Driving Instructors You Can Trust
Drivers Ed Direct believes that our quality instructors are a vital part of the learning experience. Therefore, we follow the most rigorous screening standards in the industry to determine which instructors are suited to make your teenager's driving experience successful. In addition to hiring our instructors by committee, we conduct Department of Justice background checks, Livescan database verifications, third party drug tests, and, we require that our instructors have all had prior experience working with teens in an educational and/or community service capacity.
To see what we demand from our highly qualified instructors, or to inquire about becoming an instructor yourself, read our instructor requirements here.
How did your lessons go?
The Leader of Our California Crew - Tom Milewski - Operator
Meet All of Our DMV Licensed Driving Instructors
Get to know our crew and learn a little about what makes each of our instructors uniquely qualified:
Movie: 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Goonies, Star Wars, Indiana Jones & Lord of the Rings
Music: Michael Jackson, The Police, Radiohead, Sunny Day Real Estate & Kendrick Lamar
Hobby: In my free time I enjoy reading, hiking, watching sports, playing Ultimate Frisbee, and beach days with my wife and son.
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I was deeply impacted by the teachers and mentors that took an interest in me growing up and as I got older I became passionate about paying it forward. Since college I've worked and volunteered in various roles that have given me the opportunity to make a positive impact on young people. I've worked as a camp counselor, substitute teacher, and the past few years as a youth director at a small church in South Los Angeles. Everything I've done has led to a love for teaching. My positive, easy going and fun loving personality has made it easy to develop a deep connection with many of my students, and as a result I've seen them retain knowledge quickly and succeed beyond the classroom.
Thoughts on teaching: As an instructor I always try to find ways to make things connect personally for the student. If I can get to know them a little bit, it makes it easier for us to communicate with each other and they definitely retain things better as a result.
Thoughts on the environment: In my opinion, there is nothing more beautiful than the natural world, and I feel a deep responsibility to do what I can to preserve it. I hope I see the moment in my lifetime where we all feel that same responsibility and the environment no longer needs protection.
Movie: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Charade, A Face in the Crowd, The Big Lebowski & Five Easy Pieces
Music: Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, Derek & the Dominos, Wilson Pickett & Creedence Clearwater Revival
Hobby: I enjoy playing basketball and ping-pong, reading, watching movies, and eating good food (which is not always the same as eating healthy food).
Teaching/Mentoring experience: Prior to becoming a driving instructor I was a math tutor, and helped many students survive their Pre-Calculus and Calculus courses.
Thoughts on teaching: Teaching is a great way to continue learning. When I try to explain something to students I gain a better understanding of the material, as well as a greater understanding of myself. Interacting with students is rewarding, because each one looks at the world in a totally unique way.
Thoughts on the environment: I like the environment. I want to get to know it. I don't want to kill it. I think littering is shameful.
Movie: Sweet Home Alabama, Dear John, Titanic, Dogma & Mean Girls
Music: The Weeknd, Lana Del Rey, Blink-182, The Doors & Taylor Swift <3
Hobby: In my free time I enjoy binge-watching TV shows, going to Disneyland, camping, and spending as much time at the beach.
Other Languages: Spanish
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I worked for an after school program for 8 years. I was able to connect to students on a few different levels; as a coordinator, as a program supervisor, and as a coach. Working as a coach and being able to teach dance, science, and literacy was one of my favorite moments being a part of the program. Just being able to teach all the things I love and sharing those experiences with the students was truly rewarding.
Thoughts on teaching: Obtaining knowledge and sharing the knowledge that you possess is imperative for growth as a society. Being able to share your knowledge with another person is a rewarding experience... this is how we are able to grow as an individual.
Thoughts on the environment: Protecting our environment is crucial in order to preserve the world we live in. Earth Hour is a great way to raise awareness on climate change and global warming. We all need to be mindful of how we are living and our actions that have major effects on our environment.
Movie: Frank, The Great Gatsby, It Follows, The Cable Guy & The Machinist
Music: Mat Kearney, Third Eye Blind, 009 Sound System, Flipsyde & Doctor Flake
Hobby: I enjoy movies, theatrical plays, hanging out with friends and learning new things. I collect comics and have been a gamer since I was a little kid.
