As a university professor, I am fortunate to be able to work with students on a daily basis to help them achieve their academic goals and fulfill their potential.
I welcome the opportunity to pass on my knowledge of English reading and writing, as well as Japanese language. In particular, English writing skills are near and dear to my heart, and are one of the things that students are in most need of help when matriculating. I am excited to help students increase their command of the English language, whatever their level.
I have practiced martial arts for most of my life. My experiences with martial arts have led me to believe that discipline and hard work are essential to academic success. It is not only important to work hard, however; working smart is just as important. Martial arts have helped me develop the above skills, and the discipline to keep developing them even when the going gets rough.
Undergraduate Degree: The University of Montana - Bachelors, Japanese Language and Literature
Graduate Degree: University of Pennsylvania - PHD, Japanese Language and Literature
Martial arts, reading, video games
What is your teaching philosophy?
First and foremost, I make my classes fun. Lessons stick when students can associate the material with something humorous. For instance, when teaching Japanese at the beginner level, I use TPR (Total Physical Response)--a method of teaching that requires students to actually act out concepts--in combination with stories from my own experiences learning the language. Learning should be rigorous, but that doesn't mean it can't be fun!
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would introduce them to my style, explaining clearly how I go about teaching concepts. I would like the student to get a sense of my personality as well, so I would spend some time simply talking, asking what their concerns and goals are. I would follow with a lead-in lesson introducing a basic concept pertaining to the subject at hand.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
It is important to show students that learning is not just active but also passive; that they will learn a great deal simply by engaging with the subject matter in ways that appeal to them. Of course, part of my job is to find ways to make the subject appealing. I would do this by getting to know the student as an individual, discovering their likes and dislikes. Education is not simply about lessons, but about making those lessons engaging and relevant.