Monday, September 6, 2010

Introduction Post- Welcome to Our Community

In your introduction post please include your name, teaching experience and choose ONE of the three questions to respond to in your own blog response:

(1) What is the most interesting trip that you have taken thus far?  Why?

(2) We interviewed the person in your life who knows you the best. What do you believe they listed as your top three attributes as a human being?  What evidence did they provide?

(3) What is a tradition from your own childhood that you believe should be passed on to the next generation?


  1. I'm Christine Kane and I am both the Educational Provost and a full-time fourth grade teacher at San Diego Global Vision Academy. I've actually taught 1st grade for ten years and fourth grade for the past two a half years. I also teach at SDSU and USD in the graduate literacy programs and work with a team of teachers at UCSD to run a leadership institute each summer for teachers via the San Diego Area Writing Project.

    Question #3: One tradition that my father instilled from my own childhood was going to the bookstore every Saturday morning to purchase one book. Coming from a poor family in the Bay Area funding was pretty scarce and buying books was a luxury (I was an avid borrower of books from the library). My father would save a portion of the lunch money that my mother provided him for his work everyday and take me to used bookstores or thrift stores to buy a book (or two if they were on sale). This fueled my love of reading and as an adult I am determined to continue on this tradition from my father.

  2. My name is Jae Shin and I have one semester of experience working with ELL elementary students at Balboa Elementary School. Currently, I am an Instructional Assistant at Miramar College for an English course with three ESOL students.

    Question #1: The most interesting trip that I have taken is a trip to the Philippines with my grandparents. I went to the PI a few years ago to meet family members and to see the places where my mother grew up and spent her childhood. It was a fascinating trip because I learned a lot about my cultural background and my family's personal experiences. It's an amazing experience when you can trace the footsteps of the great great grandfather you never met and see things that past generations saw when they were still alive.

  3. My name is Jacqueline Cox and I have 2 years of experience as a full-time teaching assistant in a Kindergarten class. I worked at Sierra Canyon Elementary, an independent school in Chatsworth, California. It was a wonderful experience and I cannot wait to have a classroom of my own.

    Question #1: The most interesting trip that I have been on was to Italy. My grandparents took our whole family about two years ago and it was my first time traveling to Europe. My great grandparents were Italian, so my grandma knew all the places to take us. We were in Rome for Easter and had the chance to see the lighting of the seven Stations of the Cross on Good Friday and on Easter Sunday we went to the Vatican to watch the pope give the mass. In the middle of the mass it started pouring rain and we all got soaked! After the mass, we couldn't get a cab back to our hotel because there were so many people so we walked an hour in the rain. I will never forget that day, I wanted to complain that I was cold but I couldn't say a word because my grandparents were walking like troopers! While in Italy we also had the chance to visit St. Francis of Assisi, the leaning tower, Venice, and Sienna. It was a wonderful 2 weeks but I would love to go back because there is still so much more to see.

  4. Hi everyone! This is Christina Andrade. My related experience includes earning a CELTA (that's Cambridge University's equivalent of the TESOL) in 2004 and teaching adult ESL learners ever since. I have been with the same school, Embassy College of English Studies, for 5 years across two continents (Australia and the US). I have taught everything from elementary to proficiency level general English courses, as well as test preparation courses like TOEFL, TOEIC, FCE and CAE. I am also the Lead Technology teacher at my school, which means I get trained on new technology and then teach our teachers how to implement these new technological strategies in their classes. Needless to say, I am a huge proponent of technology in the classroom!
    Question #3
    This is a bit funny…When I was a child my parents always used the same expression when they wanted me to go to bed. They would say “Pick up and deliveries!” and this was a cue for me to stand up, jump on my mom or dad’s back (piggy-back style) and then be carried to bed. They started this with me from a very young age and over the years I developed a Pavlovian-like response, to the point where this phrase could be uttered to me in a dead sleep, anywhere, and I would stand up and hop on my parent’s back without even waking. I now have a happy, healthy 8 month old baby boy. Unfortunately, he’s not as obedient about bed time as I was, so I guess it’s wishful thinking that I can get this family tradition working on him asap. It also made for great fun for my friends to test out on me at slumber parties in my youth...Believe it or not, it still works on me!

  5. Hi everyone, my name is Catalina. I haven't had any teaching experience, but I was in a 1st grade classroom for two years as a teachers aid. I have also lead a youth leadership groups for the last three years and tutored for the past two.

