Within the courses I teach, I create time to converse with prospective teachers about the power they wield as leaders in their school and wider community. I stress that they develop a deep knowledge of their discipline or content area and of the people and communities in which they teach. I encourage them to approach their teaching in socially just ways and, together, we practice examining English language arts with a critical eye towards issues of difference and diversity. In my role as a teacher educator, I seek to cultivate reflective teacher-leaders that are curious about how to grow both professionally and personally. I challenge students to be dedicated advocates and activists for the children and communities they serve.
Creating Collaborative Communities of Practice
Whether I am face-to-face with undergraduate prospective teachers or engaging with masters’ level graduate students across hybrid learning environments, I consistently aim to facilitate learning as active inquiry. In other words, I provide students opportunities to try their hand problem-solving tasks like those they will encounter in the field. Throughout this process, I support individual student learning as necessary while also encouraging students to engage in collaborative critical thinking.
By positing teaching and learning as collaborative creative ventures with other humans, I foreground the personhood of my students and center relationships. Our conversations, however, are not confined to the walls of the university classroom. Instead, we discuss civics, service, and community engagement as other ways for making connections and enacting culturally sustaining pedagogies. For instance, in a special topics undergraduate course within MSU’s Urban Educator Cohort Program I taught within a resource-limited public school, prospective teachers engaged in service-learning activities in classrooms before meeting to discuss critical issues of urban education. Their observations emphasized partnerships with caretakers and culminated in a free family math and literacy night hosted by the prospective teachers. Ultimately, through this project-based learning, prospective teachers learned to effectively make connections with families and communities as partners in promoting learning and growth.
For a complete overview of my teaching, including my teaching philosophy, sample syllabi, and evaluations from students and community partners, please click here.
Michigan State University, College of Education
TE 846: Accommodating Differences in Literacy Learners (Online)
- Developmental processes, instructional practices, and assessment principles that contribute to effective learning of reading and writing. Teaching methods for accommodating the different needs of individual literacy learners.
TE 803: Professional Roles & Teaching Practice II [Elementary Social Studies] (Hybrid-Chicago)
- School-agency alliances for fostering student learning. Strategies for working with families and community groups to improve responsiveness of the school curriculum to student needs. Child advocacy in the school and community.
TE 802: Reflection & Inquiry in Teaching Practice I [Elementary English Language Arts] (Detroit & Hybrid-Chicago)
Qualitative and quantitative research methods on teaching and learning. Criteria for judging the validity and applicability of research-based knowledge. Framing educational problems worthy of inquiry. Designing and assessing studies of teaching practice.
TE 405: Teaching of Language & Literacy to Diverse Learners - Elementary English Language Arts
Teaching language and literacy to diverse learners at the elementary level (K-8). Inquiry into and construction of subject-specific meaning. Literacy subject matter adapted to learner diversity. Teachers’ roles, including professional, intellectual, and sociopolitical responsibilities.
TE 291a: Special Topics in Urban Education
Issues in teaching and learning for prospective teachers. Strategies for professional development during and after one’s teacher preparation program.
TE 250: Human Diversity, Power, and Opportunity in Social Institutions
Comparative study of schools and other social institutions. Social construction and maintenance of diversity and inequality. Political, social and economic consequences for individuals and groups.
University of Notre Dame, Institute for Educational Initiatives
EDU 60182: The Teaching of Reading
An exploration of the research and instructional strategies of reading instruction including emergent literacy, reading readiness, phonemic awareness, phonics, word recognition, vocabulary development, fluency, cultural literacy, and reading comprehension, as well as particular strategies for reading remediation.
EDU 60312: Exceptionalities in Childhood
A survey in exceptionality with emphasis on the elementary-aged child is followed by in-depth study of the common learning problems in the elementary grades, especially reading, writing and mathematics disability. Both teaching strategies and assessment are considered.
EDU 60234: Exceptionality in Early Adolescence
A survey in exceptionality with emphasis on the middle grades child is followed by in-depth study of the common learning problems in the middle school, especially reading, writing and mathematics disability. Both teaching strategies and assessment are considered.
EDU 60336: Exceptionality in Adolescence
A survey in exceptionality with emphasis on the high school student is followed by in-depth study of the common learning problems in the high school, especially reading, writing and mathematics disability. Both teaching strategies and assessment are considered.