Stefanie Baeker is a native from Bremerhaven who has been an avid learner and lifelong student herself. With a background in business administration, she found her path and passion to teaching through working as a Program Director at a gymnastics school in the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 90s.
Her involvement in developing lesson plans made her realize the benefit of using kinesthetic and tactile aspects in language teaching as well. This strongly influenced her teaching style, especially with younger students who need more active engagement and hands-on experiences.
This principle became useful for teaching English as a second language at a private bilingual school in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Students were between 3 and 17 years old, and this variety provided an ideal opportunity for developing classroom management skill. Her active, hands-on teaching style was also an excellent foundation for working with special needs youth and adults enrolled in the Specialized Recreation Program of the City of Walnut Creek, CA, where Stefanie was a Recreation Leader.
While working for a provider of ADA-compliant, virtual event management solutions for several years, Stefanie gained experience in online education. During this time, she supported blind and low vision internet users in participating in online courses and conferences held on that platform. She was also involved in the annual on-site CSUN Assistive Technology conference. With the help of a sponsored Braille printer, generously donated by ViewPlus Technologies, and the enthusiasm of a young and blind instructor, Stefanie was able to initiate the foundation of a school for the blind in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, in 2008. HumanWare, another manufacturer of assistive technology Stefanie knew through CSUN, was also a major contributor to the school, which is still successfully operating, governed by the City of Playa del Carmen.
In 2010, Stefanie became a CBEST (California Basic Education Skills Test) certified teacher, and tutored at-risk elementary students in English Reading in Richmond, CA.
Over the past decade, Stefanie has taught German and English to private students – from youth to senior age.
With the launch of AccessEcoTours and Project Mayan Encounter in 2008, Stefanie started operating study tours in the Riviera Maya. AccessEcoTours has added study tours in the San Francisco Bay Area, and recently expanded to Northern Germany with unique educational itineraries along the coastlines of the North Sea and Baltic Sea.