The image that guides my teaching is a voyage. Not only does this idea highlight my dynamic approach, it also captures an idea of learning as an exciting yet unpredictable process. According to Michel Serres, pedagogy is, above all, a passage of métissage, both intimidating and enriching, where learners can adopt new mores, new habits, a new language, and new ways of seeing. My own experience as a traveler, migrant, and multilingual educator helps me serve learners from diverse backgrounds to cross that passage and integrate the added insights into their daily lives.
"…Dans le bonheur" (2009) Diadji Diop
Musée de l'histoire de l'immigration, Paris
The Power of Words
Both in my language and literature teaching, I emphasize the broad extensions of language. Words can be instrumentalized to a number of ends, from everyday relations and art, but I also highlight their negative potential. A significant element of my teaching thus involves designing planned and modeled activities that transition to conversations that value students’ active and conscious use of words.
Conflict and Resolution
While cheerful activities are fundamental in my courses, I am also fond of the instructional power of conflict and debate in the classroom. I believe teaching literature not only focuses on learning about distant or familiar cultures, but also about critical issues that affect us all. My literature and cultural studies curricula invites students to reexamine past and present economic, political, and social issues through the critical study of migration, gender and sexuality, minority rights, among other topics, in order to consider different perspectives from dominant discourse.
"Danzas Indigenious" (1994) Judy Baca,
Balwin Park, California
Through the use of a variety of activities and a diverse selection of literary texts that challenge students to leave their comfort zone and experience new ways of seeing the world, my couses offer alternate forms of learning about different cultures and literary traditions and venture into new worlds.