Teaching Highlights & Goals
I was born a teacher.
Working with children and youth has been, and still remains, an essential part of my identity and a source of inspiration and motivation.
The ways in which I work with children, and see children, has shifted throughout my teaching career. This has led me to my research, and continues to connect my research to the everydayness of education, leadership, parenting, teaching, and learning.
Paulo Freire calls on teachers to reconcile the dialectic by “‘making Easter’ every day, to die as the dominator and be born again as the dominated, [and through] fighting to overcome oppression” (Freire, 1985, p.19).
'Making Easter' is an indication that I am in praxis and that transformation is possible. I am noticing disconnection between my beliefs and methods and acting to reconnection and change.
The majority of my experience in teaching has been with undergraduates who are on their way to being teachers. I also have experience with college students in Camosun's Early Learning & Care Program. Part of both of these roles is supporting students on practicum. Being with students as they connect theory and practice, and honing my skills as a 'praxis mentor' has been a highlight of my career.
A 'praxis mentor' is a term I made up. It is my way of reframing my role into one that walks beside students as they learn. I do not offer praise or criticism, but rather I ask questions to aid students in their self-assessment. I also offer stories of my own experience and I talk about research and what the experience of others has done for my praxis. A praxis mentor supports others in their own praxis.
Using pedagogical narrations with students was a shift that I found empowering. Rather than explaining what they were asked to read, or asking them to explain it back to me, I discovered the role of storytelling in our exploration of new ideas. For example, when teaching Rancière, and his work on the inequality baked into scaffolded explanation, I tell this story: Level story. Moving from explanation and scaffolded lessons to inquiry, dialogue, and storytelling, has been liberating for my students and transformative and empowering for me.
I have many goals, but currently in the forefront is learning more about Trauma-Informed practice and how I can incorporate it into my research and teaching approach.
Being trauma-informed supports my goals of decolonizing my research and practice, as well as queering the classroom.
I see a strong link between being trauma-informed and self-regulation and nonviolent communication.