Teachers

Octavi

Full name:
Octavi Sanchez

What do you like to be called?
Octavi

Where are you from?
Barcelona

When did you move to the US?
2015

How long have you been teaching at PBO?
Since 2015

What do you enjoy about teaching at PBO?
The conversational approach and the passion students have to learn Spanish

Describe your teaching style:
 I like to teach in a very informal and laid-back way, but at the same time provide answers to all the questions my students might have, grammatical, cultural or related to the vocabulary

What level classes do you teach?
All levels

Do you teach classes at PBO, online, or both?
At PBO

What was your college major?
Bachelors Degree in Translation and Interpreting

Tell us a bit about your family:
I have a younger brother. He lives in Barcelona. My parents live there too

How would you describe your personality?
I’m friendly, approachable, humorous, and patient

What do you like to do with your free time?
Read books, practice languages, walk, meet friends

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
Octavi is very humble and wouldn’t mention this, but I, Caro, am adding that he speaks 7 languages: Catalan, Spanish, English, French, Italian, Korean & Japanese. He also studied German, but doesn’t really use it).

Student Reviews for Octavi:

  • Class has been going very well. Octavi does a great job helping us work through words/ideas we do not know how to communicate yet and the entire class is set up so everyone feels comfortable speaking too!  -JJ
  • I LOVE my classes with Octavi, he’s the best! I have noticed a huge improvement in my Spanish-speaking and comprehension over the last nine months and am excited to continue my development!  -Eric G.
  • I am enjoying the classes very much and Octavi is great! He’s a very engaging, patient and fun instructor.  -Tisha B.

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IMG-20170117-WA0011

Full name
Lorena Verduzco

What do you like to be called?
Lorena

Where are you from?
I’m from Colima, Mexico

When did you move to the US?
In late 2001

How long have you been teaching at PBO?
I’ve been teaching at PBO since November, 2016

What do you enjoy about teaching at PBO? 

What I enjoy the most is being around interesting people. I love to listen to the stories and life experiences that students share with us.

Describe your teaching style: 

I like to make sure my students learn something new every day. I am patient and my goal is to create an environment where my students feel comfortable learning Spanish. I also love to help my students improve their diction and pronunciation skills.

What level classes do you teach?
I teach all levels from beginner to advanced.

Do you teach classes at PBO, online, or both?
I teach in-person classes at PBO.

What was your college major?
I graduated summa cum laude from SDSU with a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. I am currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Spanish at SDSU.

Tell us a bit about your family:
I love my family, my husband and our two wonderful children.

How would you describe your personality?
I love to talk and enjoy being around people. I am patient and a bit of a perfectionist!

What do you like to do with your free time?
I love to spend time with my family. I always have new projects in mind… I never get bored 🙂

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
I am really thrilled to be a part of PBO and to have the opportunity to teach Spanish, my native language. My work makes me smile every day.

Student Reviews for Lorena:

  • Lorena has been fantastic! She is encouraging, helpful and nonjudgmental.  -Shannon F.
  • A mi me gusta mi clase mucho! Lorena es una maestra muy buena!  -Ellen G.
  • Lorena is an amazing teacher — she is so pleasant and makes the classes really fun. Can’t wait for the next one.  -Rick B.

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Full name
Gracia Lino

What do you like to be called?
Gracia

Where are you from?
Tijuana

When did you move to the US?
2004

How long have you been teaching at PBO?
Since 2015

What do you enjoy about teaching at PBO?
The relaxed environment is what I enjoy the most. I also get to know very interesting people; students have interesting stories! 

Describe your teaching style:
I would say that my teaching style is relaxed, but I can always be strict if necessary. I do adjust my style to my students’ necessities. 

What level classes do you teach?
I teach all levels. 

