Learning and having Fun
Learning and having Fun
My name is James, born in St. Marc Haiti. My parents, siblings and I emigrated to the United States when I was 3 years old. I matriculated through the Dade County School system, graduating with honors in writing, literature and music. My college days began at Miami Dade College where I acquired my Associate's Degree in Literature and Music. My academic career continued at Xavier University of Louisiana where I majored in Literature with a minor in music. In 2003 I graduated from Xavier...
My name is James, born in St. Marc Haiti. My parents, siblings and I emigrated to the United States when I was 3 years old. I matriculated through the Dade County School system, graduating with honors in writing, literature and music. My college days began at Miami Dade College where I acquired my Associate's Degree in Literature and Music. My academic career continued at Xavier University of Louisiana where I majored in Literature with a minor in music. In 2003 I graduated from Xavier with a Bachelor's Degree in Literature. The main component of my educational experience has always been an eclectic one, drawing connections between the spheres of literature music and the sciences. Eclecticism is also the basis of my approach to tutoring; Where one road (subject) appears to be seemingly blocked another subject may allow an opening and a bypass. And this where education and learning occur.
Education and learning are lifetime processes that are perpetuated by instructors who connect the academic subject to the student on a personal level. By linking the students' own experiences to the curriculum at hand the instructor engages the student by involving him in the dynamic process of learning. This is the most critical stage between student and teacher. I have worked in education for well over 10 years. I have worked with graduate students, adults returning to college and elementary school students as well. What I have found to be particularly effective for this wide range of students is tailoring the subject to their specific needs. Data must be integrated before true learning begins, otherwise learning is static-for the test-and all too easily discarded. The initial step before beginning a session with a prospective student is an interview meant to assess where the challenges may lie in the subject matter. Education should be a vigorous and enjoyable process, but the first step is kindling that spark so that the student will continue the process long after the last test and the conclusion of the semester
Most recently working with students ranging from elementary to junior high, I incorporated music as part of the daily curriculum. While many of my students were familiar with popular music, few were aware of the many other genres of music available for their enjoyment and education. I began compiling a list of music from my collection and incorporated music as part of the fine arts curriculum for my summer campers. Elementary grade students were encouraged to identify instruments, mimic the sounds, dance and,for extra points, identify the artist. Jazz, Rock, Hip-Hop, Swing, Classical selections were a high point of our day. Through music I was able to layer the mathematical aspects in music, rhythmic exercises-drumming served as an excellent outlet for energetic students and further enhanced the learning process; lyrics in songs and ballads were examined as poetic verse and stanza, rhyme schemes were identified and short exercises were developed where the older students composed their own lyrics. Operatic works were disassembled as fantastic stories before introduction of the full score. Students identified the different languages in various art songs and arias. At summer's end my student's were engaged listeners with a fantastic beginning to a lifetime of music
As for more mature students, I incorporated puppetry and writing scenes as a technique in enhancing the learning experience. Each student brought their unique ideas and characters to the play. In writing and exchanging ideas, greater creativity was fostered. While one group worked on the actual composition of the script, another group worked on creating backdrops on drawing paper. The end result was a short play drawing from all that had been learned over the summer. History, literature, the visual arts and music were no longer just subjects, but gateways to learning and having fun.
James hasn’t set a schedule.