Aquinas High School & Aquinas Middle School
MR. TOM SANDVICK
I am a graduate of Aquinas High School. My post-secondary education includes the following: Defense Language Institute, Monterery, CA, Chinese-Mandarin; University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, B.S., Secondary Education/French; Middlebury College in Vermont, M.A. in French; additional course work in French at the Université de Paris X-Nanterre and in Mandarin at the Beijing Language and Culture University, Beijing, China.
+ years with Aquinas Catholic Schools
+ years total teaching experience
As a participant in the U.S.-China Teachers Exchange Program, I lived and worked in Luoyang, China for one year. I also spent a year in Paris, France working on a graduate degree in French. In my spare time, I enjoy studying Spanish, as I would like to reach an intermediate level of proficiency by May of 2022. I also like to read and to listen to music. My wife and I have four family pets: two dogs and two cats. We enjoy spending time with them - and that includes taking the dogs for a car ride at least once daily.
As one might say in French, "C'est en faisant des fautes que l'on apprend à parler une deuxième langue," the expectation in my classroom is that students will always put forth their best effort to practice and to use French while in my classroom. Making mistakes is part of the learning process; therefore, my goal is always to create an atmosphere where students feel welcome and are willing to take risks when using French. I believe injecting a little humor in every class period helps students relax for this purpose. Although learning a second language can be challenging at times, it should also be fun. Students can expect that a variety of techniques will be used in the classroom to make learning enjoyable and at the same time help them build proficiency in French.
All Levels of French
I have been an educator for 37 years, including 29 years with the School District of La Crosse and 8 years with the Department of Defense Schools in Guam.