Teaching and Instructional Design

I have been teaching for about ten years in various settings but the most I have spent anywhere at one time is at Hawaii Tokai International College where I have been teaching Academic ESL for more than 5 years.  Over time I have had many opportunities to grow as a teacher. Check out some of what I've done.

Service Learning

My Core 4 class engaged in Service Learning

This has probably been one of the most rewarding projects I have ever carried out as a teacher.  The administration at HTIC arranged a partnership with a local elementary school's ESL program so that our ESL students could meet up with theirs.  I volunteered to offer my class for the pilot.  After a successful run, we returned the following term, and will hopefully return many more times.  Once at the school our students are charged with teaching the elementary school students basic English and content along the guidelines of whatever activity the head teacher designates for the day.  This project has given our HTIC students the chance to use English outside the classroom, has been incorporated in reflective blogs and presentations, and has helped with critical thinking about topics such as education, motivation, and childhood development.  I have had my students make lessons plans and apply them in class going way beyond  traditional presentation.  I am very grateful for this opportunity to take part in such a spectacular and truly intercultural experience and look forward to further making service learning a part of my Core 4 class.

My World History Class                

When our program decided to shift its Level 2 content from Hawaiian History to World History, I was happy to get the chance to design the course.  Being a Level 2 course, it was very challenging to condense a complete world history into ten weeks of lower level ESL students.  But using a variety of materials and activities including History Bees, presentations, reading groups, and map quizzes, Encyclopedia Britannica Online and YouTube I have managed to get a grip on this unique content based ESL class and have learned a great deal of history in the process.  Try one of the map quizzes we use in the class here.  This was also one of the first classes I taught with Moodle.  You can have guest access to this course by going to http://elearning.hawaiitokai.edu, logging in as guest and clicking on World History under the CP Content class category.

Hawaii Tokai Breakfast Club

If you read my bio, you already know I am a big food fan.  Every so often I like to take my students for breakfast to break the formal barrier and make things more comfortable.  One term, I decided to go all the way with this.  With only 4 students in my class, I decided we were going for breakfast once a week to become professional food critics complete with our own online magazine.  This proved to be great writing practice for students who would have to pass their reviews through their editor-in-chief/teacher once a week.  The project brought me much closer to those students and every time I run into them we all can\t help but smile remembering that one term when we sampled all the breakfast joints Honolulu had to offer.  While some may have thought once a week for breakfast was a little excessive for a rigorous academic program our online magazine had good following at HTIC and still ranks on the first page of google for keywords: honolulu breakfast.   Check out the articles and leave a comment.

Graduation Speech

This speech was the first of two speeches I have given at Hawaii Tokai's graduation ceremonies.  I was honored to be selected by the student body as their guest speaker for the occasion and many of the themes I discuss in the speech mirror my thoughts of teaching and motivation, so I thought it would be a good artifact for this competency.  In addition, I learned a lot about public speaking from this experience by practicing and later reflecting on the speech.  Basically what go me through was pretending I was in front a class, rather than a packed auditorium.

graduation speech