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Azikiwe Chandler

Country Day School - Azikiwe Chandler

Math Teacher

I’m a father, husband, lifelong learner, and educator from Charleston, South Carolina with an educator’s license from Massachusetts. I earned my Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame and my Master of Arts in Teaching from the College of Charleston. I learned Italian while studying architecture in Rome, and Spanish while teaching English Language Arts and coaching soccer as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nicaragua.

Whether coaching 8-year-old footballers as a high school sophomore, tutoring underprivileged kids as a college freshman, directing community service projects abroad as an expedition leader, or serving as a docent at the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture while in grad school, I’ve always endeavored to make my communities more beautiful and beneficial than when I inherited them. To paraphrase Thomas Paine, the world is my country, all humankind are my family, and to do good is my religion.

My family and I are thrilled to be in a country that values peace, wellness, and academics over warfare, and is committed to celebrating and protecting nature and all of its biodiversity. And nurturing character, inspiring a passion for learning, and cultivating responsible global citizens (CDS’s mission) is truly the story of my life. So, my family and I are overjoyed to call Costa Rica and CDS home!

For several years, I taught nonviolent conflict resolution, teamwork, and xenophilia as I led community-service-focused experiential learning expeditions for high school and college-age travelers to 18 countries on 6 continents, including sea turtle conservation here in Costa Rica in 2004. Facilitating my charges’ metamorphoses from egocentric individuals into community-minded global citizens made my soul smile. In the process of learning languages, cultural systems, and diverse ways of enhancing the world and myself, my educational travels taught me that we learn best by using our multiple intelligences to be, do, and create. This is why my preferred approach to teaching is project-based problem-solving.

Whether teaching math and science to middle school students in Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Venezuela or teaching English in South Korea, I love helping students persevere through discomfort and uncertainty to take risks and learn from their mistakes. My main goal as an educator committed to inspiring responsible community leaders and confident global citizens is to create safe spaces where scholars collaborate as they gain the skills, self-confidence, and autonomy to become compassionate lifelong critically thinking problem solvers because problem solvers make our world a better place!

Now in my twelfth year of classroom teaching, I came to Costa Rica after serving as the head of the middle school math department at the American School of Kuwait, where I enjoyed teaching 8th graders Pre-Algebra and Algebra I, as well as coaching championship-winning JV and varsity boys soccer teams. I’m optimistic that the CDS varsity girls soccer team I’m currently coaching will also be a championship team.