A Wizard of Words
Aubrey “Mr. J’ai” Jones, Jr. is a certified teacher with a Master’s in Educational Leadership. The Baton Rouge native currentlyteaches at East Iberville Elementary located in St. Gabriel, Louisiana. As a teacher, Mr. J’ai (the name his students affectionately calls him) teaches Special Education students.
From TV Production to the Classroom
After receiving his Bachelor’s in Drama and Communications, Aubrey did what most college graduates often do; pursue a job in their major. He landed an entry-level position with a media corporation. His goal: to work in TV Production. Seven years later, Mr. Jones decided on a new career path in the education field.
Not Your Average Teacher
While working as an Abstinence Facilitator for the YWCA of Greater Baton Rouge, Aubrey would travel to a different school each week and teach lessons to students ranging from peer pressure to HIV. The position allowed him to interact with an array of students, hone his teaching skills with hours of classroom experience, provided networking opportunities, and helped him to determine which grade levels he would be best suited to teach. What did he choose? Elementary Education; and has been enjoying his choice for almost 10 years.
“My style is differentiated…”
Communication is used greatly in Aubrey’s classroom daily. Oral, Written, Technical, and Nonverbal Communication are all integrated into his teaching style. Combining these forms of communication has provided the best results to ensure his students’ success.
Oral and Written Communication:
Aubrey’s preferred form of communication for teaching his students is oral communication. The face-to-face interaction allows a more personal teaching experience. Oral communication alone isn’t enough to sustain. When teaching, if Aubrey says something to a student and it doesn’t register, pointing to a picture, diagram, chart, or map that displays the same verbiage helps the lesson to sink in. The signage also directs his students throughout the day. It contains their written schedules, daily routines, and classroom rules which serve as constant reminders to keep them on track.
Technical and Nonverbal Communication
Advancements in technology have made classrooms more interactive. The main technological tool Aubrey uses to teach his students is the Interactive White Board. By plugging his laptop into the whiteboard, Aubrey is able to manipulate the learning content as needed. Students will see and hear the content from his laptop on the whiteboard. They can also write on the whiteboard with the provided pens to answer questions, point and read along, and solve math problems. Students also have Chromebook desktop pcs at their desk with touchscreens and iPads for independent practice. The Chromebook touchscreen desktop computer is the main tool his nonverbal students use to communicate with him since they cannot verbally express themselves.
Written Communication is Dying
When asked what changes he would recommend to written communication for students, Aubrey had this to say:
“Teachers will have to be excellent in your instruction to emphasize writing properly since students are still learning. We have to use correct grammar, capitalization and punctuation. Current technology is constantly challenging grammar skills. Old English will always prevail, but if rules of Old English is unknown, texting takes over. Most of today’s youth will know text and emoji language before coming into fruition with basic written language skills. Teachers have to fight and win this battle between 1st and 2nd grade in order to ensure educational success and advancement for our students.”
Dwaun Johnson, Guest Blogger