Do you teach classes at PBO, online, or both?
I currently teach at PBO

What was your college major?
Spanish Linguistics and Literature 

Tell us a bit about your family:
My Dad’s family lives in Tijuana and my mom’s family lives in Durango. I see them whenever I have the opportunity. I only have one younger sister who lives in Tijuana; we are completely different but we do get along 🙂 

How would you describe your personality?
I think I’m a good listener, which helps the students relax (I hope). I’m also very patient (only when I’m teaching Spanish, though!), and I tend to be very curious; if I ask you something about yourself it’s because I genuinely want to know. I have a serious face most of the time, but it’s just because I’m probably thinking about food 🙂 

What do you like to do with your free time?
I love stories, and because of that I spend much of my free time reading, watching a good TV show, or just listening to my students. I also enjoy baking (desserts) every once in a while, and go to Tijuana to eat, of course! 

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
I love ice cream 🍦

Student Reviews for Gracia:

  • Gracia creates a relaxed atmosphere and is very patient with my embryonic Spanish. Each hour feels not like a class but instead like a real-life conversation.  -Bruce A.
  • I really like my classes with Gracia. She tends to talk a little less, which forces me to talk more, and she uses the Socratic method to answer questions — before she answers a question she first asks me questions to see if she can lead me to the answer rather than just answering it directly right away. That helps me remember things.  -Ray R.
  • Gracia is very nice and makes the learning easy! She helps us learn new ways to say sentences and how to pronounce the words.  -Maria W.

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adripbo (1)

Full name:
Adriana Brunner

What do you like to be called?
Adri

Where are you from?
Medellín, Colombia

When did you move to the US?
2001

How long have you been teaching at PBO?
Since 2014

What do you enjoy about teaching at PBO?
I love that PB0 is a true community

Describe your teaching style:
Energetic and outside the box

What level classes do you teach?
All levels

Do you teach classes at PBO, online, or both?
Both

What was your college major?
BS Economics, Master in Finance, MBA

Tell us a bit about your family:
I have a daughter and a Bichon dog 

How would you describe your personality?
I am energetic, creative, and easy to connect with

What do you like to do with your free time?
I like to go out, and travel with my family

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
I love to share cultural experiences as well as historical aspects with PBO students

Student Reviews for Adri:

  • Adri is a gem!  -David F.
  • I could listen to Adri talk all day! I love her energy and enthusiasm.  -MaryJo G.
  • De Roxie H: Adri es extraordinaria.  -Roxie H.

 

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Vanessa Suárez Cely bio photo

Full name
Vanessa Suárez Cely

What do you like to be called?
Vane

Where are you from?
Bogotá, Colombia

When did you move to the US?
April 2016

How long have you been teaching at PBO?
Since November 2017

What do you enjoy about teaching at PBO?
I love to see how motivated and excited students are about learning Spanish, the warm and inclusive environment at PBO helps them to feel comfortable enough to overcome the fear of making mistakes and interact. I also enjoy learning new things from students and teachers.

Describe your teaching style:
My goal is to encourage and help students to enhance their communicative skills in Spanish and in this way contribute to their personal growth. Students are all different, they have individual learning styles, needs, interests and goals. Therefore, I plan my classes with this in mind to decide what might work best for every one of them. 

What level classes do you teach?
I teach beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. 

Do you teach classes at PBO, online, or both?
I teach only online classes now

What was your college major?
I have a bachelor’s degree in Philology and Languages (major in French) and a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics.

Tell us a bit about your family:
I have a big extended family, around 40 people. I am very close to my mother, sisters and brother. I am married and I live with my husband. 

How would you describe your personality?
I am a calm, patient and adaptable person. I enjoy listening to people’s stories, I always try to understand others’ feelings and perspectives. I think this helps me make better decisions.

What do you like to do with your free time?
I enjoy going to the movies, plays, concerts, and museums. I also like discovering new restaurants and music. 

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
Get ready to start or continue your Spanish Learning Journey!
I would love to help you, see you online!

Student Reviews for Vanessa:

  • Vanessa is amazing. I have wanted for a long time to learn Spanish but have never been brave enough to put the want into action. Vanessa made that easy. She was kind in her approach and understood how shy yet eager I was to learn.  -Angela C.
  • Me gustan mis clases de espanol! La maestra Vanessa es muy buena maestra.  -Kathryn G.
  • I really enjoy working with Vanessa and plan to continue to work with her (and practice on my own as well) to continue to make progress.  -Alexis S.

