About this work: All work is grades from students grades 6-12 in the Rochester City School District (with one exception, from Portland, noted). Click on any image to see it larger.
Within the Rochester City School District, I taught (for five years total) at School Without Walls, James Monroe High School, and at the Rochester International Academy–a specialized program for recently arrived immigrant and refugee students. For most of them, this was their first art class!
Previously, I’ve taught studio arts and art history at the university level at Rochester Institute of Technology, at Universidad Espíritu Santo (in Guayaquil, Ecuador), and at the middle-school level at a charter school in Portland, Oregon. To learn more about my teaching philosophy and professional development, please scroll to the bottom of the page.
I believe that, more than anything, art is an alternative path to learning, discovery, and growth of the individual. In my studio or classroom, the artistic process enables students to understand and develop their identities and values, explore new or foreign concepts, and helps students find and create connections between ideas, people, and places that aren’t immediately visible. I love teaching art because its possibilities are quite endless; it is kinesthetic, sensory, reflective, collaborative, imaginative, and can be both expansive and introspective.
My goal as a teacher of the arts is to help students grow in their abilities to think creatively, solve problems, make connections, and look at themselves and the world more deeply. I’m also here to encourage them to experiment, take risks, and step outside their comfort zones.
As an artist and teacher, my strengths are imagination, inventiveness, empathy, independence, curiosity, will, introspectiveness, writing, and work ethic. I maintain high standards for myself both professionally and personally—and I extend those toward my students. My students are expected not only to do their best in learning, but also on personal and communal levels—kindness, respect, and tolerance are at the core of what I do. I’m a highly reflective teacher, thinking or journaling every day about what succeeded and what didn’t, and what I can do to continually improve and evolve my practice.
For me personally, the act of expression is perhaps the most essential aspect of my existence. It is my personal exploration as an artist and creator that fuels my teaching, not the other way around. My preferred mode of expression tends to be writing (mostly essays and poems), but I also have piles of sketchbooks and paintings lying around my apartment, too! I love teaching art; it fills me with joy and it’s exciting, challenging, and a beautiful process to be a part of. But my teaching and personal work as an artist complement each other; the two acts are entwined for me and I cannot do one without the other.
Since 2012, I’ve completed over 200 hours of professional development coursework. Areas where I’ve completed the most study and training are:
- Visual Arts Curricula Writing
- Ceramics, Painting, Fiber Arts
- The Effects of Poverty on the Brain
- Culturally Responsive Teaching
- Trauma in Education
- Mindfulness in Education
- Cultural Competency for Refugee and Immigrant Students
- Intermediate and Advanced Spanish
- Classroom Management