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I have a motto I live my life by: "The smartest person in the room never learns anything". Seek knowledge, always. The moment you stop or feel you no longer need to push yourself is the moment self-improvement stifles. I am a person who always pushing the bar forward; always reading and learning no matter what the topic might be. I am a student at CSUN with an AS in Computer Science and BS in Computer Engineering. I've been working with computers my whole life and hold four certifications in the specialties of repair, networking, security and data recovery. I have tutored the youth in my old high school on General Computing, Math, English, and History. At my current university I peer mentor and tutor in Digital Logic. When I was in high school I was the TA for the Wilson Middle School's "Club Buff" after school workout program. I also acted as a substitute yoga instructor for World Gym in Glendale.
Thoughts on teaching: There are two schools of thought when it comes to teaching: memorizing information and fundamental understanding. I personally prefer the latter. Information cramming can only get you so far, but truly understanding the how and why behind the wheel is what distinguishes a good driver from a great one. Driving is all about technique and there is a certain grace to it when you really catch onto the concepts. When you understand the why behind the actions you'll never forget the how. You may not remember those answers from your last history test, but you will never forget the concepts we teach here. This isn't that kind of class, we teach to understand, no memorization required.
Thoughts on the environment: The world runs on fossil fuel. It's up to us to push innovation and find clean, renewable energy sources that will reduce emissions in the atmosphere and leave a little extra cash in our pockets. In the meantime, we can do our best with the technology we have now to slow down pollution. With over a billion cars on the planet today, that's a commitment we all need to make in tandem to truly move the needle in our favor.
Movie: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Superbad, Napoleon Dynamite, Crank & The Hunger Games
Music: Luke Bryan, Avicii, Ellie Goulding, Eli Young Band & Capital Cities
Hobby: In my free time, I enjoy different types of water and snow sports such as snowboarding and waterskiing. I like to choreograph dances and I'm a big animal lover, so I also enjoy spending time with my rescued dogs, Bogie and Nevil.
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I have over four years of experience working with children in professional, educational settings. I appreciate all learning styles a child may have and am experienced with special needs students. I currently attend college where I study psychology with a minor in child development. I have found a passion in teaching and enjoy being able to make any learning experience safe, fun and memorable.
Thoughts on teaching: I believe any time a student is taught, it should be a memorable experience. First and foremost, it is key to help the student remain calm, confident and safe. I strive to help the student link their lessons to real life experiences and relate to any concerns that they may have.
Thoughts on the environment: I believe we should always try to give back what we've taken from the earth. We live on an amazing planet, and it is everyone's duty to do their part to help preserve its vigor.
Movie: Training Day, Lone Survivor, Cast Away & Trainwreck
Music: John Mayer, Chris Brown, Justin Bieber (you read it right), Eric Church & many more
Hobby: Working with my Champion Frisbee dog on a daily basis is pure relaxation for me. I have met so many people because of him. He brings so much joy to people's lives. Other hobbies include going to the beach and playing tennis.
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I have been fortunate to have owned several successful businesses; but most recently, I have been teaching at a driving school. As a business owner, as well as a driving instructor, I have trained hundreds of people, at every level, throughout my career. I feel that my experience in training people has led the way for me to become a very patient, fun-loving teacher. I believe that making a student feel comfortable, and giving them the confidence and encouragement they need, will make their learning experience a great memory. I like to prepare my students with what I call "real life driving". My students' safety is the most important thing to me.
Thoughts on teaching: As an instructor, I have learned so much from my students. I am amazed what so many young adults are doing with their lives and where they are going. I always try to understand where my students need the most help so I can make a difference in their driving ability. Being a Mom of a young teenager myself helps me do the very best job that I can do.
Thoughts on the environment: With such a vast world comes a huge responsibility to take care of our home. Recycle, protect nature.
Movie: Coming to America, The Hunger Games, The Karate Kid, School Daze & Pulp Fiction
Music: Public Enemy, Common, Nas, A Tribe Called Quest and Hall & Oates
Hobby: I enjoy spending time with my family, watching and coaching football, and editing video.