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Full name
Daniela Aguilar

What do you like to be called?
Daniela

Where are you from?
Mexico City

When did you move to the US?
February 2016

How long have you been teaching at PBO?
Since 2017

What do you enjoy about teaching at PBO?
The sense of community! I love to be surrounded by creative smart, motivated and fun people. All my students inspire me every day, and my colleagues are very encouraging. I love learning new things and PBO gives me an environment where I am always learning even things about my own language. 

Describe your teaching style:
My main goal is to provide a safe and creative space where my students could feel confident developing the skills that they need to learn Spanish.  Learning a language can be hard but also fun!

What level classes do you teach?
All levels 

Do you teach classes at PBO, online, or both?
Both

What was your college major?
Biology 

Tell us a bit about your family:
My family is huge! I have wonderful parents, a crazy little sister, loving grandparents and tons of fun cousins. Unfortunately all of them live in Mexico. Here, in the states I share my life with my amazing husband and 32 indoor plants. 

How would you describe your personality?
I am a little introverted but I love to spend quality time with my loved ones. 

What do you like to do with your free time?
I enjoy walking or running outside. Also, I like reading and watching suspense and drama movies. 

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
“A different language is a different vision of life”

Student Reviews for Daniela:

  • Daniela is a really friendly and helpful teacher and is great at listening and helping the students to converse. It’s been challenging but a good learning experience.  -Monique M.
  • Daniela does a great job — she’s easy to understand and she’s fun to talk with.  -Doug
  • You found a superstar when you hired Daniela as a teacher!!  -David E.

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Full name
Susanna Llop-Jover

What do you like to be called?
Susanna

Where are you from?
Barcelona, Spain

When did you move to the US?
In 1992

How long have you been teaching at PBO?
Since 2013

What do you enjoy about teaching at PBO?
I love our students. They are fun, passionate about what they do and they are also interesting people. 

Describe your teaching style:
I believe I am engaging, and generally laid back but doing everything possible to make the students feel comfortable and learning in class. I also try to make classes fun and enjoyable. 

What level classes do you teach?
All levels

Do you teach classes at PBO, online, or both?
I teach at PBO but I might teach online in the future

What was your college major?
Social work with an emphasis in Socio-Cultural work

Tell us a bit about your family:
My family is my daughter, Victoria and also my mother and 5 siblings, who live in Spain. I obviously have a big family. We are 26 people.

How would you describe your personality?
I am generally a good communicator, and something between an extroverted and introverted. I feel well most of the time, sometimes I am a listener and sometimes a talker. 

What do you like to do with your free time?
I like walking, cooking, traveling and spending time with my friends and daughter.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
Pura Buena Onda is a fantastic school. We have a great group of teachers and I feel we all are on the same page. Making sure our students learn and enjoy as much as possible in the process of becoming fluent in Spanish.

Student Reviews for Susanna:

  • My hour with Susanna is the best hour of my week.  -Chris M.
  • Me gusta mucho las clases con Susanna.  -Laura F.
  • Susanna is wonderful and the class was very welcoming.  -Amy H.

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Full name:
Anna Guadarrama

What do you like to be called?
Anna

Where are you from?
I was born in the US to Mexican parents and have spoken Spanish my entire life. I also lived in Mexico for a few years.

When did you move to the US?
I grew up in Utah and after graduating from my university I moved to Guanajuato, Mexico. Upon returning to the US I moved to San Diego.

How long have you been teaching at PBO?
For 1 year starting July 2017. Excited to be back!

What do you enjoy about teaching at PBO?
Among many reasons, it is that I feel similar to how I felt living in Mexico. There is an organic sense of embracement, warmth, and collectiveness that coexists within the work environment PBO and its team has created, providing me with a sense of being home.

Describe your teaching style:
Conversation and immersion is key. Speaking through immersion allows students to feel and get used to how the language moves their jaw muscles, throat, and facial expressions, while also gaining confidence in their conversational abilities. We will practice conversational and immersion methods while having a good time and laughing along the way.

