Marlene Nall Johnt is a talented and creative artist!  Her Realistic, Impressionistic and Abstract Southern art, including a series of black and white photographs, is wonderful and very affordable!

The prints below are just a few examples of the beautiful paintings she’s done. For a complete view and list of her artwork, please click on the link below that takes you to her website.

Marlene and Mandy

Pansies with Watering Can

Blue Birdbath

Marlene is not only a talented artist, but also a talented writer. Her book, A Retired Art Teacher Tells All, is one of the most well written books I have ever read. In her words, “The book is geared for all teachers and parents who work with teens, lab classrooms, and mixed ability classes. It is a humorous approach towards explaining the importance of a well planned classroom for teens.”

I would add that her book goes so much further than how to teach and control an art class. Her book delves into the human side of teaching and molding children’s lives in a way that will have a profound effect on them. As a former teacher, I can relate to everything she says.

I can highly recommend her book for anyone, whether a teacher or not. The example she set in the classroom, as well as the principals and standards she followed, were exemplary and would certainly apply to any workplace situation.

Marlene now designs beautiful shell Jewelry

Review in School Arts Magazine: Click twice on the picture to read the article

School Arts Magazine

Published by Davis and in print since 1901

 School Arts is a national magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts. It is used as a text in teachers’ colleges, and for reference in libraries of public and private schools and colleges.  SchoolArts readers comprise a group of more than 18,000 art teachers across the country.  The average time spent reading the magazine is fifty-six minutes, with as many as 19% reporting that they spent ninety minutes or more reading each issue. Finally, SchoolArts readers are dedicated: 47% have been subscribing for three to nine years, while 33% have been subscribing for ten or more years.  It is indeed an honor to have my book, A Retired Art Teacher Tells All, reviewed with such enthusiasm and high recommendation for purchase.

Retired art teacher ‘tells all’ with tips for new educators
Published: Sunday, February 06, 2011, 2:30 PM
Retired-art-teacher-book small.JPG
Marlene Nall Johnt wrote “A Retired Art Teacher Tells All” to share her classroom experience with less experienced teachers.

God love teachers. Though their work is noble, it’s rarely glamorous. Here’s a little thought experiment: It’s your first day as a high school teacher. As you go to sit down at your desk, a student whom you assumed wanted to ask a question jerks your chair out from under you, and you fall to the floor amid derisive laughter. Now, quick, while you still have a prayer of establishing control, what do you do? Lose your temper? Cry, hoping to gain sympathy? Page the principal? Escort the offender to the office yourself? If the latter, who’s in charge while you’re gone?As unbelievable as it might seem to someone unfamiliar with the rough-and-tumble of the modern American public school classroom, such scenarios are not uncommon, and dealing with them effectively determines in part which teachers survive and which do not. The seriousness of the equation may be appreciated by the fact that 48 percent of all teachers quit within their first five years. Those who remain quickly develop techniques and strategies for dealing with the constellation of challenges — large and small, disciplinary, instructional and administrative — that they face on any given day. Some of them do this by trial and error, others with the assistance of a veteran teacher or a kindly principal. But wouldn’t it be great if there were a readable guide to all these things, written by someone who had been there herself and wanted to share her accrued wisdom?

Happily, now there is. “A Retired Art Teacher Tells All: 100 Simple Tips to Help Teachers Become Efficient, Inspiring, and Happy Educators” (iUniverse, paper, $23) by Marlene Nall Johnt lays out in accessible fashion the author’s classroom savvy gained over 25 years in public schools, including 13 at Baldwin County High School in Bay Minette. Johnt’s stature in her field may be judged by a raft of awards, including Alabama Secondary Art Teacher of the Year and Faulkner State College High School Art Educator of the Year. Though her book is self-published, it is notable for its sensible organization, stylistic competence and overall ease of use.

“I am suspicious of people who have not suffered a little while learning to be a good teacher,” Johnt writes in her introduction. She certainly knows whereof she speaks, as the example cited at the beginning of this column actually happened to her at a small Louisiana school. Looking back over her education and reading, she realized that nothing she had theretofore encountered quite addressed her situation. “So many of the books I eagerly read as a young and anxious art teacher let me down,” she writes. “They intimidated me with all of their pretentious verbiage, and all seemed to deal with either processes and projects, or very heavy journal studies. As a new teacher, I wanted advice on the human contact issues.”

And indeed, though there are helpful tips on creating interesting classrooms and on assisting students with tactile art projects, it is on the “human contact” front that “A Retired Art Teacher Tells All” is most absorbing and of likely benefit to any teacher, no matter their subject. For example, under “Tip 16, Create a Discipline Plan for your Classroom,” Johnt writes: “Teacher wisdom holds that one should have no more than five classroom rules. Having more rules will only frustrate the students and keep you, the teacher, constantly looking at a longer list.” Her suggestions?

1. Be prepared for class

2. Be courteous to the teacher and your classmates

3. Protect the safety of yourself and others

4. Follow the teacher’s directions promptly

5. Follow the rules in your school’s student handbook

And what about consequences for breaches like she suffered that first day in Louisiana?

Tip 17 lists them, including verbal warnings, punish work, principal referral and parental referral. Of the latter tactic, Johnt reveals: “I have observed over the years that parents will diligently seek answers about your fairness as a disciplinarian. If a parent believes you are singling out their child, you can be sure you will face a very unhappy Mama and Papa Bear.” The amount of time teachers must devote to discipline is daunting, but Johnt makes clear that the alternative to a well-thought-out system is classroom chaos.

If you’re a teacher, newly minted or a veteran, consider this book. It’s straight-ahead, no-nonsense and powered by a passion for the craft. And God love you for what you do.

*Her books are now available at iUniverse and


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