I have a Ph.D. in Theatre from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a master’s degree in Educational Theatre from New York University, and is an honors graduate of Lewis and Clark College’s theatre department in Portland, Oregon.
In addition to my background in theatre, I regularly work with students to improve their writing and research skills.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Lewis & Clark College - Bachelors, Theatre
Graduate Degree: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - PHD, Theatre
GRE Verbal: 590
GRE Quantitative: 620
Acting, reading, photography, cooking, baking
College Level American Literature
High School Level American History
High School Level American Literature
High School Writing
Middle School Writing
Technology and Computer Science
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I subscribe to a dialectical approach to education that relies on a myriad of voices and different perspectives in the classroom, and I believe that learning and teaching function best in a collaborative environment that values mutual discovery and collective reflection. As an educator, I structure all my interactions with students--be they in the classroom, in one-on-one advising sessions, or in the rehearsal hall--around the premise that I have as much to learn from them as they from me. In his work, Paulo Freire espouses the idea of the 'unfinishedness' of the individual learner; the constant state of revision that takes place as people continue to develop their understanding of themselves and the world around them. Like Freire, I see education as a partnership between teacher and student; an equal partnership where both parties continually learn, adapt, and influence each other. Education, therefore, becomes a process and not a goal; it is something that is never completed; a lifelong evolution of the mind. As an educator, I respect that process, and I hope to create an environment where students are able to revise and continually form their understanding of the world.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session, the student and I would discuss goals for our work together and, depending on what subject the student wanted to work on, look at some of their previous work so I can begin to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
One of my goals when working with students is to focus on strategies that they can employ to improve their work outside of our interactions. We discuss their current way of working, and I offer feedback and tips of how to make adjustments and improvements based on what they are already doing.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
While I believe long term goals are important, I believe that setting small, short-term goals provides much more motivation for students looking to see result immediately. Rather than work toward that "A" on the next paper or test, I work with the student to identify one or two specific things at a time we can work to improve so that we chip away at those lofty, big goals.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I often find that by asking the student to think about the subject from a different perspective, we can usually clear some of those hurdles. I typically ask students struggling in this way to "teach me" the basics of the subject as if I know nothing about it. By changing their perspective from student to teacher, I can usually identify the root of the problem while simultaneously illustrating to them how much they have learned.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
I offer students specific strategies to break a text down into its components and identify what each of those components is doing in the overall text. Then we work on a handful of exercises that incrementally enhance their ability to process meaning.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
After working with a student for a while, I ask that they begin to "teach me" the material. This helps me see where comprehension is still lacking.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
By focusing on small victories and reaching small, short-term goals rather than trying to tackle larger, long-term goals.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
Through a discussion of expectations, goals for our work together, and targeted assessment exercises.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
In addition to modeling enthusiasm for the content, whenever possible I try to demonstrate the real-world application of the skills.