By ALESHA CADET
Tribune Features Writer
Rosheeda Rolle is a firm believer that learning should be fun; it should be engaging for the students and allow them to be creative.
An educator for 15 years now, Rosheeda’s approach to teaching also inspired her to write her own book, titled “Preschool Ideas from A-Z: A Creative way of Teaching the Alphabet”, accompanied by a colouring book.
Rosheeda told Tribune Woman she wanted children throughout the Bahamas and the world at large to experience what her students have experienced over the years: a fun, creative and engaging way of learning.
Now an administrative assistant at the Lewis Yard Primary School located in Hunters, Grand Bahama, the 33-year-old said all her years teaching in the field were spent in early childhood. She started her career at the Wilbur S Outten Academy as a teacher’s aide promptly after graduating from the College of the Bahamas, and soon after, started teaching at the Martin Town Primary where she was the preschool teacher/coordinator for three years.
She was then was transferred to McClean’s Town Preschool in East End, Grand Bahama as the preschool teacher for three years, and later moved onto East End Preschool in Freetown, East Grand Bahama where she was a K3 teacher as well as the acting principal. She remained at East End Preschool for four years until Hurricane Dorian came and destroyed the entire school. Rosheeda was then redeployed to Freeport Primary where she was able to help with initiate the school’s first Preschool Unit.
“The book, ‘Preschool Ideas from A-Z: A Creative way of Teaching the Alphabet’, includes a description of the letter, animal character, memory verse, nursery rhyme, arts and crafts activity, recipe, science experiment, game activity, field trip ideas and song for each letter of the alphabet,” she explained.
“An amazing parent, Ladonia Thomas, pitched the idea to me about creating a guide to help early childhood educators and parents. Unbeknownst to her, I had already begun the process. At first it was just supposed to be a guide, but my illustrator (Aaron Hanna, Jr) suggested I make a colouring book to go along with the guide. The colouring book includes the animal characters used in the guide.”
The motivation for writing the book, Rosheeda said, also stemmed from a need to financially assist her parents and herself during the first lockdown of the pandemic back in March 2020.
She the illustrations inside of the book are activities and experiments she would normally do in her classroom setting. However, during the quarantine and being away from her students, she became inspired to write and gather all the ideas she used over the years to put together in a book. She did this so when the time came to return face-to-face teaching, she would have a book to use as a guide.
“When we returned to a face-to-face (set-up) in September of 2020, I was removed out of the classroom into administration and by that time I already had an editor, illustrator and publisher for my book. The guide has so many components and it caters to all the learning styles of students. I didn’t get to use the book initially, but schools across the Bahamas and the world will have access to the guide,” she said.
Rosheeda said if there is just one lesson readers learn from the book, she hopes it’s the idea that learning can be fun for students, and that there are many aspects to learning.
“The book is 90 percent realistic and the 10 percent is left for the readers to be imaginative and expressive with the activities and suggestions given to make learning fun for students,” she said.
“This book venture was a first for me. Honestly, I was nervous at first but now I am overjoyed and amazed at the response I have received from others who have already purchased the book. Something I thought was so simple turned into something grand. Sometimes I sit and think I am really a published author - me - wow. Just talking about it bring tears to my eyes because I can now impact the lives of so many other children.”
One parent, Sharell Lockhart, upon reading the book, said:
“This book is needed in all upcoming teachers’ hands and it serves as a reminder for those who’ve been in the field for a long while.”
Another reader, TJ Woodard, added: “This is such a great book for kids. My three-old-granddaughter has enjoyed it tremendously. A must read for kids and adults.”
Rosheeda has not yet decided on whether or not she will host a virtual or intimate, in-person book launch, but sales have been going well regardless.
For all those interested, e-mail at email@example.com or visit her on Facebook at Rosheeda Rolle.
“In the near future I would love to have my books in bookstores throughout the Bahamas, especially in Nassau, my hometown. I am keeping myself inspired and keeping myself focused by conducting ongoing research and also maximising different outlets to promote my book. One of the things that also came out of me writing this book is an early childhood creative initiative which I started at my local school. Every Friday I would go into our early childhood classes and conduct short lessons from activities out of my book. This has been so inspiring, I find myself now spreading this initiative throughout preschools in Grand Bahama where I visit the different schools on Fridays and do a short lesson with students,” she said.
“From science experiments to reading a story and dressing as a character in a story book, it is all to make learning fun for students. The advice I would give is to never stop learning, don’t give up on your dreams, and although we have to social distance and be self-isolated, seize every opportunity to promote yourself and discover your dreams and desires. If I can do it, I know you can do it,” she said.