I received my first teaching job 9 years ago when I became a father to my son. I understood that this was his world, and I was his guide. At the time I was working as a producer for documentary style reality TV, and had never thought about teaching as a profession. Life moved in a direction that forced me to rethink my plans, and a friend suggested I go into teaching. I was told I had the patience and temperament of a good teacher. I started my journey into the world of education, and I soon realized that being a father gave me a deep connection to being someone who helps others learn.
Being connected to my identity as a teacher goes further than just being a dad. I currently hold a Bachelors Degree in Liberal Studies from Cal State Dominguez, with Liberal Studies being their undergraduate teaching degree. My undergraduate work focused primarily on how to teach each subject to elementary school students. We covered everything from California history, Earth science, and even teaching English as a second language, to Common Core math and writing, physical education, and how to use music in the classroom. I did my fieldwork at Carson Street elementary, giving me over 60 hours of volunteer classroom time. I assisted the teacher, lead small groups of students, and taught lessons to the entire class. In addition, I taught beginning drawing and painting at Summer Studios in Lomita, allowing me to hone my teaching skills and practice drawing and painting. I also completed a certification program for teaching applied behavior analysis and worked for a year and a half with a wonderful 1st grader with Autism. I am currently enrolled at Cal State Long Beach in their Post Graduate multi-subject teaching credential program.
Before I had become a father and decided finish school and to change careers, I worked as a freelance writer, game designer, and reality television producer. During this time, I learned how to create. Whether I was selling screenplays for full-length feature film, designing stories and characters for triple A video games, or producing documentary style reality TV, I was creating. I bring that process to the process of learning. Now as a tutor, I help my student create a concept that they can understand. Whether it is done by questions and answers, explanations, or simply by practicing, it is very much a creation.
As a father, a teacher in training, and a creator, I am deeply connected to the concept of learning. But I believe it is important to mention my connection to the South Bay as well. I was born and raised in Rancho Palos Verdes, class of 1994, Peninsula High. I started as a preschooler at Marymount, and spent K through 6 at Mira Catalina Elementary. For a few years, Mira Cat went up to 6th grade, and Miraleste was 7-12. Miraleste and PV high closed, and I spent 10-12 at the newly formed Peninsula High. I'm blessed to have had some of the greatest teachers ever known in some of the best school in the country. As if I couldn't get enough of this beautiful town, I went to junior college at Marymount and graduated with an AA before heading off to San Francisco State.
Many things in life and in nature are cyclical. Once a student of the South Bay, then a student of life, I am now a teacher and tutor within the South Bay, contributing to its future life, and the lives within it. In many ways, life has just begun for me. Yet I already feel satisfied and content, and excited to contribute to the future.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: California State University-Dominguez Hills - Bachelors, Liberal Studies
SAT Math: 600
SAT Verbal: 500
Aside from a profession, I consider teaching and tutoring an interest as well. I take online classes that are teaching related, anywhere from “Spanish in the classroom” to “Teaching kids with ADHD.” I enjoy drawing with pencils, watercolor pencils, charcoal, pastel, and ink. I recently started learning how to play the bass guitar after being a drummer for 20 some odd years. I enjoy woodcarving. I like to cook. Chili and Ramen are my two favorites. I'd like to become a better BBqer and I consider myself an amateur coffee connoisseur. I've been gardening for years, and right now I'm growing tomatoes, watermelons, and various mints and peppermints. I am a huge San Diego Chargers football fan. I’m also a Dodgers and Miami Marlins baseball fan. I’ve always been interested in computers, which lead me to video games, which lead me to my work in the video game business, which left me with the title of “Gamer.”
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
My job as a teacher is to help students understand and master information so that they may become successful students. That process starts with the fundamental idea that a mutual respect must exist between teacher and student. What I expect from my students, they can expect from me. From that point on, we work on the process called learning. Many teachers want their students to grow up and change the world. For me, I'm happy with students growing up and having a desire for excellence and a fondness for learning. I believe those things develop here, between teacher and student.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Some students come ready to work, but others need a bit of time to get comfortable. While I'm assessing where the student is in a particular subject, I'm also thinking of establishing a comfortable environment.