network Professional Development sessions including: SEL Benefits of Pets in the Classroom; Essential Practices: Attaining Fluency Through Mental Math; Writing in STEM: It’s Not (All) Rocket Science.




  • 2021-2022: Selected as a Pilot Light Fellow to support students as they learn and advocate for informed choices by bridging the lessons in their classrooms to the foods on their lunch trays, at home, and in their communities to create a world of knowledgeable and engaged changemakers for an equitable, sustainable, and accessible food future.
  • 2019-2021: Selected to the Bringing The Universe to America’s Classrooms Advisory Board in collaboration with PBS Learning Media and NASA. Edited, revised, and presented recommendations about virtual materials and technological science/engineering resources, particularly for English Language Learners to ‘rewire’ STEM for learners in the digital age. Worked nationally with teachers, scientists, researchers, and technology professionals.
  • 2020: Chosen for a partnership with Fermilab and the University of St. Francis, on improving teaching and understanding of the Standard Model of Elementary Particles in Particle Physics, especially studying quarks and neutrinos through inquiry. Received full funding for the program.
  • 2019-2020: Selected to the Chicago Teacher Advisory Council to research in multilevel groups to analyze and provide insight around social justice and growth for all of Chicago Public Schools, presenting targeting MTSS practices and implementation. Worked closely with interdisciplinary staff and administrators across the city.
  • 2020: Selected to provide collaborative feedback for ‘Making North America’ curriculum and course map for Johns Hopkins University synchronously and asynchronously with students and developers.
  • 2013: Partnered with the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago for a 120 hour research task and professional development in developing Science Education with the Great Lakes.




  • 2021: National Youth Leadership Pathways to STEM Honorary Member in recognition for mentoring efforts to assist outstanding student by advancing educational opportunities that will help them achieve in STEM.
  • 2020: Featured and highlighted in the Network Academic Round Up for Science(y) Book Club
  • 2018-2019: ACERO Network Teacher of the Year Award for student attainment, teacher support, and community participation. Honored in city-wide ceremony and celebrated across multiple networks.
  • 2017-2018: 2nd highest standardized test growth scores in the network.
  • 2014-2016: Elected to Union Executive Board with 87% of the vote; Strike Captain; bridge between Local and CTU.
  • 2008 & 2009: Back to back Most Supportive Teacher Awards – Surat Thani, Thailand




  • 2021-2022: ComEd Super Savers Program geared towards energy savings and sustainability products with a focus on helping students implement classroom lessons at home. Approximate value ~ $5,000. FUNDED
  • 2020-2021: Toshiba America Foundation for self-developed C.R.A.B.S. Project: Combining Robotics And Biology in Schools blending robotics with neuroscience for students and community in school and home. $3,125. FUNDED
  • 2020-2021: Motorola Solutions Foundation Leading Latinas To Terminate Gender Gaps (L²T²G² ) is a technology and engineering focused after-school 3D printing club for girls. $6,598.98. NOT FUNDED
  • 2020: Donors Choose – Big Explorations of the Very Small: Microscopes and equipment for class. $997. FUNDED
  • 2015-present: Pets in the Classroom – Initial and sustaining grant for reptile habitat $125 | $50. FUNDED




  • Doctor of Education (EdD): Curriculum, Culture, and Communities. Loyola University, Chicago, IL: Expected 2025
  • English as a Second Language Endorsement (ESL): Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL: June 2017
  • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT): Elementary Education. Aurora University, Aurora, IL: December 2012
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA): Liberal Arts and Sciences. The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL: August 2007