LA Johnson

LA Johnson is an art director and illustrator at NPR. She joined in 2014 and has a BFA from The Savannah College of Art and Design.

It's been a year since teachers were handed an unprecedented request: educate students in entirely new ways amid the backdrop of a pandemic. In this comic series, we'll illustrate one teacher's story each week from now until the end of the school year.

Episode 5

Shameem Patel, a second-grade teacher in Dallas, on personal growth and loss — and the skills needed to get through the pandemic

It's been a year since teachers were handed an unprecedented request: educate students in entirely new ways amid the backdrop of a pandemic. In this comic series, we'll illustrate one teacher's story each week from now until the end of the school year.

Maria Lemire, a preschool teacher in the East Village, New York City, on the challenges of early childhood education during the pandemic.

Episode 3

It's been a year since teachers were handed an unprecedented request: educate students in entirely new ways amid the backdrop of a pandemic. In this comic series, we'll illustrate one teacher's story each week from now until the end of the school year.

Episode 1

Jessica Peacock — on what success has meant for her while teaching virtually during the pandemic

Sixth-grade math, Raleigh, N.C.

It's been a year since teachers were handed an unprecedented request: Educate students in entirely new ways amid the backdrop of a pandemic. In this comic series, we'll illustrate one teacher's story each week from now until the end of the school year.

Episode 2

Lori Chavez, a middle school social studies teacher in Kewa Pueblo, N.M., discusses the importance of staying connected to your community during lockdown.

This year my grandfather turned 90 and my family planned to celebrate with a big birthday bash. It's not often that my whole family comes together, and I was excited. But then the coronavirus pandemic came. My grandparents isolated at home, the birthday party got canceled and a general anxiety about the health of the older generation exploded all over the world.

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Prom portraits are often windows into the past, capturing a moment in time with a special person, or friends you've lost touch with. It's a celebration of hard work; a well-earned break from studying and stress.

Updated on May 7, 2020 at 12:08 a.m. ET

Looking for a creative outlet? Sarah Urist Green shares ideas for fun art projects you can do at home during the coronavirus outbreak. (These are a great activity for kids and adults alike.) If you try one, share your creation with us at lifekit@npr.org.

Empathy, tolerance and acceptance: More and more, educators are focusing on the importance of schools' paying attention to stuff other than academics.

And for the past two months, an exhibit at the U.S. Department of Education's headquarters in Washington, D.C., has gathered the work of student artists expressing themselves — through their work — about these issues.

The exhibit is called "Total Tolerance," and it highlights themes of racism, sexism and diversity.

For only the third time ever, the government released today a national report card examining the knowledge, understanding and abilities of U.S. eighth-graders in visual arts and music.

And in many ways, the numbers aren't great, with little progress shown in most categories since the last time the assessment was given in 2008. One bright spot: The achievement gap between Hispanic students and their white peers has narrowed. But Hispanics and African-Americans still lag far behind white and Asian eighth-graders.

"I understand things visually, by finding them in paint. I don't know if my dyslexia causes me to be this way, but I have a feeling it does." — Rachel Deane, painter.

We know lots of facts about dyslexia: It's the most common reading disorder. It changes the way millions of people read and process information.

But we know much less about how it feels to people who have it. How it shapes your self-image, your confidence and how people see and react to you.

And so I reached out to some really creative people — artists who have dyslexia — to talk about this.