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JEI for All Learners
The JEI Self-Learning Method is specially designed to help all types of learners with different needs. Our specialty is providing a safe classroom environment for all, where students can learn at their own pace with individualized curricula specifically designed for each child. At JEI Learning Center, we believe a better life is achieved through a better education, which is why it is important to us that the needs of every child are met. Through our extensive individualized programs, we ensure that our: Instructors Meet Children at Their Level Each class at JEI has at most five students to one instructor, ensuring a setting in which children can feel comfortable asking for help. Unlike the larger classrooms at school, this smaller setup allows each child to feel less shy about speaking up and asking questions; additionally, instructors can personalize the instruction to match the child’s learning style. This way, students will feel more confident, get the personal attention they need, and be met at their level. Instructors Provide Safe Environments The mission of JEI is to create healthy studying habits for each individual. In order to work toward this goal, all instructors make sure to create a distraction-free and safe environment for heightened focus. Every child should feel safe within the walls of the classroom without feeling overwhelmed by loud noises. This enables them to focus on the work at hand, which in turn promotes self-confidence and self-discipline. Students Follow a Clear Routine Routines allow children to feel safe and secure, so any sudden changes could result in panic and adversity to learning. To prevent this, each classroom follows a routine involving clear instructions and schedules. Children will know what to expect coming in, can practice until they are comfortable, and will be told of any changes ahead of time. Clear routines will also promote self-discipline and good studying patterns. Students Learn at Individualized Paces As a part of the enrollment process, JEI assesses students in order to gauge where they stand in the program. Afterward, an individualized learning program is specifically designed and implemented for them. This way, children will feel neither rushed nor bored; rather, each child will feel stimulated at a pace that is comfortable yet challenging for her/him. Even if a class is full with a maximum of five students, each one will work at her/his own pace. Centers Promote Visual Learning Each carefully composed workbook has engaging illustrations to help children understand new concepts. These visual examples help children grasp new information easily, no matter the difficulty level. Whether a child is struggling or rushing ahead, the visual aids are there for reference. This also enables them to draw from inference and strengthen their observation skills rather than simply being told facts and what is right and wrong. Instructors Show Positive Reinforcement JEI is aware that children can be easily discouraged by any sign of negativity, some more so than others. That is why instructors show support and positive reinforcement to show children that making mistakes is okay as long as they learn from them. We want to build their self-confidence and self-motivation, which will, in turn, further accelerate their learning. After all, a discouraged child is not eager to learn, and that may be the biggest obstacle. -- At JEI, it is important that each student feels safe and that each parent feels assured of this, which is why we always open our doors to all types of students with different learning needs. We promote an open-minded, flexible institution that shares the common goal of all parents and students to strive for understanding and growth. If interested in enrolling at your local JEI Learning Center, find your local Center today.
"Why NOT Teach Poetry?" An Interview with Poet Taylor Mali
“Why NOT teach poetry?” might be a simple, irrefutable response to the question of, “Why should we teach poetry?” But published poet, Taylor Mali, writer of What Learning Leaves, creator of game Metaphor Dice, and a TED Talk’s “Best of the Web” speaker, goes beyond that. In an interview with JEI Learning Center, he asks, “What if poetry did not exist altogether?” If that was the case, then surely his life and the whole world would be very different. In the kickoff interview for National Poetry Month, the one-time school teacher and full-time poet spoke with JEI about teaching, poetry, and teaching poetry. His love for the art, particularly poetry slam, is credited to his literary family (his mother wrote children’s books while his father channeled Dr. Seuss). They would often hold poetry recitals at large gatherings, and it was these performances that led to Mali’s interest in acting, poetry slam, and more traditional forms of poetry. This, along with his love for education, led to his work as a teacher in middle and high schools. He became an advocate for education, writing poems like “What Teachers Make” and “Like Lilly Like Wilson.” Eventually, he started a 12-year-long project to inspire 1,000 people to become teachers, saying: It took me longer than planned, but it was wonderful to have a reason to get up in the morning that was larger than myself. Early on, my standards were very high (though far from scientific). Towards the end, I’d accept you on my list if you could honestly say that my poetry had pushed you in some way to become a teacher. Ultimately, Mali left full-time teaching but continued to inspire as a full-time poet, offering both performances of his poems and workshops on the craft of poetry. He cites W.H. Auden, calling poetry “the clear expression of mixed feelings,” which accurately represented multiple situations throughout his lifetime: Poetry has taught me that nothing is ever all one thing. Everything is everything, usually all at once . . . I couldn’t decide if I wanted to write a poem that wallowed in the woe [of divorce] . . . [o]r a poem that exulted in the excitement of finding a new love. I chastised myself for not being clear about what I wanted! Then I realized the more useful thing would be to write a poem about wanting both: to be the victim and the triumphant underdog! Poetry is not only powerful for expressing complex feelings but also for understanding life through language. Mali tells JEI, “[P]oetry tries to carve a little bit of truth or beauty or both out of life’s mayhem and fix it in the mind with . . . some other measure of magic. It teaches us the power of language.” Finally, when asked the big question, “Why learn poetry?” he admitted frustration, as he feels that no answer would be satisfying to someone who needs to ask that question. He answers it anyway with a sort of dystopian fiction: [P]erhaps the best way to answer the question is in the negative. Not just by saying, “Well, why NOT study poetry?” but imagining a world where poetry did not exist. There’s another quotation about this very possibility that I love (even though I cannot remember who said it): If poetry suddenly ceased to exist, our culture would not become undone, and yet future historians would say of us, “How odd that they had none.” At JEI, we agree with Taylor Mali that poetry allows for magic, creativity, inspiration, and self-expression. That is why we created a special new poetry unit for the month of April. It is designed to show students the wonder and possibilities of language. The four-week curriculum pulls from our Reading & Writing program and is a great introduction to what this enrichment program has to offer. Come explore the magic of poetry by finding a JEI Learning Center near you, and learn more about our spotlighted artist, Taylor Mali, to get inspired.
