Language teachers alternate between teaching at Saratoga and Los Gatos

December 19, 2022 — by Amy Luo and Isabelle Wang
Photo by Will Norwood
Ms. Tseng’s 7th period of Introduction to Computer Programming, one of the two classes she teaches at Saratoga High.
Munieshi and Tseng teach subjects at two schools simultaneously, each with a slightly different experience.

While teachers are often kept busy with endless grading and lesson planning for their classes, more teachers are juggling teaching at both Saratoga and Los Gatos this year. On campus, Ben Brotzman, Kristen Cunningham, Yumiko Munieshi and Sara Tseng all alternate between working on both campuses. 

Tseng, who has been teaching at SHS since 2007, teaches introduction to computer programming for two periods on Red Days. On Blue Days, Tseng travels to Los Gatos, where she instructs all three periods of Chinese.

Although switching between two different schools and teaching two completely different subjects may seem like a pain, Tseng said that she has experienced the positives of alternating between the two environments.

“I have the opportunity to get to know both campuses and their student population,” Tseng said. “It has been a fun experience so far.”

At the same time, she admits that juggling between the sites naturally has its challenges. Because Tseng is only present on each campus every other day, communicating with her students is more difficult. 

Another teacher who switches between both schools is Munieshi, who teaches Japanese at both schools. Her schedule is slightly different from Tseng’s, teaching only one period at each school.

Munieshi began teaching in Japan in 1993, where she taught in elementary school. She now teaches Japanese 3 Honors at Saratoga and Japanese 2 at Los Gatos.

“Their [elementary students] enthusiasm for learning made me fall in love with the profession,” Munieshi said.

Munieshi began teaching at both schools when the former teachers Kobayashi sensei and Hara sensei at Los Gatos resigned. With her previous experiences in organizing and running extracurricular activities through Japanese National Honor Society, they particularly reached out to Munieshi to apply for the position.

With her years of teaching experience, Munieshi doesn’t find many struggles with the workload at both schools. One helpful tool is Canvas, as it allows Munieshi and her students to keep track of class work and is a form of communication between them all the time.

Teaching at two different schools created an enjoyable experience for Munieshi, as she got to meet twice as many different students and staff.

“Students are so different that it never gets boring. It’s fun to exchange ideas [with the staff], and I feel supported by many of them,” Munieshi said.

Even with twice the hassles, Tseng said that she finds ways to make things work, and problems eventually work themselves out. Both Tseng and Munieshi find being proactive in communicating is important since they do not see their students everyday.

“I put the students first,” Tseng said. “That’s how I can manage [the juggle], by thinking about my students.”

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