My teaching philosophy is part of my greater worldview. I believe in the inherent worth of individuals whom I understand as relational beings. I believe our lives are interconnected and that the environment is implicated in our interconnectedness. Therefore, we must continue to learn to live together with respect for our (dis)similarities and in peace. For me, teaching and learning are reciprocal practices. I approach students with the understanding that we can learn from one another and acknowledge that we each arrive with life experiences and knowledges that can be a valuable part of our co-created learning environment. While I believe that learning best takes place in a non-threatening environment and I acknowledge that learning can be exhilarating, it can also, at times, be difficult and uncomfortable. I work with students to navigate the tensions that can arise in learning situations consciously moving through these tensions that can be part of a productive and generative, even creative process that leads to (intellectual) growth.
As part of my belief in, and commitment to, the values, principles, and goals of feminist pedagogy and praxis, as I have come to understand it, I work to facilitate an environment in the classroom that encourages students to be active participants in the learning and teaching process. In my classes I make room for reflection, as I believe the process of reflection affords students the opportunity to make meaning and to apply that meaning to their own lives in the academy and beyond. I am committed to myriad expressions of knowledge over the course of any given semester and promote opportunities for collaboration to express knowledge. The environment I attempt to foster is one which is conducive to a variety of learning styles and strengths. I believe the process of education can and should be transformative and empowering, and I therefore encourage students to (re)discover their own voices as well as to develop an academic voice and become familiar with academic discourse(s). I work with students to facilitate their active participation in the intellectual community of which they have become a part and attempt to include students in academic conferences as presenters and/or participants.
I am also committed to critical theory and inquiry as part of my pedagogy and utilize this commitment to encourage students to question the taken-for-granted assumptions they may have arrived to our classroom with as well as to identify unasked questions in the (con)texts we study. I then work with students as they attempt to both formulate their questions and to answer them from their multiply-situated subjectivities. I encourage students to read critically and in multiple directions as well. As I am personally interested in matters of self and Other representation, I promote an awareness of the power and consequences of language and symbol use throughout history. I encourage students to (re)consider language and its potential and (material) import from this perspective. Finally, I believe in the principles of critical localism and accept the responsibility to learn about the community in which I teach and live. I make every effort to learn about the communities from which my students are coming and use what I learn as part of my classroom pedagogy in order for me and my students to make meaningful connections across our multiple contexts. I love teaching and have a passion for learning and the construction and production of knowledge. Making every effort to engage the joys, responsibilities, and privileges of calling myself teacher, I work to share this passion with my students.