How do you use writing or art in your life?
I use writing as a means of self-discovery and exploration. I recently began writing for myself again and it really is therapeutic for me.
What lessons/teachings from your family, home and/or community do you draw on in your teaching and/or scholarship?
My father always raised me to be proud of my differences when others may not agree. I really have embraced the need for students to share their identities and more times than not, embark in the journey of discovering what their values are and what they care about. My father always taught me to honor myself and my beliefs by not being ashamed of them.
What would you tell your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to not waste time, energy or tears on those who cannot accept you for who you are.
Advice for new scholars and/or teachers:
I would advise educators to remember that respecting your students and treating them like the young adults we are shaping them to be is key to earning back their respect. Just be real.
Something else you want to share?
While maintaining an educational environment is important, the relationships that you build with your students are what matter most. It’s those relationships that many students will think about when they enter your classroom.