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Marshall ISD teacher helps students learn math through music

One Sam Houston Elementary teacher in Marshall, Tx is teaching his students math skills through...
One Sam Houston Elementary teacher in Marshall, Tx is teaching his students math skills through music.(KSLA)
Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 4:08 PM CDT
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MARSHALL, Tx. (KSLA) - Darius Bailey, a 1st grade teacher at Sam Houston Elementary School, comes from a long line of educators.

“My grandmother was a teacher, my mom was a teacher, my aunt and cousins are all teachers and in education,” Bailey said. “I kind of ran from being an educator for a long time because I didn’t think I wanted to do it. But when I graduated from college, nothing else really felt right. So I applied for a teaching position and every door opened.”

This school year is Bailey’s third year teaching. He says his biggest takeaway from the job is making connections with the students.

“You never know what your students are dealing every day,” Bailey said. “Coming into your classroom may be the only time they can take a breath and just be a child. So for me it’s about them having that moment and personal connection with you.”

One way he connects with his students is through music.

“It started when I was working with our GT [gifted talented] students,” Bailey said. “I was just starting to work with them and they were writing songs. I volunteered to help the students and brought my keyboard to school, so that day I also decided to center my lessons around music. The whole day was centered around music and when we got to math, I decided I wanted to do something really original with my math lesson that day. So that’s when Double Trouble came into play.”

His students loved it.

“From the moment that we started singing, they were engaged from the beginning to the end,” Bailey said. “Even afterwards, when they were doing work in the classroom, I could hear them singing to themselves. Every day since then, they have sung it at some point during the day.”

Through his years as an educator, Bailey says he has learned the importance making connections with the children and seeing how each of them learn best.

“Every student learns in different ways,” Bailey said. “One thing I’ve learned, and that research has proven, is that music helps students learn material. While I was preparing I thought about my students needs. Every year I see my students love to sing, love to dance, live to move, so I see how I can incorporate that. This year was actually my first year creating the song instead of simply looking up a song. This year I got to use my creativity to work with the kids and seeing them learn and letting them see the things that I love, actually sparked a fire in them to learn. That means the world to me. I have seen progress in math and in spelling and it has been phenomenal.”

Sam Houston High School posted a video of Bailey and his students singing Double Trouble to social media. So far, it has over 8,000 views and nothing but positive comments.

“I love it! My girl has not stopped talking about about how much fun learning is! Thank you Mr. Darius M. Bailey for making learning so much fun!” wrote one parent.

“Absolutely brilliant and adorable!!!! They were so engaged in learning. What a great teacher!!!!!!” wrote another person.

Bailey says he is blown away and thankful for all the support he has gotten.

“It has been amazing seeing the support and positivity and love that has been shown by my community,” Bailey said. “It’s all about finding what works for you and your classroom. Every class is different and every student in different. You know your class, so find that one thing that works for y’all and run with it because it will work in the end.”

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