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I love spending my time being productive and learning. I aim to get better at whatever I do each time I perform that task. If I put my name on it I want it to be near flawless. I recently moved to California from Las Vegas, NV where I lived for 7 years. I have 3 sons that I raised as a single parent until I remarried 4 years ago. I volunteered as a youth football coach for 14 seasons and I've also coached high school football. I am currently taking classes to obtain my degree in Special Education and my teaching credential. I am a very patient instructor and I strive to ensure that my students gain the knowledge needed in order to be efficient. When applied properly, that knowledge will be the major contributing factor in leading to their achievement.
Thoughts on teaching: I believe as coaches, teachers, and mentors, we have the ultimate responsibility to shape and build the minds and characters of children through basic instruction and lesson plans. Having such a responsibility requires a full unadulterated commitment that can only be provided by an individual that is passionate about working with the youth.
Thoughts on the environment: Just as you value and take care of your home, the earth should be held in the same regard because it is all of our homes.
Movie: Divergent, I Am Number Four, The Avengers, Fast & Furious 6 & Thor
Music: The Neighbourhood, Arctic Monkeys, Lana Del Rey, Avicii & Imagine Dragons
Hobby: During my free time I like to ride my motorcycle, drive my car, and road or mountain bike.
Other Languages: Spanish
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I was involved in a public park club called "Teen Club" for 2 1/2 years. My duties included community service with kids, supervising summer camp, and hosting different events at the park for the kids.
Thoughts on teaching: Teaching is great opportunity to build confidence and meet new people. The ability share your knowledge, experiences, and ideas with others is remarkable. I find much satisfaction in knowing that I have influenced someone's life for the better.
Thoughts on the environment: Planet earth is an extraordinary and unique place, just like each of us. We wouldn't be alive if Earth didn't exist; therefore we have to take care of our planet, conserving its well-being.
Movie: The Great Gatsby, The Notebook & Forrest Gump
Music: Kings of Leon, Coldplay, Mariah Carey & Rihanna
Hobby: Hiking, Beach Cruising & hanging out with my family
Other Languages: Spanish
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I worked for an after school enrichment program and for the Jewish Community Center for several years. Here I was responsible for picking up teenagers from middle schools and high schools. I created various activities to keep them engaged and assisted them with homework. I was also required to write weekly reports regarding improvements.
Thoughts on teaching: A Good teacher Explains ... A Superior teacher Demonstrates ... A GREAT teacher Inspires.
The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as we continue to live.
Thoughts on the environment: The environment is the most important resource for life. We get water, power and oxygen from the environment. It helps to clear pollution and is a large habitat for animals. There are simple ways we can help save the environment; plant more trees, walk more drive less, maintain our vehicles to reduce pollution, save water, recycle and reuse, but most importantly by creating awareness.
Movie: Apollo 13, Forrest Gump, Star Wars Saga, Tron & Transformers
Music: The Beatles, Queen, Frank Sinatra, Death Cab for Cutie & Foo Fighters
Hobby: Star gazing with my telescope, Basketball, Hiking, Jogging & Roller Blading
Other Languages: Spanish & currently learning French
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I interned for 6 months at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA working with students of all ages helping them understand the importance of space exploration and manned space flight. I also tutored teens in Astronomy, Science and Biology.
Thoughts on teaching: Even before being an instructor with Drivers Ed Direct I loved teaching and mentoring those around me. Something I would say to my students at NASAs JPL is that anything is possible as long as you believe it is possible. With practice, determination and conviction you can achieve your goals and that is how I approach my students behind the wheel.
Thoughts on the environment: Our home planet Earth is like a beautiful jewel in the universe and unfortunately we don't take care of it as well as we should. I firmly believe that all of us have a responsibility as tenants on this beautiful planet. We need to personally do our part to help the environment and start with the small things that may not seem to matter at first.
