Student Ambassadors’ Exclusive Interview with ECSF Center Director, Ryan Hisamoto

Ryan Hisamoto, EC San Francisco’s new center director, joins the Student Ambassadors during their weekly meeting. Ryan shares his vision for the school and answers some questions from the student ambassadors. Here’s a chance to read the exclusive interview. Fehime’s Questions What experience do you have managing? I have managed the Kaplan San Francisco school, Kaplan LA-Westwood school, and Kaplan LA-Whittier College school. Together, there’s about five years of managing schools. Before that, I managed Housing and Activities for Kaplan Berkeley. I feel very comfortable as a manager and very much enjoy working with people and students.     What has been your biggest professional achievement? Kaplan LA-Whittier College carried #1 survey results in the country for our company. We ran the happiest center in North America out of 23 schools—I was very proud of that.     What do you want to change in EC SF ? It’s not so much that I want to “change” things. I do feel like there’s a lot of good practices and people here. But I’m open to trying new things to make the student experience better. That starts with listening and interacting more with students. I’ll always keep my door open to all of you. I will tell you that I’m very committed to seeing this center be a special place for students and we’ll always continue to push ourselves to make things better. I think you’ll notice lots of little changes—you can probably assume I was somewhat involved. I’ll say in a few weeks, I think graduation will be a lot of fun.     Have you ever been an English teacher? For how many years? I was an English Teacher in China for one year and in the U.S. (high school) for one year. Elvira’s Questions Have you ever lived … Read more

Peace out, Misa!

  It was another incredible week at EC San Francisco and we had to say goodbye to many wonderful, long time, and not so long time students. While there are too many to name in this blog, I will make a very special shout out to Misa, a great member of our school who has become an integral part of our school’s identity. Misa has been at our school for almost a year now and has filled a variety of roles including those of a student, student ambassador, and a volunteer working our administrative desk at the front of the school. While she was a great student, she especially excelled as a student ambassador and helped to foster a sense of family and camaraderie among the students in ways that were truly special. Unsurprisingly, Misa set a new standard for excellence when she became a volunteer and managed the front desk with another EC San Francisco all-star, Kanami. Misa and Kanami have been on the frontlines of our school and provided an immeasurable amount of support to students and staff alike. Misa, it is with great sadness and optimism that all of us at EC San Francisco bid you farewell and much success in your next adventure. You will always have a home and family in your City by the Bay. Peace out, Misa! Your EC San Francisco family

Prince Charles – ECSF’s teaching royalty

He’s statuesque by nature (really, really tall), but don’t ask him if he plays basketball. Charles is effortlessly poetic. He’s well read, witty, and he can eat burrito in a minute. Charles is one of EC San Francisco’s great teachers. How do I know? Well, the other day I was looking for inspiration. I was walking around our school when I happened to pass by Charles’ class. As I was strolling by I couldn’t help but notice that his students were all attentive and engaged. Impulsively, I decided to enter the room. With my camera in hand and the wink of my left eye, Charles knew that I was up to something. He kindly offered me a seat and I sat down. What an exciting moment! After two months of working with EC as the Accommodations Coordinator, I had never experienced classroom life. What an interesting and fun perspective I was thinking. The topic for the class was prince charming. The question was posed, “What does prince charming look like”? I had not envisioned how interesting this topic this would turn out to be. With so many different personalities and cultures in the class, the discussion set off quickly. The responses were as diverse as the class itself. In the end I saw students utilizing many grammatical structures that were covered in their CORE classes, and I didn’t see students who were afraid of making mistakes. Participation was at 100 percent. It was a great experience for me and I took a some great shots of Charles while he wasn’t looking 🙂  After sitting through one of his classes at ECSF, you might think he was royalty. He is very popular and well respected. Most importantly about his students, they love his class. His lessons are well crafted, and his … Read more

Farewell Seiya!

Hi ECSF students and readers, Today it is with great sadness that ECSF must once again say goodbye to another great intern and team member, Seiya. Seiya has been a phenomenal part of ECSF this summer and has put more effort and dedication into her work than any of us at EC could have imagined. While the summer is a calm time at most schools, at ECSF it’s the busiest and most hectic time of the year. Through the hustle and bustle of making it to class and avoiding the occasional BART strike, Seiya has been there with a great smile and professional demeanor that few people have matched. Seiya has displayed an incredible amount warmth and professionalism while holding down the fort that is the reception desk at ECSF. She has always gone above and beyond the call of duty and set a new standard for excellence at our school. Her interest in cross-cultural communication skills has been incredibly helpful to students and teachers alike and for that we all truly thank her. Seiya, all of us at ECSF wish you the very best in your future endeavors, in which we know you will succeed. You will always have a home here in San Francisco. Teacher Tim  

Meet Accommodations Coordinator Erik Kahn

Hello Everyone! My name is Erik Kahn and I am the new Accommodations Coordinator with EC San Francisco. I have been with EC for little over a month and I must admit that I love our school. The city of San Francisco has a wonderful mix of nationalities and unique personalities, and so does our school. I moved to San Francisco 3 months ago and I absolutely love this city. Every weekend I find it difficult to decide what I should do, solely because there are so many fun things to do. The city has great festivals, nightlife, culture, and food! I would like to also mention that California is one of the most beautiful states in the USA. Here you can find some of the most amazing and beautiful mountains, beaches, deserts, forests, and lakes in the world. When I first moved to California, I worked as a crew leader for The American Conservation Experience. I led volunteers on conservation projects throughout California’s many beautiful parks. One of My favorite places to go is Big Sur! Below is a picture I took from my last hike in the Ventana Wilderness. My girlfriend and I drove down Highway 101 to the Kirk Creek campground. From there we hiked 5 miles to the Vincente Flat Campground and stayed the night. In the picture below you can see that we are above the clouds! SO BEAUTIFUL! We hiked through clouds and ravines of redwood trees to make it to this beautiful spot. This gorgoeous flower comes from a Yucca plant. If anyone has questions about taking this hike or going on similar hikes, you can find me at school.

Senior Teacher, Intermediate level English course in San Francisco

Hi, I’m Karl, a Senior Teacher here at EC.  In addition to currently teaching the Advanced class and the Cambridge FCE, I teach an Intermediate level English course in San Francisco (Intermediate Writing, here at EC San Francisco).  I think it’s a great place to work and study, and I’ve been around. I started off as an actor.  My wife and I had our own small theater for four years, and then spent over five years in Hollywood, where I acted in film and television (yes, I actually spoke!).  When we moved back to San Francisco, we both took a course in how to teach English as a Foreign Language.  Then I was hired by the same school to teach the course, as well as teaching English as a Second Language.  Most of my work was training new teachers in how to teach. In a few years, I decided to become a public school teacher,   In addition to teaching ESL, I also spent a lot of time training experienced teachers in how to become better teachers.  When I returned to teaching adult ESL after ten years in public school, I once again was helping good teachers become better teachers. I recently finished a Master’s Degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from USC, where, frequently, students in the program with me would seek my advice and help because of my experience in putting theory into practice in real classrooms with real students.  I was really delighted to find I was at the top of my class, and to have my fellow students honestly thank me for my contributions to our group.  Now, at EC San Francisco, my knowledge and ideas are being shared with many other experienced teachers, who in turn share their best ideas with me.  … Read more