I am an educator committed to equality, power, access, and vision for all students. I work as an English and ESL teacher at a small secondary school in the South Bronx, and I am the founder and director of IntegrateNYC4me. As a teacher, I work to support students in expanding their reading, writing, and critical thinking skills, and I support teachers in creating curriculum that is accessible and engaging for students across cultures, abilities, skill levels, and interests. As the director of IntegrateNYC4me, I work to transform NYC public schools into a system of integrated, equal, accessible schools by organizing students and school communities to advocate for change. I also work on the organizing council of Teachers Unite, supporting school communities to build strong communities and create alternative systems of discipline that support the socio-emotional development of students. In my free time I love to run, experiment with creative cooking and juicing, and care for my super-hero dog named Luna.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Columbia University in the City of New York - Bachelor in Arts, Sociocultural Anthropology
Graduate Degree: CUNY Hunter College - Master of Arts, TESOL K-12
GRE Verbal: 163
Educational Politics, Racial Justice, Half Marathon Running, Healthy Cooking, Travel
High School English
SAT Subject Tests Prep
What is your teaching philosophy?
For me, teaching is more of a vocation rather than a career. Teaching allows me to work with young people, build powerful relationships, and apply my beliefs in educational equity and social justice. Teaching allows me to create environments where people feel powerful, intellectual, creative and like agents of transformation.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session, it is key that a student and I discuss their commitments, their vision for their future, and the academic obstacles that they feel may interrupt reaching those goals. We would then look at what academic steps they would need to take to reach those goals and how I can be of service to support them in mastering the material necessary to perform to their highest potential.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
A student can only become an independent learner when they are clear on their commitments and vision. As a tutor, I can support students in discovering their commitments and constructing a vision that will guide them in their learning and educational pursuits.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would help a student stay motivated by making sure I employ multiple forms of representation, multiple avenues for interest, and multiple ways to express understanding. I would make sure to learn about the student's interests and incorporate that into tutoring sessions to maintain focus when motivation is waning.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If a student has a difficulty learning a concept or skill, I ask myself several questions: 1. What can I do to expand my practice? 2. What obstacle is the student facing? 3. How can I make this more engaging?
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
When students are struggling with reading comprehension, I ask myself a slew of questions. Are they struggling to identify the letters? Sounds? Meaning of words? Do they struggle to make inferences? Do they need more context? Would visuals or film support? I ask these questions because a "struggle" is simply an opportunity to create a new avenue or technique.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
The strategies I find to be most successful are: 1. Getting to know what is important to the student. 2. Getting to know what they identify as skills and weaknesses. 3. Setting a plan that has them align our academic goals to larger life goals. 4. Making sure they experience me as a person with integrity with whom they feel trust.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
To get a student engaged with a subject they are not interested in, I would incorporate outside interests into the work. There is always a way to bring in non-academic interests into reading and writing in a way that is fun and engaging.