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After a long career in journalism, I gradually began to switch to teaching in 2001, and became a full-time teacher in 2006. I have spent seven years as an after-school teacher, four years as a remedial reading and math teacher, and one year as a student teacher while earning my California teaching credential. Currently I work as a preschool teacher, an English tutor for newcomers to the U.S., and during the school year as an after-school teacher at San Francisco Friends School, where I teach songwriting, literacy and cooking. Every year since 2009 I have edited and published a literary magazine for my school. I can speak very good Spanish, basic Cantonese and Vietnamese, and a little Tagalog because my wife is Filipino. I have a B.A. degree in history, a background in science, and many creative lessons for helping students with reading and writing. For math practice, I like to use math games that make learning fun. Although I started my teaching career quite late, my life experiences give me a depth of knowledge and flexibility of mind that work very well in teaching.
From 2007 to 2011 I worked as a Title I remedial reading and math teacher for grades 1 through 5. I had classes of 3 to 6 students throughout the day. The students were pulled from their regular classrooms to work with me because many of them needed special help due to ADD or ADHD.
I attended Mount Hermon, a Christian boarding school in Massachusetts in which all students were required to take Bible studies each semester. I have been a member of two Lutheran churches. I worked for four years at Mission Dolores Catholic School and attended mass there. I have a good knowledge of Biblical history and have studied the Bible on my own for many years.
I learned the braille alphabet and hundreds of short forms in braille on my own. I studied a book on how to teach braille reading. I bought and read several books written in braille. I taught the braille alphabet to my students at an elementary school several years ago. I cannot read it well with my fingers alone, but I feel confident about teaching. I previously worked as a tutor for a blind college student. I wrote an article about job opportunities for blind people that was published in the San Francisco Examiner.
In 2007 I received my preliminary teaching credential in multiple subjects for elementary school. In 2011 I earned my clear (permanent) credential. I worked as a Title I (No Child Left Behind) remedial reading and math teacher for grades 1 through 5 at Mission Dolores Catholic School in San Francisco from 2007 to 2011. For the last five years I have created a school literary magazine each year for grades K through 8.
I play guitar, mandolin and harmonica very competently, and I can sing hundreds of folk songs and children's songs. I spent one year teaching the Little Kids Rock guitar program at Alvarado Elementary School. Over the past 10 years I have performed hundreds of times for elementary school and preschool. During this school year I taught two courses in songwriting to elementary school students.
From 2005 to 2006 I was the instructor at Alvarado Elementary School for the Little Kids Rock guitar program, a national program that gives free guitars to students who commit to practicing and attending the class all year. I have been playing guitar for more than 40 years. I can play hundreds of songs by ear, and many more by reading the music or the chords. I have been singing and playing the guitar for schoolchildren and preschoolers at least once a week for the past 10 years. This school year I taught two courses in songwriting, in which I used my guitar to accompany the students.
I have been using Microsoft Windows for about 18 years. I use it regularly to create documents and lesson plans. For the past two years I've used it to create a school literary magazine each spring. I formerly worked as a full-time word processor.
Besides being a musical performer as part of my job for the last 10 years, I am an inveterate student of music and collector of recordings. I love concert music, jazz, rock, world music, Latino music, blues, new age, country & western, folk music, bluegrass, pop music, religious music, Broadway and opera. I listen to music for hours a day whenever I'm home. I read about the background of my favorite artists and composers, watch their movie bios, and check their life stories on Wikipedia. I have an excellent well-rounded knowledge of music, especially American.
I have a clear California teaching credential for multiple subjects. From 2007 to 2011 I worked as a Title I remedial reading and math teacher in San Francisco through Catapult Learning, a national company funded by the federal government. The majority of my classes were in reading, and I taught dozens of lessons in phonics to beginning readers in 1st and 2nd grade. I still have my lesson plans, and I use some of them to help U.S. newcomers to learn English.
I have been taking photos for more than 30 years. From 1988 to 1992 I took almost all my own photos for my weekly restaurant column, which ran in a citywide paper with a circulation of more than 100,000. I have been hired as a photographer by other publications. I take many photos for my part-time job as a preschool teacher, and I fill photo books to entertain the children. I know Photoshop well, and use it to edit my photos.
I have spent 7 years as a member of Toastmasters International, and I'm the public relations vice president for my local club, Asian Express, which meets twice a month. I give about 8 prepared speeches for the club each year, each of which has a different focus, such as persuasive, humorous, factual, or one that emphasizes vocal variety or body language. I often represent my club in speech contests against other clubs. At every meeting, I speak in some capacity, whether giving a spontaneous speech for the table topics section, evaluating someone else's speech, or running the meeting. I wrote the brochure for my local club, which tells about all the aspects of the meetings and the skills learned.
I have been singing for schoolchildren at least once a week for the past 10 years. I play guitar, mandolin and harmonica, and I often perform my own songs. I won the schoolwide talent show at Boston University for performing my original song "The Bomb Squad," about bomb scares at the school. During this school year I taught two courses in songwriting for elementary schoolchildren at San Francisco Friends School. I spent 20 years as a journalist, so writing is easy for me. I can write shorthand, and can write down someone's lyrics as quickly as they can say them. I'm very good at editing song lyrics to give them a better rhythm or rhyme. I use a rhyming dictionary to help me, and have no trouble finding a tune to go with the words.
I received my California teaching credential in 2007 with a grade point average of 3.6. After that I worked as a remedial reading and math teacher for four years. I have special skill in learning languages, because I have taught myself Cantonese and a lot of Vietnamese, and I speak very good Spanish. I spent 20 years as a journalist, so I learned how to master a subject quickly in order to write about it. I impart these skills to my students, and have a knack for breaking down any subject into its smallest parts for easy and steady learning.
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