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I teach to empower my students to be openminded and curious about their lived experiences, somatic experiences, that of their peers and community members, and to use this bodily knowledge to decolonize education.
In my role as educator, I view myself as a knowledgeable facilitator working to co-create safer and braver learning spaces with my students. I work towards seeing and honoring each of my students by supporting their holistic wellness, authentic expression, critical self-reflection, and bodily learning. In my pedagogical relationship with my students, we shape a community of belonging where we build our capacity to sit with the discomfort of developing a critical consciousness and pedagogical rigor based on the complex realities of education in history and society.
Antiracism/abolitionist teaching, embodied cognition, somatic social justice, the learning sciences, and arts integration are theoretical pillars of my philosophy and pedagogy. I model for my students the enactment of the justice-oriented and arts based educational approaches we learn about through my pedagogy and curricular design.
My vision for teacher education is rooted in my curricular goals of helping educators see injustice in their own practices and in educational systems, as well as empowering them to take actions to dismantle systemic oppression in their teaching. My vision, goals, and actions are largely informed by the work and scholarship of Audre Lorde, Dr. Bettina Love, Layla Saad, Dr. Christopher Emdin, Crystal U. Davis, and Prentis Hemphill.
As a teacher educator, I have (re)designed and facilitated innovative, student-centered, and socio-politically aware arts/dance education courses and practicum for a variety of student demographics (including students at an HSI, first generation students, international students, and students of diverse racial/ethnic, linguistic, and dis/abilities). My curriculum design honors students by nurturing their holistic wellness, authentic expression, critical self-reflection, and somatic, arts-based learning.
After asking my students their learning interests and access needs, I implement pedagogical practice and learning activities each week that support my students to build their capacity to sit with the necessary discomfort of developing a critical consciousness of the realities of society, the arts, and education. I integrate somatic, arts-based practices with understandings of the cultural, historical, and political lineages of the forms we experientially explore. I intentionally select texts over a variety of media (e.g., articles, videos, podcasts) authored by scholars, artists, and educators who hold representational identities (e.g., BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, disabled, migrant status) for my students to read, reflect upon, discuss, and design educational materials and arts projects with. I design course projects that are iteratively project-, inquiry-, and arts-based and grounded in historically responsive literacy and mindfulness/somatics. These projects, such as crafting positionality statements, community guidelines, learning activities and curriculum, and web-based portfolios, integrate self-awareness, subject knowledge, and practical experiences within educational settings and local communities.
My students become teachers who (a) pro-actively respond to and prepare for the needs and interests of their diverse students, (b) collaborate with professional communities and movement organizers, and (c) enact transformational justice in their classrooms, lives, and society.
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