Movie: Back To the Future I, II and III, Horrible Bosses, The Hangover, My Cousin Vinny & Hot Fuzz
Music: Wasted Penguinz, Abandon All Ships, Linkin Park, Metric & Eminem
Hobby: I'm into sports and fitness. I love hockey and my favorite team is the 2012 Stanley Cup Champion, Los Angeles Kings. I enjoy cycling and photography as well.
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I worked as a summer camp counselor for three years. I worked with pre-teen and teenagers in many different facets, including team building exercises, art and crafts & many different sports.
Thoughts on teaching: I am very excited to share my knowledge and experience with others...it is very rewarding to help mankind.
Thoughts on the environment: Trying to save our environment in any way possible is vital for our well-being.
Movie: A Hard Day's Night, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, It's Kind of a Funny Story, Where the Wild Things Are & Two Weeks Notice
Music: One Direction, 5 Seconds of Summer, Mumford & Sons, Ed Sheeran & Taylor Swift
Hobby: I love to crochet, knit, read, learn new languages and being a fangirl.
Other Languages: French and a little bit of Korean.
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I have experience as a French tutor to students of all ages ranging from young children to adults. Also, many of my friends have younger siblings. I love taking them under my wing, whether it's helping them with homework or just being someone they can talk to.
Thoughts on teaching: I think teaching is one of the most important ways to be a part of my community. I wholeheartedly believe that it takes a village to raise a child, and I think it's a privilege to have a part in assisting teenagers to grow into mature, responsible adults.
Thoughts on the environment: This planet is so beautiful, and I think that each one of us has a responsibility to do our part to keep it that way.
Movie: The Wedding Singer, Star Wars, The Phantom of the Opera, My Big Fat Greek Wedding & Nacho Libre
Music: AFI, Thrice, Justin Timberlake, Arctic Monkeys & OneRepublic
Hobby: During my free time, aside from drawing/sketching, hiking, swimming, and dancing, I enjoy traveling, photography, going to the beach to play beach volleyball and playing my guitar.
Other Languages: Spanish, American Sign Language (ASL)
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I am a hardworking, responsible, and patient individual who enjoys teaching useful skills to others. I have years of experience working with people of different ages, both children and adults. I went to college to earn a degree in American Sign Language Interpreting so I can be of aid to the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community and American Sign Language students as a translator and tutor. While in college, I worked at Starbucks and learned -- and later taught -- the art of coffee and latte making, which surprisingly, is no easy task. I also volunteered -- and continue to do so -- as an ASL teacher/tutor to those wishing to learn or improve their signing skills. It was during this time, that I realized how much I truly enjoy being able to teach others the skills I possess so they too can be successful. My easy going, laid back and fun personality helps me to not only bond with my student, but make my teaching really enjoyable, and most importantly, instructive at the same time.
Thoughts on teaching: To be an effective teacher, I believe that having a student feel at home is one of the most important parts of teaching. This will enable the student to listen, remember and practice the good guidance they are being given. It also allows the teacher to be a better coach, and creates a bond with the student. This is where I, as the teacher, have to make sure that I not only teach them what they need to know, but treat the student with respect and dignity so they can effortlessly practice what they learn.
Thoughts on the environment: It is important for us to do what we can to preserve the beauty of our planet for our future and those who will live after us.
Movie: The Fifth Element, Angel-A, Léon: The Professional, Inglourious Basterds & All-Star Superman
Music: Madlib, Mos Def, Erykah Badu, John Coltrane & The Roots
Hobby: I enjoy watching shows, and interviews, and reading articles, books, etc., that engage and reveal the essence of topics and people. Mix in some weightlifting, sneaker blogs, video games, literary and visual art, and good conversation... I'd say that equates to a pretty cool day.
Teaching/Mentoring experience: My most consistent experience teaching/mentoring came when I worked at a special needs school. The student body consisted of elementary, middle, and high-school students. The students had various needs and diagnoses ranging from emotionally disturbed, bipolar, ADHD, and severe learning disabilities. I assisted them in formal education, as well as in enrichment classes. During my time there I further learned how effective sincerity is, whether it was time spent with the little children or teenagers. When you really want to help someone, if you mean it and they know you mean it that is where true refining can begin.
