Hi everyone. I am a masters-educated teacher who has worked in three different countries, namely Japan, Vietnam and, most recently, Spain for the past seven years and am happy to be here again in my hometown of San Diego! My previous jobs included teaching English and organizing film-related activities at an American community college in Vietnam; assisting local English and History/Science teachers in Spain; and a time on the prestigious Japan Exchange and Teaching Program.
I have also served as a Japanese-English, English-Japanese translator for various projects as I have studied the language for over four years at San Diego State, as well as lived five years in Japan. I have kept my skills mostly by keeping in touch with my friends abroad as well as reading Japanese books I have lugged around between countries. I hold a Japanese Language Proficiency Test qualification of N2 which is the second-highest level, so, while I am not a native, beginners and intermediate students can rest assured that I can help them with those pesky kanji compounds and keigo while also learning how to speak more naturally.
As for my Spanish, I am proud to report that I finished my masters at the University of Alcala de Henares in Spain and, like much of San Diego these days, have spoken Spanish since birth. My primary focus is Latino Spanish but I am also comfortable with the Castilian variety since that I see is just as prominent in schools.
In-between these jobs, I have also worked as a photographer and filmmaker with my work being published in the "2:46 #Quakebook" charity book, Otaku USA magazine (yes, I am something of a nerd) and, of all things, the billboard of a Tokyo hot dog shop. I have a BA in Television, Film and New Media Production from San Diego State, so I am also more than happy to extend my knowledge of effective camera techniques, shot composition, and post-production on both still and motion pictures.
I am a strong believer in helping students grow to become autonomous in their studies. It doesn't happen overnight but when it does happen, it will acknowledged and built further upon. I believe in making sessions dynamic and adapt to student's needs as I see them and as told to me. I don't get offended by students comments or suggestions because, after all, teaching is a reciprocal and parallel process.
I look forward to being able to meet and help you in your needs!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: San Diego State University - Bachelor of Science, TV, Film and New Media Production
Graduate Degree: University of Alcala (Spain) - Master of Arts, Teaching
Photography, languages, science fiction, filmmaking
10th Grade Reading
10th Grade Writing
11th Grade Reading
11th Grade Writing
12th Grade Reading
12th Grade Writing
High School English
High School Writing
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that the role of a teacher in this philosophy is to not be the Sage on the Stage, but rather The Guide on the Side. It is about leading the students towards their own conclusions by giving them tools to succeed. We need to show students that they are agents of their own destiny.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
First of all, I would have a conversation and gauge their needs. What do *they* want to get out of their time with me? Then, I would personally "diagnose" what the student may need and see if they agree with me. This is because teaching is best done when it's willingly received and guided.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I tend to ask students questions that lead them to form their own conclusions, as opposed to dropping explanations on them. Then I would ask students to explain back their conclusions and reasoning for it. Students will learn to appreciate their own insight and opinions apart from teacher guidance.