About Life

About Life, Play

My students have an A+

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Even before stepping into my classroom, my students already have an A+ as a grade. It is up each of them to maintain that A+.

The way I see it, in the Middle/High School years, very little academic content motivates students more than their social life. At that age, a day can be the single worse or the single best day of their lives. What they learned in math or science on any given day is overshadowed by what their best friend said or did, or even what that special someone posted on their Facebook profile that morning. Each student’s relationship/status with their own circle of friends is above anything else.

I am not claiming students don’t learn. They do. It’s just that there are other more important things going on in their lives that trump any academic information we try to give them. This is where is gets really easy for me. Students come into a computer lab hungry for information, one they can use to get better at their social “job/life”. Teaching Communications Media in the Middle School, I get to walk them through how to create graphics, publish information via their own website, and how to create voice/video recordings they can then share to the world via YouTube or Vimeo or their own website. In the Digital Moviemaking class in the High School, students learn about making movies, creating stories and how to interpret composition in still images as well as images in motion. These two classes that I teach already engage the student even before I say one word. They are hungry to know more. This I take advantage of!

This is why my students have an A+ when they come into my classroom. They walk into my class with intense interest and motivation. They are willing to make really incredible mistakes during the first few weeks, and their work gets better as time moves on. They work on the creative as well as the technical, simultaneously and interchangeably. They stick to deadlines, they write, they edit, they manage themselves, they find ways to move the story forward even if one whole scene must be taken out during post production. They make decisions, they mess up, they ask questions, and go right back to make it better. I sit back and I enjoy!

About Life, Play

Any given Sunday in Sarriá


Barcelona, Sunday morning, in the middle of a sigh!

Anyone who knows me will have undoubtedly heard my “fortunate” comments around work, life, family, travel, opportunities, or other things-life at some point. Yes, self righteous, I know, but there is no other way I can express how I feel when I live these scenes.

Not long ago, in the late 70´s and early 80´s while I was still a kid in El Salvador, life was very different. Having no money, my family could barely afford to dress me in the required school uniform. One of my older sisters was a dress-maker and she made me my one uniform which I had to care for in order for it to hold up the whole week of school. Shoes were worn until the sole came off. Pencils where used until the eraser what the only thing between little fingers trying to write. Clases where multi-grade multi-age classes where one teacher was in charge of 30+ students of many different grades/ages. Going home presented the challenge of staying away from army soldiers who would, at will, take young boys into an immediate draft. Forget about bullies, I don’t remember any bullying problems back then.

Afternoons or weekend walks to the center of town often included a must-visit to the town hall where the day’s previous casualties of the ongoing civil war where laid out in wooden boxes in public view such that families could come down to claim the loved one(s)’s body. It was part of growing up.Though morbid, it became my source of news for the day and I got to go home to tell my older sister who I’d seen. If I knew the family of the deceased I would pay a visit to their house to let someone know that they should go to city hall to claim their loved one. I didn’t know better.

Sleeping in a one-room, one light-bulb room, my bed space was right below my sisters’ bed, on the floor. My memory of childhood dreams is filled with middle-of-the-nigh waking up biting down on the bed sheet that served as my pillow as I rarely went to bed with a full stomach and the hunger and dreams of eating would wake me. So, now that I’ve traveled, done, seen, eaten, slept, loved, life is sweet. Seeing the sky every time I step out of my apartment is a delight, it is something to savor. Walking the streets and hearing and smelling the lazy Sunday come to life brings a smile to my lips. I can’t help it.

About Life, Play, Work

Education Philosophy

I am fortunate that when I entered into academia, entirely by accident, I did not go right into the classroom as a teacher. I came from the corporate world to work with a US State Dept. sponsored educational initiative launched by the Clinton Administration that was headquartered within the City University of New York university system. Some time after I was recruited to help an American school get their technical-house in order. I would have been an awful classroom teacher at the time, I’m sure of it. In both of those previous academic experiences I had the pleasure of working with great teachers and seeing them in the classroom. This made me hungry to be in there as well. Now that I have a few years of teaching under my belt, and quite a few friends who are former students, I can state with certainty that having classroom teaching be a part of my otherwise techie-job is the single best thing that has ever happened in my life.

Education is the number one practice throughout the world that stands a chance of truly improving the lives of us all. It is through education that we have the opportunity to instill in children a sense of respect for the unknown, inquiry, understanding and awe. Awe at the possibilities of the human mind, the creative power of our brain and of the imaginative resourcefulness of our forbearers. It is through formal education that we introduce young students to the wonders of nature, the grandeur and mystery of our galaxy and to the potential of creation and imagination within them.

It is my belief that in formal education teachers are placed in a privileged position. We are experts, guides, leaders, specialists, and at times, even heroes. Indeed, teachers are superheroes. With that designation comes a great responsibility to use any superpowers responsibly, and to use them to do good. It is up to us to engage and to interest. It is on us to create a channel for the energy, hunger and creativity within each student who walks into our classroom or teaching space. It is our responsibility if a student falls out of love with a subject that at first seemed interesting to them. It becomes our job to keep up with students’ pace if indeed they are interested in the subject we are teaching them, as they will want to know more and more.

Teaching is an incredible specialty. Anyone who takes it lightly aught not be in a classroom. The young mind always wants to know more, wants to experiment, is eager to create, and is open to learning from mistakes. It is this last component of learning that needs to be at the top of the list of any good teacher; that students feel safe to make mistakes in the classroom. A perfectly timed mistake is the single best teacher in life, and thus should be a formal part of any classroom. Students should be fearless when entering new territory of learning, they should want to do it all, and they should have comfort in knowing that their superhero-teacher will be there to support them when they realize a mistake has been made. I love teaching!

About Life

Philosophy of Life

am human. I savor, I feel, I strive, and am able to time mistakes perfectly such that I learn more and more every time a new one occurs.

I encourage my students and teammates to; be proud of their work, be fearless when trying out new things and to milk every last drop of the knowledge of those around them. To observe. To dig deep and to be honest with themselves.

When dealing with other humans, these traits draw me; positive thinkers, knowledge seekers, interested in learning things which at first may seem out-of-the-norm, energetic, and those able to laugh at themselves.

My specialties: Gate opener – students and teammates find an abundance of opportunities and abilities they never new they had when they are around me. Hiring and putting great teams together. Organizational strategist.

I am always interested in learning something new, something unorthodox…something!