Which classes do you teach?
Specialize in beginners and will be teaching levels A1-A2-A3 both live and online.

What was your college major?
International Studies and Spanish.

Tell us a bit about your family:
About half of my family (extended family and beyond included) lives in Mexico and half lives in Utah. I visit as often as possible and invite my family to visit me as well.

How would you describe your personality?
I am open, encouraging, and patient with others. I love learning and constantly improving!

What do you like to do with free time?
Family, yoga, nature, dance, travel… repeat 🙂

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Full name
Laura Kalikian-Walker

What do you like to be called?
Laura

Where are you from?
Buenos Aires, Argentina

When did you move to the US?
I moved to the US in 2012

How long have you been teaching at PBO?
I taught at PBO in 2013 and 2014. I had to move out of state in 2015 but now I’m back, in 2019!

What do you enjoy about teaching at PBO?
I love the relaxed, open, and flexible style PBO offers because it makes teaching and learning a language a unique experience that is not easily found in other language schools. I also like the sense of community PBO provides, together with meeting such dedicated and committed students.

Describe your teaching style:
I like to provide a fun and dynamic learning environment. Learning a language is a great experience but it can also be frustrating at times, so I like to offer a relaxed and safe space for my students to feel comfortable and confident about their learning process.

What level classes do you teach?
I teach all levels. 

Do you teach classes at PBO, online, or both?
For the time being, I only teach at PBO but I’m planning on offering online classes soon.

What was your college major?
My major was in English and Spanish Literature and Linguistics. I’m currently doing an M.A. in Linguistics.

Tell us a bit about your family:
My family is in Buenos Aires, Argentina and I visit them once a year. Here in San Diego, I live with my husband and our cat, Kenny.

How would you describe your personality?
I’m friendly, outgoing, yet shy at the same time. I’m very expressive and I love humor. 

What do you like to do with your free time?
I like learning languages and learning about languages, but specifically, I love learning the pronunciation and dialectal varieties. I also love singing and playing instruments. I also enjoy getting together with friends and traveling.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
I teach both English and Spanish, and I also specialize in teaching pronunciation.

 

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Full name
Lorena Padilla

What do you like to be called?
Lore

Where are you from?
Mexico

When did you move to the US?
2010

How long have you been teaching at PBO?
Since 2012

What do you enjoy about teaching at PBO?
Meeting new people

Describe your teaching style:
Relaxed, easy-going

What level classes do you teach?
From beginner to advanced

Do you teach classes at PBO, online, or both?
Only Online now

What was your college major?
BS in Communication

Tell us a bit about your family:
I have 3 brothers, I´m the only girl, I have also 2 dogs, my perrhijos. 

How would you describe your personality?
Friendly, smiley, patient

What do you like to do with your free time?
Watch series, walk my dogs, go to coffee shops and restaurants

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
I love teaching @ PBO

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Paola OrozcoFull name
Martha Paola Orozco

What do you like to be called?
Paola

Where are you from?
I was born in Orange County but I grew up in Tecate, Baja California.

When did you move to the US?
I lived in El Cajon for 2 years when I was 15 years old and then moved back to Tecate. I moved to San Diego 2 years ago.

How long have you been teaching at PBO?
Since October 2019.

What do you enjoy about teaching at PBO?
The relaxed and respectful environment that makes it more fun to learn and teach a language through actually speaking it, I talk a lot!

Describe your teaching style:
I enjoy getting to know my students and including their likes in each class to make them interesting for them.

What level classes do you teach?
All levels.

Do you teach classes at PBO, online, or both?
At PBO at the moment.

What was your college major?
Language teaching.

Tell us a bit about your family:
My mom’s family is from Mexicali and my dad’s is from Guadalajara. I have a younger sister and an older brother, they’re both currently living in Tecate and I visit them pretty often.

How would you describe your personality?
Sociable, energetic, open-minded, and creative.

What do you like to do with your free time?
Discovering new food places, coffee shops, wineries, and running.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
I’m also a preschool teacher, so yes, I have a lot of patience.

 

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