Wednesday, June 9, 2010


How I got here

I have lived abroad, studied abroad, taught abroad, and traveled abroad. These experiences have allowed me to discover my passion for teaching and encouraged me to continue developing this passion. I am idealistic, naive and yet realistic.

I don’t think I will change the world, but I hope that one day I will teach someone who will.

While studying Communications at San Diego State University I had the opportunity to study abroad three times. My sophomore year I studied communications through Nanyang Technological University and had the opportunity to backpack through Asia. I later completed my minor in Spanish in Madrid, Spain through Nebrija Universidad and was able to take a Women's Study course (Women in International Development)in Turkey at Bogazici University that Summer.
At a lantern festival in Singapore

Next to the "Traveler's Palm" in the Royal Botanical Graden
My last semester at San Diego State (after I returned from Spain and Turkey) I had the opportunity to work with AVID students and Monte Vista High School. AVID is a fantastic program that targets students who wouldn't normally go to college (B, C, and even D students) but have the desire to do so. They are usually students who would be the first in their families to attend college, and most are from low-income or minority families. AVID has a great track record when it comes to bringing students up to their full potential and I enjoyed being part of it.
Monte Vista AVID woot!
This was a new age group for me as my previous teaching experience (swim and private tutoring) was always with younger children. It was here I realized that while I enjoy having fun with my students, I am predominately a "strict" teacher. Though the students and I could have fun on occasions, I was the only tutor who would be given groups which had to discuss sex (be it in biology, English, history, or anatomy). This is because none of the other tutors could strike a balance between treating the students as adults, while still holding them accountable as students. As the only one who could keep the students focused, the dangerous topics or rowdy groups were always assigned to me as I could handle them.

After graduating from San Diego State University I got a job teaching English through the the Gyeonggi English Program in Korea (GEPIK) in Korea. It was a great segway into the teaching world. It also helped me as I now have experience with difference age groups as well as in different cultures. I am aware of the need to change teaching techniques appropriately depending on the students. This combined with my motivation to help students reach their highest potential helps me recognize that no two students are the same and that lessons must be planned to include opportunity for different types of learners to flourish. Most of all, Korea made me realize how much more I needed to know.
My Korean students during Summer Camp

After I completed my contract I took time to return to Spain and walk from Salamanca to Santiago de Compestela. On the walk I realized that teaching is definitely the direction I want to go in my life, and that while I could learn a lot by teaching another year in Korea, I needed to gain more education in order to be a more efficient teacher.
My shadow and me walking the Camino

I ended up in The Netherlands to take a certificate in teaching English course (CELTA) through the British Language Teaching Center in Amsterdam (I aupaired while there to afford the expenses). After completing the course and receiving my certificate I became fascinated with the different ways to teach.
So, I applied for the "Teach and Learn" program through the Insitituto Univesitario de Investigación en Estudios Norteamerianos Benjamin Franklin (Instituto Fanklin) of the Universidad de Alcalá. This is a fantastic program my friend did last year. It allows me to take a paid internship at a primary school (in my case Colegio Europeo Aristos in Getafé) while taking courses to obtain my Masters in Bilingual and Multicultural Education. In addition to receiving some money each month the tuition and insurance are included! I am really excited about this opportunity and I hope to gain a stronger understanding of the theories behind didactic strategies in addition to how to best implement these in the classroom and my planning.

In order to get the student visa I need to return home for two months. Rather than twiddle my thumbs I looked for a temporary job in the education field. I got very lucky; International House San Diego was looking for an ESL teacher for a bit in July! International House is a well known school worldwide (over 140 schools in more than 47 countries) and I am very excited for the chance to work with them this Summer. The program is with 11-17 year olds from different countries who come to San Diego to enjoy the Summer and learn English!

(Flash forward to 2011-2013: I am teaching in Mexico)

After teaching in Mexico, I moved back to San Diego and found a great job teaching English Literature to ESL students in San Diego.


  1. Reading about other people travelling, teaching and enjoying life at the same time always makes me want to do the same, but...there's always the but!

    1. There's no need for the "but"! If you like to teach it is a great way to go!

  2. How did you end up in Culiacan? My son was a student there in high school for a year: a wild place!

    1. I was looking for a Spanish speaking country (so I would be able to live my day to day life without needing to learn a new language) that was closer to my family...Mexico was a clear hit and iTESM has a great reputation. Here's more on my current job!

  3. Hi, I'm thinking of applying to the Masters in Bilingual Education at the Instituto Franklin, but I have heard mixed reviews. Some say that they enjoy the program, while others say that the degree is not accredited, the classes are a waste of time, and overall it's not worth it. I'm assuming you have finished the program by did you like it, and how has it helped your career as a teacher? Thanks.

    1. The best thing to do is send your questions and concerns to the program. It has changed a bit since I was there. Similar to many programs a lot of it depends on what you are willing to put in, and a bit of luck with which the school you get assigned to work. Without the Masters I would not have been hired for my job here, nor made the amazing friends I did.

      I am hesitant to suggest the program to anyone I do not know because there are so many variables that depends on what kind of person you are. I am sorry, I know that isn't much help, but it is really all I feel comfortable advising a stranger online :)

    2. Thank you :) Just trying to gather as many opinions as possible before I make the 1000 Euro deposit.

    3. Thank you, I'm glad it was a good experience for you. Just trying to gather as many opinions as possible before I make the 1000 euro deposit :)

    4. There were certainly a variety of experiences among my classmates, so I am sure you'll find a variety! Best of luck!!!

  4. Hello
    I'm looking for a teacher to improve my language because I have Toefl after less than 6 weeks. I'm willing to take 8-10 lessons (2 lesson a week). I want to focus on speaking skills and writing (in Toefl topics). I consider myself in advance level. I'm looking for a female native teacher that can helping me. I'm also looking for lessons that I can afforded. So let me know how much are your online lessons and if you could offer any discount and if you offer first free lesson!
    looking forward for your respond.

  5. I am sorry, but I don't give online lessons. I have no internet access outside of work. Best of luck though!

  6. Awesome description. Wonderful Profile . I suggest you rephrase the following sentence: " I don’t think I will change the world, but I hope that one day I will teach someone who will."


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