Eric has a B.A. in Journalism and Creative Writing from the University of Montana-Missoula and a M.A. in English & Language Arts Teaching from the University of Montana-Missoula. He also carries a Oregon State Secondary Grade School (grades 6-12) Teaching License for English and Language Arts.
He joined PELA in 2014.
Why did you become a teacher? "I became a teacher because I really love discussing books, current events, ways to write, and cultures from around the world. It's a lot of fun to not only share what I know about my culture and language but also learn new things every day from students. I try to make the classroom a learning community where we all are discovering and learning new things every day."
What experience do you have learning a foreign language or living in a foreign culture? "I can speak conversational Spanish, some Korean, and a little Japanese. I've lived in Seoul and Busan, South Korea; Cusco, Peru; Salamanca, Spain; and Cairns, Australia. I've also traveled extensively throughout Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Western Europe."
How has your international experience helped your teaching? "Living abroad has helped me better understand cultural varieties in learning styles, topics of interest, and humor to help me better tailor my teaching to meet students' needs. Also, my experiences living overseas help me empathize with students who are feeling culture shock or homesickness."
What do you do when you are away from school? "I read a lot of novels, and I occasionally try to write fiction. I'm also really into music. I go to lots of concerts, and I play drums in a band."
Why do you like Portland? "Portland has the friendliness of a small city but big-city music, art, and culinary scenes. There are always great bands playing, cutting-edge art exhibitions, and amazing new restaurants to try. I really like that Portlanders want to keep the city "weird," so it's always easy to find something to do that's new and different."
Why do you recommend our school to students? "Our school has a friendly community of students and dedicated, caring teachers who try to create interesting and exciting lessons that will help you improve your English while you're having fun. Also, the location is great, and many instructors take advantage of being right downtown to take students out to experience using English in real-world situations."