As a leader:
Experience from Elementary to High School as an administrative intern and Principal substitute. UIL Academic Coordinator. LOTE Department Chair. A multitude of committees and projects for my district. Mentored many teachers. Highly literate in social media and its uses for education in the classroom and for CE.
I have experience in dealing with conflicts among both students and faculty. I have led ARD meetings as well as participated in DAEP hearings. I plan and am in charge of executing several school-wide and community events including: our Wildcat Day, our Innovations Night / Holiday Extravaganza, and a community Spanish class. I act as translator for the district frequently.
As a trainer and mentor
I often provide training at the district level on improving reading, language acquisition, technology, and classroom management. At the regional level In 2011 I presented my findings on using technology in the classroom, and my experiences in using the flipped class model at a Google conference. In 2018 I delivered Region 11's first LOTE training. I have designed curriculum used across the spectrum of Spanish teachers.
In 2017 At the International Forum on Language Teaching (IFLT) conference in Chattanooga, TN., I led a session on using the game Mafia to provide compelling, comprehensible input to students. Click here to read the mention in the blog of international teacher trainer Martina Bex.
In Summer 2016, and again 2017, I was interviewed for a educational technology vlog.. The topic was how to build a professional learning network and develop professionally via twitter. My twitter profile is @profegross. I write a well-trafficked blog on how to integrate Comprehensible Input into classrooms called Comprehensible Reality. I have designed curriculum used across the spectrum of Spanish teachers.
Bringing the world to my students
I don’t just give my students facts - I give them experiences. Every other year I lead trips around the world and watch students grow exponentially as they use what I have taught them and learn first hand what it means to be a global citizen. I am a repeat teacher of the month
Students often start their years with me intimidated by foreign language, but they move on, confident in their progress and ability.
As a person
Outside of my family, my biggest loves are cycling and traveling. I combine them as often as I can. I compete in long distance races - up to 500 miles/48 hours. I do multi-day bike tours and have seen more of this great nation than most, and count myself very lucky for it. Every new country visited helps me understand more of the world around me. I am a voracious reader and a huge nerd. Even though I’ve been an adult for a long while, as an Eagle Scout I still live by the Scout Law and Motto.
As a teacher:
Never rest on your laurels. In 2013 I went textbook-free and never looked back. Now I redesign my curriculum each year to support not only my own TEKS, but my colleague's TEKS as well. In 2016 I began teaching using the theory of Comprehensible Input and Second Language Acquisition as developed by Drs. Stephen Krashen and Bill VanPatten (et. al) and am more successful then ever with kids of all backgrounds, abilities, and challenges. 100% of my level 4 students have received a 3 or better on the AP exam.
I've coached multiple sports and activities such as Wrestling, Baseball, and Robotics. I've sponsored Chess club, Travel Club, and Spanish club. It's enriched my life in a profound way. I believe that the more we keep kids on campus and with an adult leader, the more we reach and teach them, the better members of the community they become.
Experience prior to teaching:
I did not begin teaching until I was 30. Before that time, I worked as a Stock Broker and Team Leader for Ameritrade, and a Senior Manager for Gamestop. I bring these skills to my school as a leader, and teach my experiences to my students. For example: in my level 3 classroom, I teach a unit on personal finance, investing, and world poverty.