Credentialed Academic Teacher, Author, Ed. Dean of Bible College
Credentialed Academic Teacher, Author, Ed. Dean of Bible College
From June 2014 to June 2017, I was the credentialed designated subjects adult education teacher/GED Instructor/case manager for the Greater Sacramento Urban League. I taught 11 different subject areas which included: Math, Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, Statistic, Trigonometry, Life Science, Physical Science, Earth & Space Science, World History, U.S. History, Civics & Government and Economics. In that time I was able to help nearly 100 students obtain their high school diplomas and pass...
From June 2014 to June 2017, I was the credentialed designated subjects adult education teacher/GED Instructor/case manager for the Greater Sacramento Urban League. I taught 11 different subject areas which included: Math, Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, Statistic, Trigonometry, Life Science, Physical Science, Earth & Space Science, World History, U.S. History, Civics & Government and Economics. In that time I was able to help nearly 100 students obtain their high school diplomas and pass the GED/High School Equivalency Tests (some with nearly perfect scores). However, all the funding for the GED programs throughout the County of Sacramento was discontinued and my position was terminated.
During my teacher training days at the University of Berkeley, we were taught very specific techniques and strategies on how to inspire, motivate and challenge our students to work hard and participate in activities that would stimulate them. We first had to assess each students functioning level then gradually bring each of them up to levels where we could implement student-centered and peer-learning techniques. The very first thing I always ask my students is if they know how to add, subtract, multiply and divide. In math, I always start them off with understanding the concepts involved in real numbers (rational and irrational). From there I take them on a journey or tour of the math systems that affect their daily lives. For example, how the number place value and decimal place value system works. From there I show them how decimals can be converted into fractions: proper, improper and mixed numbers and also how to reverse this process. I have discovered that some students don't know how to read a ruler or how to add, subtract, multiply or divide fractions which can sometimes be mind blowing for them. You see, I always start them off by teaching them the basic math principles before leading them into advanced or complex concepts. These things must be understood before I can take them on a journey into scientific notations, equations, expressions, inequalities, probabilities, ratios, word problems, polynomials, metric conversions, pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, or statistics. It takes time and long hours of patience and practice, but in time they learn how to master these skills with ease and confidence. My goal is to teach them test-taking skills that will help them overcome their fears which have plagued them for most of their lives. With the help of a few much needed classroom items such as a good dry erase board or lapboards, an ample supply of dry erase markers in assorted colors and erasers, along with my favorite GED Prep and Review book in hand I can help any student good from average to great in no time at all.
In Physical Science, my primary goal is to teach them to not fear things that they don't understand or comprehend, like the dreaded Periodic Table of Elements. I show them how to decipher it with the use of color markers and a simple black and white diagram of it. With the help of some of my favorite Youtube physicists and chemists I take them on a tour of the basic concepts in Physical Science. For instance, revealing the secret structure of things that can't be seen, but we know scientifically that they exist, such as molecules, atoms, protons, neutrons, electrons, how chemistry works and balancing chemical equations, also how these elements affect our lives and why. I enjoy getting them involved with learning how to do research by teaching them everything about the scientific method of writing and demonstrating how this process is used to discover or solve all types of scientific, medical and technical situations and problems throughout the globe. It is always a part of my strategy to include Earth & Space, Geology and Oceanography in my lesson plans to help students get a well-rounded understanding of how amazingly wonderful and unique our planet and the universe we live in really is.
As a writer of 3 incredible published books which are currently on the market I truly think that Writing is one of my favorite subjects to teach aside from Math. Writing for me is like art and I am the artist who paints the picture of my story, poem, message or song with colorful words. I have been blessed to work with some tremendously talented people in my day such as August Wilson, the Pulitzer Prize winning author and playwright. We were young and the magic of the theatre captivated our lives, hearts and creative minds. We cared for little else than putting our thoughts on paper, hoping to create something magical on stage that people would enjoy and be thrilled by. This love of writing led me into a career in television, radio and the movie industry. However, I have learned as a teacher that there are a great many students who don't share the same fascination I have for the written word and our national literacy levels reflect this travesty. Our nations literacy has sunk to an embarrassing 3rd grade level. This is the reason why I really got into teaching because something needs to be done before this situation sinks to even lower levels. I spend a good portion of my day teaching my students about the 9 parts of speech, everything they need to know and more about grammar, sentence structure, essay writing: (narrative, persuasive, descriptive and expository), writing formats, styles of writing, comparison & contrast, how to create oral presentations, reading techniques to improve their skill set and literally everything my mind can muster to help make them better writers, readers and thinkers. Writing like teaching is my passion and I can honestly say that I've helped a lot of them discover and uncover some of those hidden talents which had been laying dormant inside of them for a long time. In essence, all students must learn to master the skills necessary to write and read more effectively because it's used in every facet of ours lives, our society, in this country and around the world. Where would humanity be if it wasn't for the written word. I for one don't even want to think about it, but I know we must worker harder as a nation to bring our reading standards up to the levels that they should be.
Social Studies is a subject area that I never tire of because it's incredibly interesting and exciting. In fact, I love teaching about ancient times, then move on to specific periods in time to discuss the lifestyles, culture and significant events which took place in those days. I would compare Social Studies to a huge tremendously beautiful river with all of it's bends, twists and turns. It may look calm and peaceful from a distance, but when you dive into it you begin to understand that it's not calm and peaceful at all. That's what I think about whenever I decide to really get into it because there is so much to talk about and discover in this area. In terms of teaching on the various subjects involved in Social Studies you must develop a comprehensive and detailed lesson plan on things to cover. This has to be done or your class can become an open forum for endless discussions. For one, consider all of the many amazing, wonderful or tragic events that have taken place throughout history. Teaching students about the people, situations, circumstances and endless flow of these occurrences that have taken and that are taking place at this very moment is captivating. The nice thing about Social Studies is that you can incorporate a great deal of subject matter into the curriculum. For instance, you can focus on Ancient History, World History, U.S. History, Civic & Government and Economics, for more than one particular country or nation. It is always a good idea to have the class do written research reports or give oral presentations on the material and subject matter you've discussed with them. Teaching Social Studies is a nice way to keep the students inspired and motivated to read, research and stay mentally active. I love teaching on this subject.
As I've mentioned earlier, in the past 4 years I have helped approximately 100 students obtain a high school diploma and pass their GED/High School Equivalency Tests (some with nearly perfect scores). My students have always known that my number one priority is helping them to become not good, but great students. My goal is to help them gain the necessary skills they need and not fear taking tests, pass all of the required classes and ultimately obtain that much sought after and life changing high school diploma. If they work hard and do what it takes to overcome any obstacle standing in their way they will one day be able to compete with best of the best in any college, apprentice program or in the job market. I guarantee it!!! My students were so proud of their accomplishment that each of them gave me a copy of their diplomas, passed GED and HiSET Test as proof to show to my new students.