"...standing on the shoulders of giants"

Work Experience

From January 2006 until June 2010 I taught Physics and Math at Taejon Christian International School (TCIS). This WASC-accredited boarding school offers a rigorous international curriculum (including the International Baccalaureate Programme at all three levels) to students from across South Korea. Located in Daejeon, the heart of Korean science and research, the school emphasized the importance of science and technology. Since the fall of 2008, each high school student brings a laptop to school, and this one-to-one laptop policy opened many doors for teachers to utilize the best of digital technology in the classroom.

At TCIS I was very involved in the classroom, the science department, and in extracurriculars. I was fortunate to teach many talented and motivated students, but also challenged by the fact that many of those same students were English-language learners. I learned to support English language learning and content-vocabulary acquisition by being intentional about presenting definitions and terminology and by adopting strategies not reliant on extensive reading. My role in the science department was an active one and I eagerly took leadership among my colleagues in planning collaborative projects and assessing curriculum. For example, in my third year I oversaw the restructuring of ninth and tenth grade science courses to better align with subsequent IB science course offerings. My extra-curricular involvement was diverse and sometimes seemed nonstop. I coached a different sport every year but the last (when I repeated soccer), including Cross-Country, Tennis, and JV and Varsity Soccer. I was chosen by the Headmaster to serve on two major committees - one planning our school's yearlong fiftieth anniversary celebrations, and one planning campus design for our school's move to a brand new campus.

For other details on my work experience at TCIS, please see my resume.

From September 2010 until May 2011 I am currently classroom teacher for seven students across Kindergarten, Third, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth grades. The students are part of a small expatriate community in Mali, West Africa, whose former teacher needed a replacement for one year. In the six months (so far) of teaching here, I have learned a great deal about early literacy, accommodation for special needs (whether officially diagnosed or not), and the impossible-to-overstate importance of having a meaningful, standards-based, grade-level-appropriate, engaging curriculum. At TCIS I learned to design curriculum backwards, starting with the Big Ideas and Essential Questions. Here, the curriculum handed us is not designed in such a way. I have modified activities to emphasize the important concepts and to allow for more interesting and authentic forms of assessment; however, in my short stint here there was no possibility of completely overhauling the curriculum. Still I have learned valuable lessons about curriculum analysis and design.