TEACHING

Teaching Philosophy

 

 

My teaching philosophy is best captured by Ken Bain’s assertion in What the Best College Teachers Do that an exceptional teacher treats the practice of teaching as a serious intellectual endeavor worthy of the same level of care and intentionality as their research and scholarship. My classrooms are natural critical learning environments where students confront important problems and complete tasks challenging to grapple with controversial ideas and rethink their assumptions about reality. Importantly, I strive to align with Bettina Love’s conception of an abolitionist teacher – privileging transformation toward educational justice for all students in higher education and societal freedom as my highest ambition. I invite my students to struggle alongside me as we grapple with complex ideas they might employ within their chosen career or other spheres of influence.

Teaching Experiences

Lead Instructor | Fall 2021

IDH 2930: Caste: the Origins of Our Discontents | Honors Program - (Un)Common Read

This seminar-style undergraduate course explores a unique theory of social construction in the U.S. that provides an alternative to traditional theories of race and racism. Students learn to identify machinations of casteism in the U.S. and learn to combat them proactively and pragmatically.

 

Lead Instructor | Fall 2020 & Fall 2021

IDH 2930: How to Be An Antiracist | Honors Program - (Un)Common Read

The core argument of Ibram X. Kendi's How to Be Antiracist is that being ‘not racist’ is insufficient. This seminar-style course helps students explore the importance of making antiracism a conscious choice and how they may work within their sphere of influence to dismantle racist policies to build a more equitable society.

 

Lead Instructor | Spring 2019

IDH 2930: Is Everyone Really Equal? | Honors Program - (Un)Common Read

This course, based on Özlem Sensoy and Robin Diangelo’s (2017) Is Everyone Really Equal: Key Concepts in Social Justice Education, was designed to move students from social justice illiteracy toward social justice literacy. The seminar-style course afforded students a space to engage in peer-to-peer dialogue around gender, race, sexuality, ability, and the oppressive societal structures associated with each.

 

Lead Instructor | Fall 2018

IDH 2930: The Hate U Give | Honors Program - (Un)Common Read

This seminar-style course based on Angie Thomas’ 2017 coming-of-age novel The Hate U Give created a space for dialogue around race, structural racism, racial identity, activism and hip-hop culture. The instructor helped students leverage their intellectual and emotional responses to the novel to reflect on their own personal identities in relation to their peers and the broader social context.

 

Co-Instructor | Fall 2017

EDG 7224: Critical Pedagogy I (Graduate-level Seminar)

This course was designed to engage advanced graduate students in critical praxis, with a particular focus on “reading the world” (Freire & Macedo, 1987), and familiarize them with key concepts and principles of critical theory, critical pedagogy, and social justice education as well as major writers in these areas so that students may use this body of work to inform their own scholarship and teaching. As co-instructor, I facilitated discussions in several class meetings, designed a new assignment for the course, and served as a consultant for students.

 

Co-Instructor/Grader | Summer 2016

EDF 6616: Education and American Culture (Graduate-level Seminar)

This online course is a graduate-level introduction to the social foundations of education (emphasizing the history

of American schooling), so that we can begin to think more critically about prominent issues in public education.  Consideration of the interrelationships between schools and the societies in which they reside is critical for our development as education professionals. As co-instructor, I facilitated discussions, served as a consultant for students, and graded assignments for Ed.D. students – providing detailed feedback on their work.

 

Lead Instructor | Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Summer 2017, Summer 2018

SLS 1102 - Enhancing the Freshman Experience | First Year Florida

First Year Florida is the University of Florida’s signature course for first-year students. I taught alongside an upperclassmen mentor to support the transition from secondary to post-secondary education for more than 30 first-year college students each semester. This course introduced students to concepts such as diversity, career development and nurturing their personal development of students by teaching study skills, and connecting them to campus resources.

Views From the Students


In Fall 2020, in an unprecedented semester taking place amid a pandemic, I taught How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. One student referred to me in their evaluation as “one of the most passionate instructors I’ve had and really inspired me to dig into the course material.” The student proclaimed a strength of mine as an educator to be creating “an environment that promotes a positive and open learning experience” and “bring[ing] the course material into the real world in ways that we are able to relate to and understand.” Similarly, when I taught The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas in the Fall 2018 semester, one student remarked in their evaluation that my teaching pushed the class to a “deeper level of thinking” about the fictional young adult novel. Another student stated that my “versatility in learning methods made [the class’s] understanding of the subject matter extremely thorough.” These quotes represent how students evaluate my teaching more broadly – with teaching evaluations that consistently place me above the median for the department.