Grade 3 Homeroom Teacher
What year did you come to YIS, and where were you working prior to YIS?
I came to YIS in 2009. 10 years now! Before coming to YIS, I worked for 4 years as a Grade 5 teacher at the Universal American School in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Before that, I worked in the mountains of North Central New Mexico, USA for 15 years at three different schools.
What attracted you to come work at YIS?
I wanted to work at a PYP/IB school. I was also interested in learning about Japanese culture.
What do you love most about the subject you teach?
I love teaching all the subjects, especially when they relate to nature, science and culture. I also really love kids.
What sports/non-academic activities are you involved with at school?
I run the Elementary School Garden Club. Some days, when I need a little break, I go out into the gardens and putter about or water.
How would you describe the IB Program, and its value, to parents?
The PYP is a concept-driven program taught through inquiry that includes teaching social, thinking, self-management, communication and research skills, as well as the learner profiles to develop the children's character. I feel that this is a valuable program because we teach the whole child, and we create valuable lessons and learning experiences that the children can relate to and apply to real-life situations. It is not about memorization or learning facts and content, it is about learning how to learn and inquire.
What are your hobbies and interests outside of school, and what do you enjoy most about life in Japan?
I love photography, cooking (especially salsa and Mexican food), spending time in nature by the mountains or near the ocean, traveling, learning about different cultures, archaeology, and gardening.
If you weren’t a teacher, what would your profession be?
I would be a gardener or archaeologist, entomologist, writer of children's books, or who knows what. I have so many interests.
If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be and what would you discuss?
I would love to meet Albert Einstein and have a chat, even if I couldn't understand all his theories and the physics. I think he had a deep understanding of the world and human nature.
Which YIS event(s) from the school year do you enjoy most, and why?
I love the Food Fair, not just for all the delicious food from around the world, but also because it is the one event where nearly everyone from the school community is involved.
What advice would you give to teachers looking to work in Japan?
It is a beautiful country with a variety of landscapes from north to south as well as unique customs and traditions to share. Of course, the people are wonderful, too!
What excites you most about the new YIS campus?
I have always been interested in architecture, interior design and landscape design, as both my parents and other members of my family are professional architects and designers. We are so incredibly lucky to have Kengo Kuma and Associates design our school and allow so many of us to be part of the decision-making process. I can't wait to see the final product.