Newest English Instructor Creates Empowering Environment

Sofie Blaj, Staff Writer

Shannon Sieckert, the newest member of the English department, has spent the last 6 years working for Sojourn to the Past, a program that provides immersive tours of the modern civil rights movement to high school and middle school students and teachers. Prior to that, she was a teacher in San Mateo.

While it may have been a formative experience, Sieckert said she “missed working with students every day.”

Sieckert had already worked with a few Campolindo staff members through the Sojourn project. “When I knew we were moving from San Mateo, I had strong relationships with teachers at Campo from Sojourn and so I started trying to apply to work [here],” said Sieckert.

In her debut at Campolindo, Sieckert has focused on fostering a positive classroom community. She hopes to create an “empowering and affirming environment” that “can help all [her] students be successful.”

According to freshman Kylie Williams, one of Sieckert’s students, her class has examined personal identity and how that impacts the community. The class also participated in a “fishbowl discussion” where students were able to share their personal experiences and how they define themselves within the community.

Williams is not entirely on board with the emphasis however. “I thought the whole classroom community thing was helpful for some people but it could be a waste of time for others,” she said.

Williams does appreciate that Sieckert offers a new perspective and that “she gives a reasonable amount of work and also gives us some time to work on it in class, which is nice.”

Another student of Sieckert’s, freshman Kaylin Blaj, said, “I really enjoy being in her class. She is super nice and her work load is pretty reasonable.”