I've been an elementary ESL teacher for Chicago Public Schools since September 2011. In addition to being a teacher, I am a professional musician and have written a curriculum-based rock album that includes lesson plans and differentiated materials for each song. Says Chicago Literacy Alliance and Open Books founder Stacy Ratner: "Catchy, convincing, lively, and lovable, Future Hits is the most entertaining, educational, and energetic literacy enrichment program to come along in years. If you're like every adult I've shared it with, you'll look around for the nearest children...and feel like one yourself."
I aim to: -Use songs to teach vocabulary words, spelling words, literacy themes, character education and more without overtly singing about said subjects. Rather, the kids learn the subject areas through exploration of the text and context -Keep all students engaged during the whole lesson -Reduce teacher talk time and engage students ASAP -Create opportunities for individual, pair and group work, perhaps all in the same song lesson -Provide ample differentiation and modifications in assessments to meet students at their level
For a full list of press and information about the band, visit my Web site - futurehits.org
*Quincy University - Masters in Education, 2011 *University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) - BS Communications, Spanish Minor, 2004 *Stevenson High School - Class of 2000
I worked in logistics sales for years but realized cold calling in business parks wasn't my calling. Therefore, I decided to pursue teaching to share my love of learning with English and Spanish-speaking students (plus some structured time off to write and perform music!). In my first year teaching for Chicago Public Schools, I began writing standards-based songs with corresponding activities to teach my ESL students as well as the general population of kids at my school. This led to Future Hits, a heartfelt (yet secretly educational) band whose sound has been likened to what Yo La Tengo and the Velvet Underground would sound like if they started a band whose main audience was children. Since 2011, my bandmates and I have written over 50 songs, released two albums (with a third one slated for a 2017 release), presented and led professional development, provided Future Hits Enrichment programs in countless classrooms and after-school settings, and played shows in Chicago, San Francisco, and even the Galápagos Islands. We’d love to include you in our story, so please have a listen and say hello. ~Matt