I was born in Kansas City, MO and grew up in one of the most beautiful locations in the United States, the San Francisco Bay Area, where I developed an affinity for diversity and tolerance. Currently, I reside in Hollywood, Florida with my amazing wife and two wonderful children. I thoroughly enjoy living alongside south Florida's pristine, white-sand beaches, especially when it's not hurricane season!
I am grateful to have lived in some very cool places both domestically and abroad, which has enriched my cultural and linguistic knowledge. I can speak, read, and write in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. My contact with foreign languages has extended beyond my academic training to a wealth of intercultural experiences in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. I am grateful that I have a knack for developing meaningful relationships with people from diverse cultures, which has tremendously enriched my worldview.
My professional mission is to foster greater crosscultural awareness and understanding while engaging in meaningful educational exchanges with diverse learners. I enjoy teaching everyone about the importance of approaching each day with empathy, appreciation and tolerance for cultural and linguistic diversity.
My academic qualifications to do this work include an Education Specialists degree in Curriculum and Instruction, a Master's of Science degree in International and Intercultural Education and a graduate certificate in African/New World Studies all from Florida International University in Miami. I also have earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish Literature and Language from Columbia University in New York City. Currently, I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Curriculum and Instruction investigating the intersections of Language, Literacy and Culture and their pedagogical implications for the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Columbia College - Bachelors, Spanish Literature and Language
Graduate Degree: Florida International University - Masters, International and Intercultural Education
State Certified Teacher
Traveling, Crossfit, being active, mentoring, spending time with family, arts performances
High School English
Study Skills and Organization
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy embodies the constitutional principles of freedom and democracy, which directly influences my vision of education as being of the people, by the people, and for the people. (See President Lincoln's landmark 1863 Gettysburg Address).
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In the first session, I would spend ample time building up the student's confidence to excel in the subject that we are embarking to study together. I would also share anecdotes and strategies for how I endeavored to master the subject.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I am a very positive person who enjoys encouraging students to do and be their best. I am a stickler for the "I Do, We Do, You Do" lesson structure, which is designed to lead a student toward becoming an independent learner.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I help my students stay motivated by smiling a lot, saying "you can do it" a lot, and modeling the value and benefit of hard work.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I would work with the student to identify the source of difficulty and do my best to remedy the issue with further explanation, demonstration and practice.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I often teach students who struggle with reading comprehension a variety of reading strategies that have been proven to lead to reading success. I also encourage students to read from sources that interest them and practice answering who, what, when, where, why, and how questions about the reading, which helps them to become more attentive readers.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Rapport building strategies is usually the first order of business when I start to work with a student. Helping the student to feel comfortable and confident when talking, sharing, and working with me is very important to establish in the very beginning.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Positive reinforcement goes a long way when a tough task lies ahead. I am patient, persistent, and positive with my students and these qualities tend to be transferable.