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"Nothing truly valuable arises from ambition or from a mere sense of duty; it stems rather from love and devotion towards men and towards objective things."

                 –Albert Einstein

 

 

Yann is an educator and technologist born and raised in Brittany, France to a family of teachers.  Upon graduating high school with degrees in biology and chemistry, he decided to explore new cultural horizons and moved to New York City.  He graduated with a B.A. in International Finance from Pace University's School of Business, but loved the teaching environment so much that he was quickly hired by Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism as their Director of Technology and New Media.  There he continued to work with students and faculty, guiding them through the dawn of a new era of digital news gathering and reporting as well as teaching graduate students documentary photography and visual storytelling.  He graduated from Columbia with an M.A. in Public Administration and Policy Analysis. 

Upon moving to California, he decided to further pursue his love of teaching by working with high school level students; however, while working in classes ranging from 1st to 6th grade, he discovered his true passion was to teach and mentor elementary level students.   Yann received his California teaching credentials from in California State Univeristy's CalStateTEACH program.  He lives in Santa Cruz, CA with his wife, Laura.

 

At the age of 96, my grandfather, a lifelong elementary school teacher and principal, made the 10,000 miles journey from his hometown in France to be with Laura and me for our wedding.  While in California, several of his former students, who had relocated from Vietnam to the bay area, organized an impromptu class reunion in his honor.  The sight of his many former grade-school students, now in their 70s and 80s, recreating class plays and reminiscing about how he changed their lives for the better, was both moving and uplifting, and inspired me to pursue teaching.  I realized at that moment that it was my true calling.

My decision to pursue a second career as an elementary school teacher is due to my intrinsic desire to make a positive impact on the life of a child and a community.  Teaching is a labor of love.  It is a noble and highly rewarding profession in which one is able to directly affect change in the lives of others.  I cannot think of a better way to contribute to the betterment of society.  I am a fourth generation teacher who has grown up in an environment in which a rigorous education was considered paramount to any future success.

My approach to teaching can best be described as one that incorporates a diversity of learning modalities.  My previous career in journalism and photography allows me to incorporate visuals and new media into many of my lessons. As English is my second language, I can empathize with the struggles English learners face and have found visual teaching to be highly successful in reaching and engaging students.  Having spent the better part of a decade designing and teaching technology-based curricula, I also enjoy using various technologies to enhance lessons and increase student engagement.  I strongly believe that intellectual curiosity is the basis of all learning and when a student is fully engaged in the process he or she will make a personal connection with the information being taught, and then apply that knowledge to a variety of experiences.

My goal as a teacher is to build meaningful relationships with my students that are based on mutual respect.  I want to provide a positive and supportive environment that will instill them with a passion for learning.  In the tradition of my grandfather, my greatest hope is that my students will look back on their time in my classroom and remember me as a teacher that genuinely cared about their ideas and well being.