Experience

Email: sarabaquerogarcia@gmail.com
Professional Teaching
Experience
The American School in Japan (ASIJ), Tokyo, Japan
(1995-2011)

Social Studies: Taught at the 8th grade, MS level. Class title is: “Conflict and Consensus in American History.”  Course was divided into units: Constitutional Development, the “American” identity, Study of propaganda, “Witch-hunts” in American history, The Civil Rights movement, Issues of Diversity and Technology and social change.  All units focused on hands-on activities and student participation through debates, active discussions, group and individual projects, analytical writing, film studies and primary and secondary source analysis.
Spanish: Taught the beginner level of Spanish to 8th grade and high school students.  The focus of the course was on the students’ acquisition of verbal and grammatical fluency for the beginning level.  Students learned to talk about themselves, their activities, families & friends, wants, and basic conversation skills.  Technology was also included to further practice the language.  Great emphasis was placed on oral practice while practicing written proficiency.
Environmental Studies: Taught a MS course that asked students to study and understand a variety of environmental issues and work on possible solutions that would create positive change.  Projects included the use of garbage to create useful items, designing better enclosures for animals at the zoo and many others.
International Relations Course: Taught at the MS level, this course challenged students to examine a variety of economic and political issues and to work with other students from other schools throughout the world on solutions.  Projects included the ICONS project directed by the University of Maryland, research of issues, and a term paper in a chosen and related issue.


Doshisha Girls’ High School, Kyoto, Japan
(1993-1995)

ESL: Taught girls at the 7th and 12th grade levels.  Basic English skills were the primary focus, but also taught conversational English to upper level students.
In School Leadership and Committee Work

Lake Sai Outdoor Program Coordinator (2008 – 2011) ASIJ
I was responsible for the preparation and running of the 8th grade outdoor program during the fall season for all students.  Included in my job were the gathering of all information for the running of the program, the communication with the Outward Bound Japan program coordinator and staff to plan and execute the program, the communication with students, colleagues and parents regarding the program’s parameters, safety and goals, and the preparations of all details including student groupings, food orders and other logistical issues.

Social Studies Curriculum Renewal Committee (2009-2011) ASIJ
Represented the MS social studies faculty in this school-wide committee that reviewed the ELC – 12th grade social studies curriculum and made changes to the program’s philosophy, benchmarks and outcomes to further improve the overall program and to facilitate each division’s improvement process of their own social studies programs.

Focus on Learning (FOL) Committee Member (2004 – 2006) ASIJ
Represented the MS and together with colleagues from other divisions worked to improve our school wide articulation of curriculum.  We devoted time to implementing a school wide program, the Atlas Program, and we made decisions on what to include on our curriculum programs and philosophies as a whole faculty.

Environmental Focus Group Member for the WASC Accreditation Process (1999-2001) ASIJ
Attended meetings, interviewed school community members and prepared documents to be given to the Accreditation Committee as proof of our work and progress throughout the school on environmental activities.

Faculty and Staff Concern Committee (FSCC) member (1997-1999) ASIJ
Represented the middle school faculty as a liaison between the faculty and the administration.  Was one of the two FSCC members in the Personnel Committee of the school Board.  Discussed and participated in decision making and/or advancing changes in school policy through direct participation in the FSCC group.

“Earthquake” Clusters Program Founder (1995 – 1999)
Having experienced the Kobe earthquake while living in Kyoto, I realized that the ASIJ Community was in need of a “buddy” system between the school staff in case a major earthquake occurred in non-school hours.  I worked to create and promote the use of the program.  Although it was a voluntary program, most faculty members joined.  The FSCC now oversees the organization of the program.

Teaching-Team Partner and leader of Curriculum (1993-1995) Doshisha
Collaborated with teaching partners in developing and implementing activities and curriculum that allowed all students to better understand ideas taught.

School Community Collaboration

Environmental Improvement MS Representative (2008 – 2011)
ASIJ’s Vision challenged the school to work on improving its environmental carbon footprint.  My task was to encourage our division’s staff and students to increase their awareness and involvement in environmental improvement at the local, national and international levels.  I involved all MS students in completing ISO energy reduction programs, helped to improve our recycling program and encouraged individual and groups of students to work towards environmental improvement.  I also lobbied to have some of the school’s trees saved when construction projects demanded their removal, and made efforts to have the school members “walk the talk” regarding its decisions that were to affect the school’s environmental actions.

7th Grade Volleyball Coach (1995 – 2007)
Introduced young players to the basic rules and strategies of the game.  My team played against other league members, with a winning record in all seasons but one.  Special attention and energy was spent in creating a team environment, while improving the skills necessary for success in the game.  Most players throughout my tenure continued playing the game in 8th grade and at the HS level, and some even at the college level.

