Teaching is a process of ongoing learning in order to figure out how to best transmit and reproduce knowledge in accessible ways. In order to teach effectively, one must be willing to listen, learn, and engage. I initially earned a certificate in teaching and mentoring from Missouri State University, a program I took part in as a graduate student, in order to become a better educator. Since then, I have consistently worked with a diverse range of students, particularly reaching out to those from underrepresented backgrounds, as in the DURI program here at NYU. Beyond teaching, I mentor students as they prepare for careers in higher education and beyond. Many have gone on to graduate studies at places such as Princeton, Northwestern, University of Minnesota, and beyond. Inclusivity and diversity in higher education is dependent upon each of us, and I intend to continue pushing towards a more diverse and thoughtful image of what academia can be through teaching and mentoring.
As a teacher, my first goal is to figure out the best ways students experience content, something that is shaped by their individual skill sets, background, and life experiences. I tailor my pedagogy in order to transmit the information in accessible ways, while focusing on two important aspects of teaching and training that will prepare my students for a future inside and or outside of academia: 1) critical reading skills and analysis; and 2) the fine art of persuasion through arguing for theoretical ideas. I want my students to be critically engaged with the world around them and be able to effectively voice their ideas and theories in accessible, challenging, and richly detailed ways. I encourage this through a conversational style of teaching that creates a relaxed environment in which students feel comfortable asking questions and thinking through ideas as part of a community. My pedagogical framework emphasizes a space that allows for respect of diverse ideas, not shying away from candid discussions about complex topics. I am committed to a classroom experience that empowers students to take control of their education and their lives by being immersed in the process of learning in ways that help them move beyond normative social and academic expectations. Education is one of the main equalizers in society and it is the role of teachers to aid that democratization of knowledge. Faculty support is crucial for successful student development, and that is something I aim to pass along to future generations of student, both inside and outside of the classroom.