I created this website in 2012 as a part of my Master’s Portfolio. I’ve had the thought recently, “Thank goodness I created it then!” It would be very daunting, nowadays, to start a new professional website.
In one capacity or another, I’ve been a teacher since I was 19. I could argue that my passion for teaching might even have started when I was a child. I used to be the “teacher” and my friends would be the “students” in my class, which was the patio of my grandfather’s house. I had pupil desks and a chalkboard to boot!
At the age of 19, I began working for the Early Education Outreach Program and was a volunteer tutor at the International Center at UCSD. I continued both activities until graduation. After graduating college, I worked as a private ABA therapist for children with Autism. During this time I saved my money so that I could move to Mexico… While I living there, I was a volunteer teacher at a non-profit program/school called Niños y Niños, designed to keep children off the streets and receive an education while their parents worked in the streets. Because I moved to Mexico and loved my small courses at Fenix Language Institute and Querétaro Language School, I began to envision myself as my teachers, except teaching English as a second/foreign language. Sometimes I think it should just be labeled as “English as an essential language” these days… (I will get into the politics of that some other time!)
A lot has happened since 2010, which is when I began my Master’s program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. It’s exciting to think about how much I’ve grown as a teacher and how I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. I’ve had the pleasure of working in a variety of English course settings: Intensive English programs, private corporations, UC Extension, and now, community college, which might be my post preferred setting. That’s not to say that I didn’t love other settings, but it’s at community college where I feel the most free to construct my syllabus and lessons and adapt to the needs of my students. Also, I feel a part of an environment that has many resources for students, something that cannot be underscored enough. They need support. It’s a lonely world as an international student, immigrant, or refugee trying to learn a language in the US. It’s simply not as easy as “take classes” or “go learn English.” (I will get into the politics of that some other time!)
The main reason for this post is that I feel ready again to start sharing about my life as a teacher and learner. I guess, in some ways, I feel a little more qualified to do so now… until I don’t… but don’t we all have those days as a professional in our field? The more you learn, the more you realize there is to learn!