BostonBruins.com – When fifth grade teacher Bob Doherty finally revealed his long kept secret to his students, the looks on the kids’ faces were, as the cliche goes, priceless.
Complete shock and excitement radiated through the classroom of Goodyear Elementary School in Woburn, MA, on Monday, when Bruins goaltender Chad Johnson was waiting outside the classroom ready to help teach the class.
As part of the Boston Bruins I.C.E. (I Can Excel) School, Johnson made his way around the desks helping the students with puzzles and teamwork.
I.C.E. School provides Kindergarten through eighth grade teachers in various New England States with supplemental curriculum materials that incorporate the sport of hockey and the Bruins into lesson plans while aligning with the common core standards.
On October 7, the lesson plan was geared toward team building and teamwork, something which Johnson knows much about.
“It helps for them to know that no matter what you do, there’s always something you can take out of school,” Johnson explained. “It’s important to learn and develop life skills.”
The students in the classroom were walking Bruins’ billboards, wearing everything from Bruins tee shirts, and jerseys to headbands and a even a foam Bruins' bear head (see photo above).
Johnson, sporting his own Black & Gold sweater, made his way around the classroom helping the kids with their work, and from any bystander’s point of view, they would see that Johnson is a natural.
With no previous experience as a teacher, of course, what was Chad’s secret to being so great with them?
“I don’t know,” was his humble response.
“I guess being a kid at heart, and I think you can relate to them in that sense and just help them and be their friend," he admitted. "For the most part, kids just want to have fun and they want to learn. I think just being there and being able to help them out is kind of what I tried to do.”
After the teamwork activities, the spotlight landed (even more so) on Johnson. He spent a few minutes asking the very knowledgeable students Bruins trivia questions and followed it up with a lengthy question and answer session about himself.
“They asked questions about a random variety of things and to give them advice and help them in that sense too, hopefully it goes a long way,” said Johnson, hoping at least something he said rubbed off on the fifth graders.
After a group photo and plenty of autographs for the more than accepting students, Johnson wrapped up his time back at school, if only for a few hours.
It also brought him back to being a kid again.
“To have someone in the NHL be able to come speak to you is just such a highlight,” Johnson reminisced.
“And you just remember those moments forever.”
---Written by Jenna Gilberti for BostonBruins.com