I am a graduate of the SDSU Applied Design School, with a focus in Woodworking and Furniture design. Before teaching at HTMMA, I worked as a bench carpenter in a small residential cabinet shop, an Assistant Project Manager at one of San Diego’s largest architectural millwork firms, and also designed and built custom furniture. I was also part of the first graduating class of High Tech High International. As a teacher I strongly believe that students produce their best and most interesting work when driven by their own convictions. The goal for my class is that students will develop strategies for answering problems inside and outside the classroom. As students’ solutions to these problems grow, they will be able to build a their skills and understanding. As a teacher it is important that I am able to support the students with skill building and understanding of concepts so that they are able to execute their ideas and interests to the highest quality. I believe it is important to provide students with foundational information in an conservative manner. There is a fine line of teaching a student a skill or giving them step-by-step directions to complete a task. The same is true with concepts and theories. Exposing students to published ideas and theories is important, but I do not think students need to agree with what is presented. To truly allow for student voice and develope original work I think it is important that we show students tools they may need then allow them to create their own solutions and ideas. It is important that I have a strong understanding of my students, as it allows for more accurate anticipation of possible skills and theory comprehension that will be helpful. Knowing each student is very important to me. When I was a student, I wanted my teachers to know who I was, and for them to be an adult to talk to who weren’t my parents. I want my students to feel that each day they can walk into at least one classroom and know they will be seen as an individual and not just another student. The understanding of the classroom population also allows me to be honest and give pointed feedback on ideas and work and have the words hold weight. I truly value the voices and ideas of my students. I believe that students hold a great influence in our society and should feel empowered that they can answer real world problems with confidence.