8th Grade Advisor (1995-2011)
Major activities include: attending weekly team meetings, participation in two outdoor program trips, announcing and helping students with any school business and most importantly: being a friendly and helpful adult to a group of growing teenagers.  As a group we collaborated on many projects to help our community.  Included were:
Rice Balls “onigiri” Project
My 8th grade advisory students participated in a service project with other advisories by making and distributing about 400 rice balls to the homeless people of Tokyo.  We worked along many other schools and organizations through the Franciscan Chapel of Roppongi, the founders of the program.
Valentine’s Day sales to raise money for charity
My 8th grade advisory sold, made and distributed candy, and flower grams to the members of the school in order to raise money to donate to a charity organization.  The advisory every year decided which cause to donate to.  UNICEF, Red Cross earthquake relief and others were donated to.

MS SALA Coordinator (2004 – 2008)
Coordinated trips to care for shelter animals and helped students conduct fundraisers to give money toward their care.

Oil Clean-up Project (1997)
When a Russian tanker spilled tons of crude oil into the Sea of Japan waters in the Winter of ’97, I took a group of middle school students on a two day clean-up trip to the area.  Students raised money to fund their trip and protective clothing costs.  We spent our time sifting sand on the beach.

Other Important Work Experience
Program Coordinator, ISA. Corp., Seattle,  WA (1991-1993)
Responsible for coordinating the stay of Japanese students who attended long-term ESL programs at American colleges and high schools.  Worked as a liaison between the students and school staff, or home-stay agency.  Counseled students in personal and academic concerns.  I consider this job to be my introduction to corporate society first hand, a place where I learned a great deal about human relations and communication skills. It was also a very good job to keep up with my language skills, and where I learned first-hand the challenges and rewards of being independent.

Farm Worker, Windfall Organic Farms, Montgomery, N.Y. (1985-1987)
Planted, weeded, picked and packed various organic gourmet products.  Although it might be surprising to some that I add this job as an important job that helped shaped me as a professional, the job demanded constant contact with people of different cultures and backgrounds, with costumers and with nature.  Even thought I left this job a long time ago, I continue to regard the skills and knowledge I gained there as very important building blocks of who I am as a person, and what believes I hold regarding the environment and the fair treatment of all people.

Education MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY, GSEO Program (France and Thailand )(1999 – 2002)
Masters in Curriculum and Teaching Degree
Theoretical and practical courses related to teaching philosophies and techniques.  Projects completed included the development and execution of classroom curriculum, self-examination of classroom performance, technology understanding and use possibilities, and issues of power in educational institutions.Teaching Certification in Political Sciences and Japanese.
completed during the Summer Program in Thailand 2002.

SMITH COLLEGE, Northampton, MA. (1987 – 1991)
Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree

Major: Comparative Government.  Courses: Political Theory, International Relations, Urban Politics, Japanese Domestic and Foreign Affairs, Macro Economics, American History and Environmental Politics.
Minor: Japanese Language.  Courses: Four years of Japanese classes including one intensive year of study in the Associated AKP Program in Kyoto Japan
Other: Junior Year Abroad at Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan (1989-90)

LANGUAGES: Fluent in English and Spanish.  Proficient in spoken Japanese.

Computer and other technology Skills Computing skills for teaching
I am proficient in using FAWEB, Blackboard, Atlas, and have also used the Respondus program to create curriculum, communicate with the school community and generate grades for all classes.

Others:
I am familiar with all Office programs such as: Word, Excel, Power Point, Publisher and web making programs such as Worldpress and other blog programs.
I am also able to use programs such as Movie Maker to create video presentations, and have worked with students to create websites and videos for a variety of projects in both, social studies and Spanish courses.

Other Skills that have come in very handy in my jobs Communication:
I am a “people person” and that has always come in very handy in my working life and my relationships with others in the work place and in life.  I enjoy listening to other’s ideas, working with people of many different cultures and I also enjoy working to solve disagreements and finding consensus in the workplace and in life.

Exhibitions and Presentations:
I enjoy making presentations whether on the computer with power point, or in a classroom or hall when organizing a photo exhibit or an art exhibit.  I have created many exhibits at school for a variety of projects that highlighted a number of projects and ideas.

Crafts and Art:
I enjoy making things from fabric, wood, clay etc. These skills have always come in very handy at school when working with kids on many projects and also are a continued source of enjoyment as I have designed and made costumes from scratch, created flower arrangements, and helped my colleagues with many projects that were fun and enjoyable.

Singing:
I have always loved to sing, and have done so for fund-raising activities, shows, and gatherings at the school and beyond.  I particularly enjoy singing jazz and Latin music.

Hobbies
The world is truly magical.  I very much enjoy outdoor activities, especially hiking in the mountain trails, or walking in the park.  I love to read non-fiction and novels, watch movies, and discuss issues with friends.  I feel very happy when I sew, paint, sing, dance or make small crafts.  I am also learning more about photography, carpentry and making ceramics, but most of all, I love to do all of the above with my family anywhere in the world we happen to be.