Thoughts on teaching: I believe teaching must possess certain attributes; a quality environment, for example, where students can be encouraged, have fun, and are given room to be expressive and learn from their mistakes. This type of atmosphere allows the student to relax so that the lesson may be well received and acted upon. The teacher and student are both learning and doing the lesson together.
Thoughts on the environment: Our environment is one of the most majestic things on the earth, from the sounds of thunder and rainfall to the scent of wildflowers. It is here to support us and teach us many things. It contains elements of life and death and life again. We see time through its seasons, and taste the food of its rich ground. It is a mother and a father to us, demanding respect, nurturing, hot, cold, deep, tall, wide, and hot and cold again. It shows us the consequences of being irresponsible. We must honor it with our actions.
Movie: Spotlight, Lord of the Rings, Master and Commander, Southpaw & The Godfather
Music: Iration, Stick Figure, Afrojack, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Ed Sheeran
Hobby: In my free time I enjoy mountain biking, surfing, and hiking. I love to explore nature when I can.
Other Languages: Spanish
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I am a hard-working, determined individual with several years of experience working with kids of all ages. For four years I worked as a lifeguard and the head swim coach for the Reseda pool Novice summer league team coaching and mentoring kids from ages 8 to 18. In the fall of 2015 I was hired as the head coach of the women's water polo team at Fairview High School in Pennsylvania. During that time I also worked with the Young Broadcasters of America mentorship program which gave me the opportunity to show kids the ins and outs of working in the radio and television industries. I presently coach the John F. Kennedy high school swim team.
Thoughts on teaching: I believe that it is better looked at as coaching rather than teaching. When I am coaching my student I am constantly seeking to help the student improve while enjoying their experience, thus building a bond that will leave the student with a memorable experience.
Thoughts on the environment: It is the duty of every individual to help preserve our planet however we can. Nature provides us with so many wonders and beautiful sights every day.
Movie: Forest Gump, Nacho Libre, Ruby Sparks, The Outsiders & Little Miss Sunshine
Music: Arctic Monkeys, La Santa Cecilia, Lo Blondo, James Bay & Saint Motel
Hobby: In my free time I love going on hikes with friends, visiting botanical gardens and trying out new foods.
Other Languages: Spanish
Teaching/Mentoring experience: At a young age, I would volunteer to teach others. I recently worked as an English tutor. I helped the students reach their goals, which were to learn the rules of the language and practice using it in everyday life. Currently, I am studying to work with children with special needs. Therefore, I occasionally visit schools to observe and learn from the professionals and students on how to mentor these children.
Thoughts on teaching: I love learning new things and you always will learn something new when you teach. In addition, I believe teaching should be made fun and enjoyable for the student. That way both parties have a great experience!
Thoughts on the environment: We only get one planet Earth. We should do everything we can to keep it clean and healthy.
Movie: Psycho, All That Jazz, The Graduate, Amadeus & Finding Nemo
Music: You name it: Beethoven to James Brown, Little Richard to Diana Krall
Hobby: Movies, NBA basketball (Lakers), travel & reading
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I was a Teachers Assistant in college at USC, and I taught video/film production to teenagers in Middle & High School.
Thoughts on Teaching: I think teaching is one of the most elegant forms of generosity there is. We all know something, so why not share it?
Thoughts on the environment: I can't control what others do. But I can control what I do, and I choose to take a small step and do what I can. Maybe my small step will inspire someone else to do the same. I wonder what would happen if 5 or 6 billion people all take a step.
Movie: Les Misérables, Fargo, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Uncle Buck & World War Z
Music: Maroon 5, Sugarland, Rascal Flatts, Guns N' Roses & Mötley Crüe
Hobby: In my free time I teach tap dance as well as perform and direct stage productions in theatre and dance. I work on film sets, and do quite a bit of writing.
Other Languages: German
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I am a hardworking, intelligent, and patient individual who has had many years of experience working with children and adults of all ages. I teach Tap and Irish dance at Evolution Dance Studios in North Hollywood, CA. I have taught students at the collegiate level in the arts and in theater.
