Joel Brown Lets Students Decide How They Want To Learn

After college, Joel Brown entered the world of banking despite earning a degree in science.  When he turned 32, something changed.  "I felt like what I was doing was not really making a difference and I looked around and knew that I was good with teenagers."

Brown decided to correct course and prepped to become a science teacher.  He quickly discovered during his first year that his impression of teaching was off.  "They were going to sit there and they’re going to learn and I am the teacher and I’m going to stand up front and tell them what to do and they’re going to do it.   That’s not really an affective method."

That challenged him to develop a more affective method of reaching students.  "I think the fundamental issue in education and for any teacher is are you able to foster and maintain personal relationships with your students?"

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Brown says building relationships also builds a willingness among students to learn.  From there, he uses hands on activities to make the material stick.  Cassandra Silvers & Julie Cole say "we did the egg thing, we watched the shell of the egg dissolve off of it.  We had it in vinegar?  Yeah it was vinegar."

Brown also assigns projects that allow his students to choose how they want to learn through music, fashion, art, writing, or other methods.

Darian Morrison and Chloe Chambers created a cell rap for a project on cells.  "Did they learn it?  I guarantee you they did. We were giving them the test and I looked up and I saw the two that did it and they were bobbin their head and you could tell they were doing the rap in their head to come up with the answer to the question on the test."

Brown also tutors after school, but doesn’t call any of this going the extra mile.  He says its just being a teacher.