About Me

Last Update November 2016
After school coding club at KAS

Short Version
My name is Thomas Hammerlund. I have experience working with non-native English speakers in a dual-grade international school setting. I find out what students needs and likes are and adjust lessons accordingly. I am interested in teaching students how to learn and how to think for themselves through inquiry-based learning involving both group work and individual projects.


(Read more below)


A photo posted by Victor Boulanger (@victor.boulanger) on


Longer Version
I started my career after graduating from university in advertising. A few years after being a research analyst, helping companies place their ads in appropriate publications, in 2003 I came to Japan to teach English conversation. I thought it would be a one-year assignment, but after the third year I decided I needed to try something different so I enrolled in a Japanese language school as a full-time student and worked part-time at night. After three months I decided I needed more income and I started working as a software programmer. A few months later I re-evaluated where I was and what I wanted to do with my life.

At this time I realized that teaching was the job I enjoyed doing the most and I began pursuing a teaching degree with an emphasis in elementary education.


Helping the Grade 3's at KAS with the intricacies of email


There is nothing like watching students become engaged in an activity that sparks their learning. I love seeing the students' faces light up when they understand a concept, and I enjoy seeing them apply their skills when playing.

I try to help the school out where I can. I also like to use my knowledge of technology and digital photography to help market the school and make it a place where the students enjoy coming. I am always looking for new ways in which I can be effective.

When I was job hunting in 2005 in Tokyo, I landed an interview with a small software company despite not having any programming experience. During the interview, the interviewer asked me, "Do you know how to use a computer?" After a few more questions I was offered a job as a software engineer with the agreement that I would move into sales when I was ready. A few days into the job I was over my head and I had to put one piece of software together so I asked my supervisor how to do it and he responded with, "Google it".


Grade 7 grade-level presentation on digital citizenship



So much has changed in my lifetime; the world is not the one I was born into or even the one I graduated into. People now need to be able to search quickly and efficiently on the Internet. In addition, as adults, students will need to be able to think creativelythink critically, and collaborate to solve problems. These are skills I am preparing them for.

I believe that preparing students for the future means to be teaching them these higher-level thinking skills now.

To achieve this, I promote:
  • teamwork
  • learning to communicate more effectively
  • solving unusual problems 
  • parental involvement
  • empowering students



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