    The most interesting trip I have ever taken was last November when I went to Europe with my ex-boyfriend. We had the trip booked months before the break-up, but then life happened and we broke up in very bad terms. Because of the technicalities of plane tickets I was at risk of not going to Europe, my dream vacation. I spoke with my ex and he decided to still go with me (he is a very resonable person). We spent 17 days together, just the two us. The trip was torture (he already had a girlfriend by then), fun, exciting, and our "farewell tour" all in one. I came back as a brand new person. Europe opened my eyes to what my life could be, of the possibilities. It also helped heal my heart. I wouldn't change anything about those very imperfect few weeks, because they've helped make me what I am today.

  6. Hello, my name is Qi Yang and I was an intermittent teachers' assistant for over half a year and I tutored several students in English, too.
    Question#1: The most interesting trip that I ever had is a trip to Japan because it changed my opinion on Japanese and brought me lots of happiness. Due to historical reasons, that Japan invaded China and killed millions of Chinese during that war, Japan gave me a very bad impression and so did Japanese. I thought they were probably cruel and cold-blooded people. I was even a little bit worried before I set off. However, the Japanese I met during the trip were very nice and hospitable. We had conversations in English and we took photos together. I am happy to find out that Japan is not what it used to be and most Japanese are friendly. These important findings make this trip especially interesting and meaningful.

  7. Hi all, my name is Danielle Dattalo and I moved to San Diego from New York about a year ago. I have my teaching credential in San Diego but all my teaching experience is in New York. After graduating, I was hired by the middle school in which I student taught. I took over a leave replacement there for 7th and 8th grade English for 2 short months. After my time there, I moved to San Diego!

    Question 1: The most interesting trip I have taken so far was definitely my trip this summer to Kenya. I chose my trip to Kenya for many reasons: it was my first time leaving the country, my first experience with the unknown, and my first time traveling without my family. My time in Kenya was so precious because not only was I immersed in a culture unlike my own; I was able to teach in a setting that is worlds away from the classrooms we frequent in America. I spent every day at Humble Hearts working alongside some of the most dedicated, interesting, and enthusiastic students I have ever met; facing a curriculum that requires students to answer questions as a whole group and never express their own voice or opinion. I definitely experienced culture shock when I asked the students which book they preferred and they stared back at me with blank faces. While in Kenya, I was fortunate enough to go on Safari for three days. Being on a game drive (how they refer to safari) was hands down one of the most unique and exciting experiences of my life. We were up close and personal with animals, while experiencing a landscape that no picture could do justice.

  8. Hi all,
    My name is Cassie Naddell and I moved to San Diego with my husband in March. I have taught for three years, subbed for two, and been a kinder assistant for one year. This is my second year teaching kinder and I work at a private Jewish preschool and kinder school in Poway. It's a very different experience for me.
    I was most drawn to the first question. About a year ago I went to Japan to visit my husband (then boyfriend). I was confident because I had traveled in Europe and across the U.S. I can usually figure out the language, navigate the trains, and find something yummy to eat. After a week in and around Tokyo, I felt overwhelmed and exhausted. I realized that my knowledge of their history, language, and culture was shockingly small. I had never been such a fish out of water and I was so thankful he had been there awhile and knew his way around. I gained a huge appreciation for a culture that can be so big and crowded and modern but yet so peaceful, honest, and traditional all at once. I saw skyscrapers next door to cemetaries and temples. It was meaningful because it reminded me again that we as Americans don't know it all and certainly aren't taught it all in school. On a side note, we got engaged that week. :) I would love to go back and try and tackle it again someday.

  9. Hi all,

    My name is Yichieh, from Taiwan. This is my second semester in TESOL program. I have a little English teaching experience before I came here and last semester, I did have worked with an ELL in EDUC 540. So I guess I'm not an experienced English teacher. I am very excited to have this class because most of our classmates are English teachers, I guess, so that I think I can gather more teaching experience from you and our teacher as well.

    One of my amazing and memorable trip was in November, 2007, my family and I went to China. Because my ancestors were from China, my Dad wanted to go back to the place where my ancestors lived. During that week, I can't imagine that my ancestor lived here long long time ago. There are so many things different from I had in Taiwan, the living style, activities, etc. even if we speak the same language, Chinese. For example, if you went to a restaurant, the waiter/waitress will prepare a pot of tea on the table. It was not for you to drink instead of washing your tableware. Anyway, it was a wonderful trip for me so far.