Thoughts on teaching: When I teach I think of it more as guidance and a group effort. The student and I learn together, develop together to form a solution to what's being taught. That's why I avoid lecture classes. I believe in a group experience so that each student is receiving 100% of my attention in the classroom, studio, and even in the car. Learning should be fun, relaxed and efficient.
Thoughts on the environment: I feel in order to save this great planet of ours, we all have to work together to keep the planet clean and to stop wasting resources.
Movie: Star Wars, Top Gun, Man on Fire & Inception
Music: Blink-182, Silverstein, Flosstradamus & UZ
Hobby: I am always listening to music in whatever I do. I enjoy hiking around the canyons. In my free time I like to help out on film sets, seeing a project come together is pretty exciting.
Teaching/Mentoring experience: As a teenager I was involved in the BSA and was a leader amongst my peers. I was in charge of organizing events, camp outs, and merit badge instruction. As an adult I worked for an after school program through my county's sheriff's department. I helped elementary, jr. high and high school kids with their homework, school projects or came up with activities for them to do while waiting to be picked up from school.
Thoughts on teaching: I've learned a lot from mentors, teachers, or instructors I've had myself. I feel I have a lot of knowledge to pass on to others, doing so in fun relaxed way. Being able to teach someone something new is always a feel good experience because I know how it is to be in the student's seat.
Thoughts on the environment: I love all animals and wildlife. It's sad how many animals and forests have gone extinct over the years. If we all do our part equally and try to live better ourselves, I believe we can create a better environment.
Movie: The Count of Monte Cristo, Stardust, El Dorado, The Usual Suspects, 24 & G.O.T.
Music: Mutemath, Andy Hunter, Calvin Harris, Muse, Ellie Goulding & Switchfoot
Hobby: I just can't get enough of Ultimate Frisbee during the summer, and I'll read anything by Jim Butcher. I also enjoy my FPS and RPG games on PS4, and every now and then I tinker around with clay and claim it's a ceramics project.
Teaching/Mentoring experience: Since High School, I have spent many years volunteering at the local youth center near my home in the Bay Area. At this center, my mentor once told me that a true Teacher/Mentor is a treasure hunter. Their job is to find gold buried within someone and dig it up. So as cheesy as it may sound, I believe everyone has gold within them, and by that I mean something unique and special to that person that is worth discovering.
Thoughts on teaching: Driving is a privilege and bestows responsibility. As an instructor with Drivers Ed Direct, I aim to set students up for success with a safe and constructive environment in which to train. I am very down to earth, and I teach how I like to be taught, with respect.
Thoughts on the environment: During my lifetime, I would like to see a city completely powered by clean energy. I know we still have a long road ahead, but I believe the future of our planet depends on the choices we make over the next 100 years.
Movie: Mulan, Ace Ventura Pet Detective, Identity Thief, Rush Hour & White Chicks
Music: Maroon 5, Queen, Nickelback, Lady Antebellum & Taylor Swift
Hobby: Chess, Fixing computers, Surfing the Web, Scrabble & Cooking
Other Languages: Spanish
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I have worked with youth in after school programs teaching them art, Spanish, cooking and other fun activities.
Thoughts on teaching: Teaching somebody else so that they can learn something new and excel at it is rewarding and fills my spirit. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to share my knowledge with others that want to learn and grow.
Thoughts on the environment: The environment is a significant part of our everyday life. I do my best to reduce my own carbon footprint and share with others on how they can do the same.
Movie: Jurassic Park, Transformers, Casablanca, I Am Legend & Cinema Paradiso
Music: Linkin Park, Frank Sinatra, Jack Johnson, Bob Marley & Rage Against The Machine
Hobby: In my free time I like to go hiking or heading out to the beach, also working on cars.
Other Languages: Spanish
Teaching/Mentoring experience: For the past few years I have been doing community service for a non-profit organization. I have also been a teacher's aide, helping younger kids with math.
Thoughts on teaching: I believe that you must share your knowledge with the world so everyone can grow and progress.
Thoughts on the environment: I think humanity as a whole has to put effort to preserve our planet earth, so future generations can enjoy this world.
