News / University

Teesside Teaching Treasure Waves Goodbye

After 30 years of employment Teesside University’s Dawn Johnston is retiring.

Nearly half of that time was spent teaching shorthand to students at Teesside and Darlington College.

Shorthand is a vital written skill that budding journalist’s must learn in order to gather accurate information quickly.

According to Dawn there are no shortcuts to learning shorthand some learn quicker than others, with the only advice she could give being “practice and listen to your teacher”.

Dawn Johnston

When asked to recall on her former student’s Dawn said: “The one that stands out for me was a mature student at Darlington called John, he was the hardest working student I had and word transcribe nearly every word I said just for extra practice.”

One other student was Anna Shepherd who was Dawn’s best pupil achieving 130 words per minute.

Current shorthand pupil  Neil Fatkin said: “Shorthand is one of the most difficult things I have ever had to learn, however Dawn is clear and patient in her teaching and supports us thoroughly which is a big help, coming from a teaching background myself these factor’s are really appreciated.”

Dawn with some of her current shorthand students.

Away from the classroom Dawn published “Teeline for Journalists” which she credits as her greatest professional achievement, alongside watching her former student’s achieve successful career’s.

Looking towards the future Dawn plans to travel the world with Canada being the first destination.

At Teesside University however she will be sorely missed, Programme Leader in Journalism Jonathan Brown had these words to say on her retirement.

“Working with Dawn has been an honour. She is a total legend with her students who adore her and wherever you go you will meet journalists that have had the privilege of being taught by her.

“Dawn has a unique ability to inspire young people to challenge themselves day after day in a very demanding subject and to master this essential skill. Everyone at Teesside will miss her and we all wish her well for a very active retirement trundling around in her camper van.”




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