As an educator teaching future educators, my primary goal is to support my students in understanding how sociological understandings, ethical commitments, theory and methodology translate to daily teaching and learning in varied spaces. Understanding the ways that privilege and oppression shape educational opportunity, for example, affords future educators a framework within which they can reflect critically on the aims, challenges, and realities of education in our society. This understanding can ground future educators’ praxis as teacher-candidates develop tools for deep teaching and learning.
In terms of methodology and approach, I believe in modeling a constructivist process that values and responds to learners. At the core of my teaching and learning at all levels is meaningful assessment that is formative, serving as a guide for my strategies and approaches. Within a caring learning environment grounded in respect, compassion, and high expectations, I challenge future educators to question assumptions and practices. Overall, my goal is to encourage my students to grow intellectually and academically beyond what they perhaps thought possible for themselves. It is essential that this happen within a strong ethos and community of support.
To make connections between our own lived realities and the practical matters of teaching and learning, I balance exploration of theory, analysis, and social issues with discussion of events in my students’ lives, conversations happening within the campus community, and experiences from my fifteen years as an educator in the New York City public school system. Through discussion of readings, sociological observations, and students’ personal beliefs and experiences, I aim to have my courses serve as fertile ground for intellectual growth, new understandings, and awareness of multiple perspectives on complex social issues.