I graduated from Binghamton State University in 2010 with a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Spanish. After completing my undergraduate studies, I moved back closer to home and continued on with Romance Languages and Literature Studies in graduate school. In 2012, I received my M.A. Degree from St. John’s University, Queens, NY. Since 2012, I have been working toward a Ph.D. in Spanish at the University at Buffalo, where I am currently on my fourth year. I am mainly carrying out research toward my dissertation, but I also work as a Spanish language instructor to undergraduate students. Therefore, aside from strengthening my knowledge in Spanish literature, I have also familiarized myself with Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) through teaching pedagogy courses as well as numerous pedagogical workshops. CLT has oriented my teaching toward a more daily, real-life usage of the language, while reducing its sometimes overwhelming grammatical load.
SUNY at Binghamton - Bachelors, Spanish/Biology
University at Buffalo - PhD, Hispanic Languages and Literatures
What is your teaching philosophy?
My teaching philosophy emerges from a spectrum of communicative teaching techniques. Over my academic career, I have been a language tutor and instructor, but most importantly, I have been a student. Learning from these multiple perspectives, especially from the student’s point of view, allows me to reduce the distance often times generated between teacher and student. If I wish my students to immerse themselves in a “foreign” context, then I myself must be willing to negotiate and accommodate to their needs and interests. Not every student will have the same learning capability, but every student can benefit from comprehending the expectations the instructor establishes. Communication is key. In order to accomplish these expectations, I try to create an environment where students feel comfortable if mistakes are made, as errors are a normal component of the learning process. The monitoring approach is also effective as it allows for the recognition of mistakes, the opportunity for redemption, and the self-gratification of learning.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
If this were the case, I would attempt to explain the concept differently, providing different examples that the student can relate more to. It all comes down to perspective and if a concept is not understood right away, then it must be exposed differently.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Building the student's confidence is subjective to the student. I would first need to recognize the student's knowledge of the subject and show that it can expand and connect to more complicated, yet doable structures.