Ms. Lisa Johnson, Sixth Grade Teacher
I believe everyone has something of value to contribute to this world. It is my passion to discover the spark in each of my students - to help bring it out, cultivate it, name it, and teach them to make it an integral part of their identity. And then to look for and value the spark they find in others ...
As a leader and coach to my “crew”, building trusting relationships is foundational. I am very intentional about this and absolutely love witnessing my “tweens” blossom in the safe, encouraging environment that we create together inside (and outside) of our classroom. Being surrounded daily by people who are straddling childhood and their teenaged years keeps me grounded in what is important in this life. As they discover their world with newly acquired critical and complex thinking skills, sixth graders love to form and voice their own opinions and perspectives. They are eager to decide what they stand for! I feel privileged to be a part of their self-discovery and their continuing growth during this time in their lives.
Along with completing a fifth year teacher education program, I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a master’s degree in K-8 Inquiry Based Science Education from Leslie University. Although I enjoy science, inquiry is my approach in all areas of education - I love teaching my students to think for themselves! I have a love for reading, math, and science - as well as social issues and complex, historical events - so integrating academic subjects comes naturally to me. In fact, traditional school is the only place I’ve encountered that breaks life down into “subjects” at all. I believe it is important for students to experience the world and the problems that need to be solved as authentically as possible. A “constructivist” approach to learning, where we start with a need-to-know and end up eager to learn skills and knowledge in order to solve problems, is something I always strive for as a teacher.
I am in my 11th year of teaching at Renaissance School - and feel incredibly lucky every day to be a part of this amazing, unique community. My two sons, ages 21 and 15 are both Renaissance alumni (K-6), so I have a unique perspective of our school and appreciate it from many angles.
My boys and I spend lots of time playing games, hiking, going on adventures together, and hanging out with our large, local extended family. From the time I was small my mom has repeatedly said, “There will never be enough hours in the day for Lisa to do everything she wants to do.” It’s true – I am constantly being accused of dragging my family along to try my newest passion. In my free time you can find me reading in my hammock, gardening, mountain biking, running, playing my guitar, backpacking, swimming in mountain lakes, skiing … and, no doubt, the list will continue to grow :)