Jonas Crimm

China Instructor

M.A. – Secondary Education, History; Stanford Graduate School of Education, 2016
B.A. – Environmental Studies, Political Theory, & French; Bowdoin College, 2010

Jonas’ first job was as a climbing instructor at a rock gym in the under-appreciated city of Philadelphia. He’s still surprised they let him do this in high school. Since those early days of teaching belay skills and body positioning, Jonas has been passionate about experiential education, along with the benefits of proper foot technique.

During college, Jonas effectively majored in outdoor education, leading numerous trips for the college outing club and – during the summers – leading backpacking, ice climbing, and kayaking trips as a commercial guide in Alaska. But an unexpected opportunity to travel to China changed the direction of young Jonas’ life.

After taking a year of college Chinese, Jonas impulsively decided to move to northwestern China’s beautiful but remote Qinghai province (motto: “Big, Beautiful Qinghai”). For three years, Jonas lived and worked in a small Tibetan town, where he taught at an intensive English program for Tibetan students from rural backgrounds. Jonas feels incredibly privileged to have worked with some of the most fantastic and inspiring kids imaginable – and, during his free time, to wander the Tibetan Plateau in search of nothing in particular. He continues to keep in touch with his Tibetan students on a daily basis.

After returning to the United States in 2013, Jonas spent two years designing and leading experiential learning programs in China for American middle school students. Following a year of graduate school, Jonas began teaching history at San Francisco International High School, a public high school for recent immigrant students. He loves his job, in which he gets to speak Chinese, French, Spanish, and sometimes English in the service of helping his amazing, hilarious, and resourceful students develop English literacy skills. He is soon-to-be-married and currently lives in the Bay Area, where he enjoys getting lost on long runs, hiking/climbing/skiing in the Sierra, eating hummus or hotpot dinners, soaking in hot springs, and playing romantic piano pieces that are loud enough to wake people up at night.