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Third-graders don’t always have to raise their hand to answer.
In fact, it’s rare when they do in Scott Johnson’s third-grade class, thanks to his somewhat unconventional approach to teaching.
Johnson, a teacher at Barranca Mesa Elementary, was honored late last month by being named the Los Alamos Public Schools teacher of the year.
“I have to be humble a little bit, there’s so many other great teachers,” Johnson said.
But not many other teachers foster the type of hands-on learning environment that promotes open communication that Johnson does.
He frequently encourages his third-grade students to get out of their seat, suggest their own topics of study and vocalize their questions or concerns about anything being discussed in the classroom.
“My classroom is probably a little bit noisier than other classrooms,” he said. “I always try to keep an active environment. I know they’re not always talking about what they’re learning about, but I try to create that atmosphere so they feel comfortable talking in the classroom.”
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