Calhoun Voices: Shnieka Johnson

Teacher and parent Shnieka Johnson shares what makes students excited about coming to school every day and how teachers keep children engaged in the classroom throughout their time at Calhoun. 

"What I love about teaching at Calhoun is the progressive approach. Children are allowed to be active learners. There's no rote instruction. The children are hands-on, they give their input, they ask a lot of questions, and it really makes the learning more genuine.

What makes Calhoun's program special is the teachers. Many of our teachers have been in education for decades. They are nurturing and supportive of the students, they differentiate if the children need additional challenges or support. We want to add challenges for the children, we want them to question, we want them to get stumped a little bit.

John Dewey said that education should prepare students for a democratic and global society, and I feel that Calhoun does a great job at doing that. Our children as young as kindergarten will vote on the project that they do as a class and they take it from an idea to a full fledged presentation at the end of the year. Our high schoolers are activists, and they go out into the city and around the country promoting the ideals that they think will make this country better.

As a parent, the Calhoun community has made our experience at Calhoun so memorable. I know that any time my child needs support, he will find it within the community. Wearing both hats, as a parent and a teacher, it gives me the opportunity to really look at the curriculum in a different way. I can see the development in my child, how he's forming into someone who's very independent and outspoken and strong. He's definitely challenged by the curriculum, but he's also enjoying it. He loves coming to school."