About Ian Johnson...
Position: Honors/AP English Teacher
This is ACP, a community of kindhearted people passionate about learning. Go Knights!
My Education and Professional Background
I have a BA in English Education from the University of Arizona and a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Northern Arizona University. Additionally, I reached ABD status ("all but dissertation") for my PhD in early American literature from Arizona State University. I have been teaching English for sixteen years and teaching Honors and AP here at ACP for 4 years. I am finding more fulfillment and joy in my work than ever before!
My Educational Philosophy
One thing of utmost importance to me is that I am learning along with my students through our shared readings and discussions. In this I aim to model the thrill of learning and its value for its own sake.
I seek to build a strong sense of community in my classes through humor and the discussion of literature and ideas. Our primary business is sharing and diving into each other's literary interpretations. Thus my goal is to help you listen more actively to each other, to identify more closely with what you read, and to articulate your findings more effectively, particularly as academic writers. I give extensive feedback on your major essays throughout the year so that you know how to both recognize and rectify errors, as well as how to capitalize on strengths. This feedback
is meant as an ongoing conversation with you, so please ask questions and speak back. How can I help you? What is unclear? Make it your goal to start catching the errors (grammatical, syntactical, etc.) which I alert you to as the year goes on. This way I am assessing your best final drafts.
We are primarily readers of fiction in my classes. Thus, I aim to help you better understand the ways that authors of imaginative literature use language to create meaning and to reveal a text's context. I equip you with tools and strategies to interpret that meaning and context for yourself and with others. My hope is that you will make meaningful (and sometimes unexpected) connections to your world every time you enter my class.
I don't teach you what or how to think. That is the opposite of education. Again, I give you tools to generate your own thinking and the space to articulate that thinking about the material. Put another way, I foster the conditions for students to have conversations with the authors we read and to communicate that "conversation" freely, both in individual reading responses and in group and class work.