Calhoun Voices: Erika Brinzac '10
 
Current teacher and Calhoun alum Erika Brinzac '10 shares how Calhoun educators place children at the center of their learning, keeping them invested as they make new discoveries in the classroom.           
     

"I think there's a lot of love at Calhoun. I think that the student-teacher relationship is paramount to the students' learning experience. And it is this relationship where it's not just the children learning, it's the teachers learning, right? Learning with them. Teachers come in with an expertise, but there is that growth together that I think the children really look to as a model.

There are multiple ways in which we incorporate children's curiosity. We're thinking about how does a child's interests play into our grade-wide, class-wide curriculum. So for example, with first grade mammal study, every child gets to choose their own mammal. Why do we choose this instead of choosing for them? Because then they're interested. They want to learn. Every second we go to sit down to do math, or writing, or anything about our mammal, the kids are there because they're interested. Because of the children's own curiosity about their mammals, then they get to deepen that research in their own way and in ways that they're going to remember for the rest of their lives.

I think a common misconception about harder learning is that it's more work. And it's not the quantity that we're worried about, it's the depth. If there's a child who is very capable in writing, it's thinking about how can we put even more details and expanding this sentence. I feel very privileged to be able to come back as someone who was here from three years old to 12th grade. I still remember the learning I did when I was in first grade. I'm trying to now as a faculty member try to use what I remember most, what I love most to inform my teaching. I love Calhoun because children's happiness is at the core of everything we do."