  10. Hi all, my name is Qingzhou Shi and this is my second semester in USD as a grad student at TESOL program. After I graduated from my home university, I worked as an English teacher in a foreign language training school in China for three months. And then, I came to USD to further my study!
    Question #1: The most interesting trip that I had was the trip to Europe in May, 2009. I had a lot of fun there, not only because of the beautiful scenery or delicious food, but also because I learnt a lot European culture and history. Before I made the trip, I read “Axis Powers Hetalia”, the anime series that tell a story about personified countries. I was curious about whether the stories are real or not, and I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to experience the stories in person. I compared the characteristics and personalities presented in the book to the real nation, and found they had a lot in common. Thanks to this trip, I remembered many historical events and figures. They seem alive to me, and without this trip they would only be several boring statements in a history book.

  11. Hi my name is, Adolfo D. Jaramillo aka Sonny. I began substitute teaching at JCCS (Juvenile Court and Community Schools or aka County Court Schools) and the SUHSD (Sweetwater Union High School District) in 2007. I enjoyed both experiences so much that I am pursuing a credential to teach at the secondary level and a Master's in Education. My experiences have been brief yet profound. I am currently a full-time campus assistant (high school campus security guard) at Olympian High School. I love what I do and am truly blessed to be learning and sharing with all of you!
    My most interesting trip came when I was fifteen years old and visited Mexico City with my younger sister, Veronica, and my parents, Adolfo and Sonia. We vistied the pyramids of Teotihuacan and climbed to the top of the Moon Pyramid while we were there. The Sun Pyramid was closed to the public. The trip highlghted family and love. We walked the same grounds the Aztecs once did. The Aztecs were a great ancient civilization that once thrived. The story of the Aztec civilization is of strength, love, conflict, and prosperity. I thank my parents for the experience. I plan on one day taking my own family to Teotihuacan (Mexico City) and walking the same grounds. Thank you.

  12. Hi everyone! My name is Eman Almutairi. I have one semester of experience working with American students who desire to learn Arabic. It was really a great experience.
    The most interesting trip I have taken was a trip to Malaysia with my husband and children six years ago. The reason why is because it was my first time leaving my country and exploring the world. The best part was when I tried a parachute by pull it through wire from a boat, it was unspeakable moment. I felt as a bird enjoyed every second. When whole the world is under my feet, and when I surrounded by clouds and felt the air touching my face, at that moment I realized what does freedom means.
    Unfortunately, the most difficult moment was my attempt to land on the ground. Oh! it was very interesting trip.

  13. Hi everyone, my name is Katy and I have always lived in San Diego, with the exception of one year in the Bay Area. My teaching experience comes mainly from the courses I have taken towards my Multiple Subject teaching credential. My first semester I taught and observed at OB Elementary, and last semester I observed and taught at Balboa Elementary in National City. Both were very rewarding and challenging and reaffirmed my desire to be a teacher.
    One of the most interesting trips I have taken was this past January. My boyfriend had been relocated to Vancouver, B.C. for work and I went to visit him for a bout 3 weeks. This trip was particularly interesting for a couple of reasons, the main being that it was while they were setting up for the winter Olympics. The city grew to be more and more active and the number of people of different cultures grew as the Olympics grew closer. I also spent a lot of time on this trip by myself wandering around (because the boyfriend was at work all day), and I really got a good feel for the city and got to enjoy all the commotion and excitement. I had been to Vancouver a couple times before, but those trips all seemed rushed. Unfortunately, I was unable to stay for the Olympics because I had to be back here for school. However, being a part of the set-up and excitement was enough for me.

  14. Hi everyone! My name is Julie and I'm from a small-town just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I graduated from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. I've taught Kindergarten and 3rd grade in a low socio-economic status, urban school. It was the most rewarding and challenging experience of my life thus far. I came to San Diego two weeks ago to pursue my Masters and also due to the fact that getting a job in PA was so hard!

    The most interesting trip I have taken was a 3 month study abroad trip to Rome, Italy. About 50 students from Duquesne studied together there on our own little campus in the middle of Rome. During my time there I was able to travel to a ton of different places throughout Europe. The best trip I took during that time was to Assisi - home to St. Francis of Assisi. I decided on a whim to take the train to this small town just north of Rome by myself. Every other trip I was in the comfort of our group of English-speaking students, however this trip took me out of my comfort zone. I had to figure out the train and the bus by myself - only equipped with my English-Italian dictionary. Because I was on my own I was forced to meet new people, attempt to speak in my awful Italian, and take in all that goes beyond traveling within a comfort zone. This trip was so rejuvenating and lifted my spirit in a place that was magical, peaceful, and so serene.

