I have taught at two distinctly different institutions. Since 2021, I have been an educator at a private liberal arts college located in the South. This college is distinguished by its intimate class sizes, regionalism, and campus aesthetic. Prior to 2021, I spent the majority of the 2010s at the downtown campus of a R1 university in the Southwest defined by its maximal size, national appeal, and classification as a Hispanic-serving institution. At each institution, I have taught lower-division composition and upper-division courses in nonfiction, poetry writing, and game studies. Most students who enroll in these courses view them as a means to some end goal. In light of “stepping stone” mentality, I design courses around the core belief that students have the capacity to meet their goals.
Furthermore, I believe that students realize their goals by helping others meet similar success. Leadership may be expressed in heading a lab’s research team, starting a campus group, or being a community voice on social media or in traditional publishing. To borrow from developmental psychologist Piaget, I aim for my students to become those who “know what to use when you don’t know what to do,” no matter the domain. To that end, my courses emphasize three learning capacities— resourcefulness, reciprocity, and reflection. In the creative writing domain, these capacities manifest in transferable skills such as informed design, inclusivity, and metacognitive self-criticism.
This philosophy developed out of working under Asao Inoue at Arizona State University. Inoue’s labor-learning and equitable assessment approach to course design shaped the development of the Face-to-Face (F2F) Writers’ Studio. As co-coordinator of this program, I led multiple co-taught courses and researched team-teaching methodology. Through that work, I have found student satisfaction in dual-instructor classes to be statistically more significant than in solo-instructor courses. I have continued this line of inquiry while working with Flagler College’s Center for Teaching and Learning and continue to develop my pedagogy to be inclusive of different methodologies and reactive to societal demands.
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