As a first generation college student, my teaching philosophy is grounded in making all concepts, from political institutions to methodology, accessible for students from all backgrounds.
As a former K-12 school teacher, I am committed to creativity and adaptive teaching tactics not commonly found in higher education classrooms, designed to make learning fun and accessible.
As a consummate activist and community organizer, I believe in bringing the community to the classroom and vice versa. At the University of Colorado- Denver, I learned from The Urban Citizen course that college students can be impactful community members, learning from long-time community activists and affected communities that experience outside of the classroom and academia is valuable and political.
Leading a lesson in my Spanish classroom, asking students to participate en español
Teaching the "Web of Oppression" as part of the JWJ Labor Liberation workshop
From 2012-2014, I taught high school Spanish I and Spanish for Native Speakers in Memphis City Schools. I held a Tennessee Apprentice Teaching License, and was certified to teach high school Spanish, Government, and Economics.
As a graduate student, I've served as Teaching Assistant for various courses in political science, including The Politics of Voter Suppression, African American Politics, Congressional Elections, and The American Presidency. In The Politics of Voter Suppression, I taught research design and data collection for large-N datasets, interview, and qualitative data for idiographic studies, and managed the class.
In Fall 2018, I was the Head Teaching Assistant for an online Introduction to American Government course, which had 1000+ students and was filmed in an on-campus studio. I coordinated projects, exams, and in-class activities on Canvas, managed the 5-person Teaching Assistant Team, and appeared on camera each class meeting to interact with students, give updates and due dates. This class was instrumental in teaching me best practices for online pedagogy, how to make the material accessible and enriching for such a high number of students.
As a community organizer and activist, I learned to teach and facilitate workshops according to the principles of popular education. As part of the "train the trainer" program by the Colorado chapter of Jobs with Justice, I facilitated the Labor Liberation workshop in several states for union members, activists, and college students. This training encourages participants to identify with the ongoing labor movement, and uses a variety of different training materials created by JWJ. In Memphis, I worked with the training team the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center to facilitate workshops on nonviolent communication, and various community organizing trainings. Many trainings and materials were developed in the tradition of the Highlander Research and Education Center and Communities for Change. Each year, I use these methods as facilitator with the Community Organizing Institute at Purdue University.
In the classroom, I incorporate the principles of popular education by including self-reflection throughout the semester in order to learn from students, incorporating more discussion to highlight patterns of shared experiences, and facilitating the different ways people learn by including art, music, and experiential assignments for students to learn more about the political world.