Movie: O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Tombstone, Dazed and Confused, Pulp Fiction & Trainspotting
Music: Guns N' Roses, Metallica, Dream Theater, Pink Floyd and Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
Hobby: Cycling, mountain biking, tennis, golf, photography & building model cars
Other Languages: Spanish, learning Armenian
Teaching/Mentoring experience: As a teen, I spent some time as a counselor at a summer day camp. During college, I tutored students in a variety of subjects.
Thoughts on teaching: There is something special about teaching--to be there when a student finally "gets it" is a truly gratifying experience; it honors me to be a part of that process.
Thoughts on the environment: We only have one Earth; we should do our best to take care of it so future generations can enjoy all it has to offer.
Movie: Into the Wild & 127 Hours
Music: Indie, Noah Gundersen, Van Morrison & Indigo Girls
Hobby: In my free time, I enjoy hiking and backpacking. I've climbed Mount Whitney three times and trekked Half Dome and many areas of Yosemite on numerous occasions as well as Zion, the south and north rims of the Grand Canyon and a number of locations in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma.
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I both volunteered at a live in shelter for teens in Los Angeles and then worked there for over three years. My volunteer experience with kids and teens has run the gamut from art enrichment for children in Costa Rica to art workshops for teens in LA to serving families for over a year at the Los Angeles Midnight Mission. I enjoy working with kids of all ages and believe the exchange of ideas and knowledge is priceless.
Thoughts on teaching: I believe the best moments in a learning environment are achieved when enthusiasm and fun fuel the quest. Coaching, or the sharing of specific skill sets, is the goal but the feeling of competence upon conquering new terrain is of equal value.
Thoughts on the environment: Any thoughts I would have on the environment could never be expressed as beautifully as John Muir's, "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." That says it.
Movie: The Notebook, Little Miss Sunshine, Legends of the Fall, Hotel Rwanda, Pay it Forward, Saw (from Little Miss Sunshine to Saw??). I could go on, but I won't.
Music: Flight of the Concords
Hobby: Traveling, Rollerblading, Shopping, perezhilton.com (I know, shameful), Movies, Game Nights
Teaching/Mentoring experience: Teaching students to drive is such a rewarding experience. Seeing the look on a student's face when they finally get that turn right or that stop nice and smooth is one of the most satisfying moments in teaching. It's so amazing what can be accomplished within a 2-hour lesson, and at the end the student beams with pride at their behind-the-wheel accomplishments. Sometimes being taught by fantastic teachers is all the experience one needs to be just as fabulous. I've had some pretty incredible teachers in my life -- actually I still do. I'm learning something new everyday, and I plan to use those experiences to teach others just as fantastically (yes, fantastically is a word -- and kinda' fun to say)!
Thoughts on teaching: When I thought back to the subjects in school that were the most interesting and fun to learn, I realized that it wasn't so much the subjects as it was the teachers. It's amazing what a difference the right kind of teacher can make. Learning should be fun, no matter what the subject. I'd like to be remembered for making learning an exciting and fulfilling experience.
Thoughts on the environment: Have you ever gone for a drive right after a really windy day and thought you were going the wrong way because things didn't look familiar? Then you realized that you're not on the wrong freeway or street, it's just that it's so clear outside that you can actually see a lot farther and things look, well, different? Well, if we don't clean up our acts and begin to cherish our environment, the next generation won't even have that!
Movie: Titanic, Fast and Furious, The Pursuit of Happyness, & Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
Music: Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, Shakira, & Mariah Carey
Hobby: In my free time I enjoy tinkering with cars, exercise, trying new foods and traveling the world.
Other Languages: Armenian
Teaching/Mentoring experience: I used to train volunteers that would donate their time to the elderly living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Also, I used to coach my little brother's soccer team.
Thoughts on teaching: I believe that people learn best when they are in a happy and comfortable environment. Therefore I prefer a more relaxed teaching style where we slow down to a pace that is ideal for the individual. A bit of guidance, patience and explanation gets the job done.
Thoughts on the environment: I feel that we all hold an important responsibility in preserving our environment. There are many little things we can change in our daily lives that will go a long way for the future well-being of our planet.
How did your lessons go?