  15. My name is Kate Ackerman. Three years ago I moved from the East Coast (a Massachusetts suburb) to escape the cold and I firmly believe it was the right decision. I graduated from Syracuse University in New York (more cold weather) with a double major in Fine Arts and Education. I am currently in my second year as an art teacher at Heritage K-8 Charter in Escondido, and before that I taught for two years at a preschool in Carlsbad.

    #3. The family tradition I definitely miss the most, being so far away from the East Coast is Sunday dinners at my Grandparents. This tradition began with my mom, her brothers and all of their cousins when they were very young and all of the extended family lived right around the corner. Sundays were the day that everyone would go to church and then gather together for a late afternoon supper. This tradition continued with my generation, serving as a time that all my cousins would be in one place, hanging out like our parents had done with their cousins years before. The families spread a little farther apart, but even as everyone grew busy with their own family commitments it was always important to get together on Sundays to catch up, bond and stuff our faces with my Grandma's delicious Italian cooking. Even though I have no thoughts of having kids at this point in my life, I'd like to think that my siblings and I would create a time like those Sunday dinners where the new generation of cousins would get to know each other just as well as we had.

  16. Hello Blogger Friends,

    My name is Loni Christiansen and this is my first semester at USD and my first time on a blog. I am definitely running behind when it comes to technology, I am just beggining to get a handle on facebook and texting...My technological shortcomings is just one of the many reasons I have decided I should not teach middle school ;) My formal teaching experience is very limited, I have spent many years in the coorporate world which encompassed everything from Nordstrom, The America's Cup International Broadcast Center, EDCO Recycling and Disposal, Wrigley Gum to The Lodge at Torrey Pines. I taught English informally when I lived in Spain- mostly private sessions to adults who wanted to improve their vocabulary and grammar. As a teenager I spent my summers running an art camp in my backyard with my sister. We always spent more money on art supplies than we actually profited but we learned a lot about organization, the fleeting attention spans of young kids and what a challenging job teaching is. I also have taught sailing to elementary age kids for several summers.

    Question #3 One of the traditions my parents practiced when I was a kid and still continue to practice today is gardening. As young kids we would bicker about weeding, raking and the tedious task of tying up string beans. Despite our whinging it was a chore that we all did together as a family every Sunday. Over the years I have learned about so many types of vegetables, plants and flowers from my Dad. I have a passion and an appreciation for plants that makes me stop and take notice on a daily basis.

  17. Hey! My name is Oriana Yarid. I attended USD for undergrad. I majored in communications and sociology. I received my teaching credential in multiple subjects from SDSU. I student taught in a 2nd grade classroom at Cubberley and in a 5th grade class at Rosa Parks. Last semester I was a substitute teacher for the SDUSD. I went to schools all around San Diego.

    The most interesting trip I have taken so far was this summer when I took a tour of Europe. It was with a tour company and we went to 7 countries in 9 days. I went to the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and France. It was interesting because it was the first time I had been to many of these places. Before I went I checked out books from the library and read about where I was going. I learned a lot about the people, cultures, histories, and places of where I went. This was only a quick visit to these places but I definitely want to go back soon!

  18. Hey everyone, my name is Ashley Morris. I finished up my credential last December and since then have been a long term substitute for second grade at McMillin Elementary, I did my student teaching there as well. Sadly it ended with the school year in June and now I’m a regular sub out in Chula Vista. I used to teach preschool and pre-k, until I moved back out here to San Diego from Ventura.

    I think the most interesting trip I’ve had so far, would be Lithuania about a year ago. It was for the credential special education class and I happened to sign up during the summer that this trip took place, with Nancy Hanssen. It was one of the most amazing experiences. Lithuania of all places…. My class consisted of about 8 students, and we were in Kaunas and Vilnius working with students who have been institutionalized for any range of disorder. It was shocking to see a society where families just abandoned their children because of a disability. It taught me a lot about myself and how I take everyday things for granted. The students I worked with ranged in age from 16-35 and I learned from each one of them. I’ll be the first to admit that I was uncomfortable around people with disabilities because I’d never had much exposure growing up. I remember being in school and knowing the special day class was next door. Students just weren’t mainstreamed the way they are now. I feel more confident now in having any kind of student in my class with any range of ability. I can’t wait to go back next summer.

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