Kimchi in Space
The story goes, Soyeon Yi could not go without kimchi in her diet, so when it came time to blast off, she packed kimchi, becoming not only the first Korean astronaut to make it to space but also the woman who introduced kimchi to the galaxy. For National Women’s History Month, JEI wants to recognize researcher, scientist, astronaut, and all-around star, Soyeon Yi. JEI Learning Center is all about empowering young children, and this includes young girls who dream of growing up as accomplished as the women celebrated in March. Before Yi was the first astronaut in 2008 to represent South Korea--as a woman, to boot--she studied her way out of a small rural village in which gender discrimination prevented women from getting a basic education. While her grandmother could not read or write and her mother stopped her education before middle school, Soyeon Yi had a lifetime of learning ahead of her. She started to assist her father with fixing machines at a young age and grew too interested in science and engineering to stop there! She started with some vocational training from her father and moved onto academic excellence! Soyeon Yi attended the specialized Gwangju Science High School before moving on to the prestigious Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), a South Korean university likened to the United States’ Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). After studying mechanical engineering as both an undergraduate and graduate student, she studied biosystems for her doctorate. At KAIST, she was one of two women in her class, which is why there was not even a women’s bathroom at the time. At 24, Yi was one of the youngest and possibly the only woman presenting her research in biosystems at an event in Japan that invited a total of 30 to 40 countries. Despite this feat as an accomplished researcher, Yi still faced prejudice as people would often mistake her for the secretary or say directly to her that they preferred working with male researchers. Not letting this stop her, she continued to break many barriers. While South Korea was working on a space program, she was eager to apply despite friends calling her crazy and saying she should focus on getting her Ph.D. Even after she was accepted, she found things difficult training in Russia as a woman. She said, “It wasn’t easy [for the others] to accept me. I could feel it, I could read their faces—especially soldiers who didn’t have enough education and enough experience working with women.” At the age of 29, she was promoted from backup astronaut to Korea’s first official astronaut! In an article for Cosmopolitan, she thinks back to how much has changed since her grandmother’s time. She notes, “Within 60 years, Korean women’s history was totally changed. I am so proud to be a part of that.” During the intensive training period, Yi learned about the rocket as it would be her responsibility to fix it if anything broke in space. She also trained physically to walk in zero gravity and eventually grew comfortable working with the others. As a matter of fact, Soyeon Yi spread South Korean culture to the other astronauts! She brought Korean space food to share with her companions, who were all from different nations, and this included her own nation’s main staple, kimchi! Other astronauts fell in love with Korean food; one of them even told her, “I’m going to need Korean food for the rest of my flight.” This was the first and last time she went on an outer space adventure (she retired from the program a few years later for personal reasons), but there is no doubt she had a fun time and learned a lot from this experience. Soyeon Yi is a great example of a woman who prevailed and boasts an impressive track record as a female researcher, scientist, and an astronaut. Nothing stands in Soyeon Yi’s way, which is why she is a woman to celebrate this Women’s History Month. If you want your children to have the same resilience and can-do attitude as Soyeon Yi, make sure to find a JEI Learning Center near you. We offer a variety of programs that will build a foundation for an education and career as impressive as hers by promoting healthy curiosity and confidence in young children. Maybe someday, your own daughter will be celebrated on National Women’s History Month alongside big names like Grace Hopper and Soyeon Yi!