Robert Johnson, most commonly known as Mr. Johnson, is one of the Engineering teachers at the Arlington Career Center (ACC) in room 115. Though he mainly works with the 9th and 10th graders of the Arlington Tech program, he also works with the rest of the ACC and teaches grades 9-12. Mr. Johnson came to the ACC in the year of 2014. He came here because it was a school with project based learning as well as vocational learning, which is his strength as a teacher. During a regular day, he starts with finishing his lesson plan, then he gets ready for his classes, and starts teaching. In a school year, Mr. Johnson teaches his students the basic concepts and how to apply those concepts into projects. He repeats the projects until they achieve mastery of the concept.
Mr. Johnson spent four and a half years in college; two years in North Carolina State University and two and a half in Norfolk State University, where he studied Career and Technical Education, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Technology Education, a Master’s degree in Career and Technical Education, and an Educational Specialist degree in Administration Policy and Leadership. He has experience in robotics and engineering from his prior teaching jobs. When he was younger, Mr. Johnson wanted to be an astronomer, which led him to venture into the world of philosophy. Today, he is still engrossed in philosophy and knows a great deal about the topic, and he continues to work on engineering projects.
Mr. Johnson worked on many projects, one of them being the building of compost bins. In this project, his sustainable technology and renewable energy class worked on building compost bins that would be sold to the community. In his renewable energy class, he also worked with his students to help build a solar charging station for the students of the ACC and the community to use to charge their devices. The charging station consists of six solar panels on the top of a pergola.
For four years, Mr. Johnson has been dedicated to teach by doing, hence him doing projects. When asked why he teaches, he said, “I teach because when I was in school I was struggling a bit […] [the teachers] would give up on me. They once told me, they said, ‘You have a lot to offer’,[…] ‘Hey, you might want to consider education as a major when you get to college’ so I did that. I took their advice, and they were right I really enjoyed it.”
In the eyes of others, Mr. Johnson is a calm and kind person. “He’s really friendly. He has a lot of tolerance for everyone,” said Andy Lemus, a student of Mr. Johnson’s Engineering 1 class. He continues saying, ”Yeah, he’s really calm. He doesn’t [easily get mad], like [he is] really chill.” Joseph D’Emidio, another Engineering 1 student, describes him as “calm and [a] very nice [person]” adding that “[He is]very [passionate about what he teaches].” When asked about his teaching style he responded by saying, “He usually teaches us new content at the start of the class, like either using presentations or goals that the class should reach by the end of the period.” Mr. Nolan, the Architectural and Engineering drawing teacher, met Mr. Johnson while hosting a New Hire Orientation for CTE teachers at Kenmore, he describes him as “committed, professional and hardworking”. Mr. Johnson is a prolific teacher who cares about his students and their learning, and that is why he is an admired ACC teacher.