I’m Juan. I’m a Syracuse University alumni.
Spanish is my native tongue. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. I have been passionate about this beautiful language for as long as I can remember. I was lucky enough to have a family who immersed me in the arts and fed my imagination with wonderful stories written by Hispanic writers like Julia de Burgos, José Martí, Manuel Mendez Ballester, Gabriel García Márquez, Alfonsina Storni, Luis Palés Matos, Abelardo Díaz Alfaro among many others. I grew up with stories like Yuyo, La Isla Cerrera, Don Quijote, Santa Cló va a La Cuchilla, Yerma, El niño que enloqueció de amor, María…
My teaching experience started when I was young. My aunt, who is a teacher, would ask me to help her by giving reading tutoring to those students who needed it. I spent the rest of my school life involved in literary groups, writing, reading and acting. When I decided to move to Syracuse, NY to start my college degree, I realized that my English was not perfect and that I was having issues pronouncing certain vowels and consonants. For an actor its extremely important to have good diction. In order to expand my range and improve my ‘american accent’ I would meet with my voice teachers Ralph Zito or Malcolm Ingram. They not only exposed me to different sounds but they would give me a in-depth explanation on how to make the sounds. This gave me a better understanding of what muscles or articulators are involved in the process and where they should be in order to make the proper sound.
I was also part of different organizations like the Syracuse Stage Children’s Tour and All Star CAST. For a whole school semester we would go to different schools of the Syracuse School District and perform a show. After the show we would discuss with the students the themes, characters, story of the show. All Star CAST its an acting organization. We would meet once or twice a week to offer acting workshops to people with disabilities.
I’m excited to be part of Varsity Tutors. I’m looking forward to meeting you.
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe teaching is a reciprocal process. I'm excited to both teach and learn from my students. I'm going to borrow one of my favorites teaching proverbs: "By learning you will teach; by teaching you will learn."
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Get to know the student and his/her questions.