For those of you who don’t know me that well, I am a DJ, an experienced pro wrestling ring announcer, and NY certified high school English instructor for the Capital Region Career & Technical School. I like listening to music, writing unpublished novels, long walks on the beach and long trips to the Chinese Buffet.
I work my hardest to help at-risk students pass with a Regents diploma, and also prepare them to have the must-needed communication skills to survive in today’s modern workplace. Every day, my 12th graders fine-tune their assignments for me and save them. In the end they will have a professional portfolio that will make them look valuable to a prospect employer when they get out of the “hell hole” that is school.
Finding motivation with my students is a tough job. Most of them would be a another drop out, and are with me as a last chance. Many of them do not want to be there, so you have to do stuff to make it interesting to them. After all, which would you rather do? Listen to an ipod, play Rock Band, or write an argumentative essay in MLA format for me? Being a full-time DJ as well, often helps me to connect with them.
Last week, I was teaching an “Easily confused words lesson” when we came across the words “Illusion vs. Allusion.” Students knew the term illusion, but sometimes spelled it with an “A”. With this spelling, it means to talk about someone else’s work within your own work.
Students often use the wrong word in their papers, due to a lack of practice and sometimes a lack of care. They often misappropriate “their, there, they’re”, “to, two, two”, and “your, you’re, ur” (ur, being the anti-English teacher text lingo for the word “your”.) I would say 75 percent spell college C-O-L-L-A-G-E, and laugh when I tell them that one day they plan on going to a posterboard with ripped out magazine pictures glue-sticked all over it.
Keeping up on the music that matters to my students helps make me to provide relevant examples, as well as makes me a good DJ.
In the allusion talk, we discussed how Robbie Williams’ new hit, “Hotel Motel Holiday Inn,” was actually an allusion to old school rap band Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight.” Another example to help them understand the word was Kid Rock’s “All Summer Long” dropping a Lynard Skynard work into the chorus, over a Warren Zevon sample.
Being a wedding DJ that is easily booked five or six times a week during the busy seasons, it is my business to know music. Knowing the new stuff that my students dig, is very advantageous as a teacher. Making fun of the whole Taylor Swift / Kanye West thing at the VMA is pop culture to them and using this topic to define vocab words and put them into sample sentences, is much better than using content that doesn’t matter to a high schooler.
It works. It also helps me find some cool sweet 16 gigs!
Albany Weddings DJ Kenny Casanova is an event disc jockey for "The DJ Service.com" out of Upstate, NY. He has been DJ’ing for over 15 years transitioned out of sports announcing into becoming one of the best Wedding DJs in his area.
Winning awards and "BEST OF" titles from Capital Region Living Magazine and Metroland, DJ Kenny Casanova is well sought-after and is booked solid with a few gigs every weekend. For booking information, call 518-506-3305.
Visit www.theDJservice.comDJ Kenny Casanova for more information about how to keep everyone happy at a wedding reception.