Greetings! My name is Mike/Xavier (depends on when you met me in my life) and I am a true renaissance man. From being an English teacher working at universities around the world; to computer hardware/software engineer; to waiter, cook, bartender, manager, bodyguard, cage fighter; to DJ, M.C., and ring announcer for cage fights; to Uber/Lyft driver, and so much more. I am always willing to learn and try something new. I am originally from Bowling Green, Ohio and I love to travel and see the world! I have worked as an educator in the US, Japan, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia. I have worked in some of the best universities in the US, such as: Arizona State University, Ohio State University, the University of Findlay, and Ohio Northern University.
My highest level of educational achievement is a master’s in TESOL and Bilingual Education from The University of Findlay. Before completing my master’s, I worked as an adjunct instructor in the HPE (Health and Physical Education) department at Owens Community College in northwest Ohio. I taught courses such as: Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu, Kickboxing, Boxing, Self-Defense, Weightlifting, Aerobics, and Tai Chi. I have been certified as a personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and have also spent four years working as a personal trainer.
One of my most memorable moments was when I worked from Fall 2012 -Summer 2013. I completed an internship with 千葉科学大学 (The Chiba Institute of Science) in 千葉県銚子市 (Choshi City, Chiba Prefecture, Japan) and I was given the pleasure of working directly with students both in and outside of the classroom. I also conducted daily English conversation classes independently and I also participated as an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) at 銚子市立銚子高等学校 (Choshi Municipal High School).
Currently, I am living and working in Arizona. Most recently working as a door-to-door salesman, I still manage to keep a “student’s mind”, always willing to learn and try something I have never done before. I have also been working on my own weekly YouTube broadcast – The Cognitive Liberation Front – which had to be put on hold for the time being. It will be back soon, Promise!
As a bit of reflection, I am pretty sure the door-to-door sales thing is just a stepping stone to something greater, as I feel there are no regrets to any decision made; rather, a valuable lesson learned! My newest skillset has provided me insight from the business world as well as upped my social interaction capabilities. I learned to get over the fear of talking to someone who: 1. Is Not expecting me 2. Has never met me before, and 3. Has no idea what it is I am selling. Concerning objections and providing solutions became second-nature, and I am now more confident than ever before discussing something new to complete strangers.
Understanding my students and anticipating their struggles with English is a priority to me. I believe capitalizing on the social nature of language can serve as a great benefit for many learners. Because of this, I make sure my classrooms are active and utilizing all four skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) with each lesson. My philosophy adheres to a communicative/sociocultural approach that uses techniques such as Task-Based Learning and Total Physical Response while focusing on what is referred to as the Mediated Mind, as defined by James P. Lantolf.
I feel it is paramount to the education of a student that they develop their critical thinking skills. This is something I am confident will assist students with their English learning and can also be employed in all facets of their lives. As an educator, it is my duty to instill in my students traits that are advantageous and highly effective. Utilizing an interactive classroom will promote discussion, brainstorming, and debate. Doing so, students can challenge one another and offer their unique ideas, thus fostering a critical thinking environment.
As Sun Tzu, The Art of War, explains, “There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard. There are not more than five primary colors, yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever been seen. There are not more than five cardinal tastes, yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted.”