Visitation Academy is giving a warm welcome to Benjamin Tubb,their new director of preforming arts that dropped his life inLondon to teach in Bay Ridge.
Tubb first taught in the U.S. two years ago after a friendintroduced him to a program called Camp America. He was placed at acamp upstate called French Woods Festival in the summer of 2009.Tubb liked it so much that he returned in 2010 when was given anoffer he couldn’t refuse.
My boss told me that I had got a job at a school in Brooklyn.He asked if I would uproot my life and go to Brooklyn, Tubbrecalled. He said when he visited Visitation Academy, he just fellin love with it.
Tubb returned to London and after three to four months of visaapplications and paperwork, he began his role as preforming artsdirector at Visitation in September 2011.
It’s amazing to turn up to work every day and be surrounded bykids that want to learn, he said, adding that he is the musicteacher for grades kindergarten through eight and is in charge ofthe Cabaret Troupe and the Chapel Choir. They never ask why theyhave to do something, they always ask if they can do somethingelse, as well.
Tubb has settled in Dyker Heights, which he says is similar tothe London suburb he grew up in. I loved going to the city, butcould never live there, he explained. It’s a bit of a nicecompromise – close enough to everything but when I come home it’squiet.
He says that everyone in Brooklyn has been looking after him. Iwon’t tell you how many offers I had for Thanksgiving dinner. If Iwent to them all, I would be as big as a house, he said.
Tubb brightened up the music room, which has no windows, withartwork pertaining to each grades curriculum. He also made a CD ofthe school’s Christmas concert – each class has their owntrack.
The biggest thing is that I make sure its fun and exciting. Ifthey don’t find it exciting, they won’t learn, Tubb said. I hearfrom other teachers that they can’t wait to come down to the musicroom and I can’t wait to have them either.
But he has a secret weapon. I’m always a winner because I havemy accent, he said. Kids care coming up to me regurgitating wordsthat I told them. It’s a two way street because I am picking upAmericanisms from all the guys I work with.
Tubb said he doesn’t have any technique; he just tries to makethings interesting. They don’t realize they are learning, theyjust think they are having fun, and that’s how I know I did my jobright.