I come to the field of education via theatre arts, therefore I approach teaching as I do directing and acting: Acting is doing—and so is learning. It is my firm belief that people learn and understand best when theory leaps off of the page and is put into practice.
I endeavor to create a cooperative classroom environment where learning can be approached from all angles, a safe environment where risk taking is encouraged and deeper understandings are drawn. Using drama as education it is my goal to teach students not only theatre skills, but skills for leading a more productive life in any field. Confidence, cooperation, creative thinking, problem solving, perspective and open mindedness are skills nurtured and promoted in my theatre classes, through games, discussion, scene work and improvisation.
As an educator and as a director I strive to be adaptable and flexible enough to meet the needs of my students. I firmly believe that with any goal there are infinite paths to achievement and always view each student as an individual; methods of instruction that work for some may not work for others, and I pride myself on my ability to diagnose each student’s particular needs and help them find their own path to success with any lesson or project. In addition, I am always conscious of various learning styles and incorporate in-roads through multiple intelligences into each unit. In every class I do my utmost to be open, aware and responsive to the energy and needs of the group. It is imperative to be able to think on my feet and ready to try many different approaches to any given lesson or topic.
Above all I prize the learning that presents itself through problem solving. Learning is messy and should be fostered as an organic, ever-changing art. Letting students stumble through, think through and re-think challenges gives them the greatest opportunity for comprehension and skill building. Trial and error is prized above perfection in my classroom; the latter leaves no room for growth. Giving students agency in their own learning and ownership of their projects yields the greatest results in education; I always encourage them to draw not only from their rich imaginations but also from their own diverse backgrounds and complex lives, from their unique perspective of the world around them.
It is my hope and my goal to see students shed self-consciousness, express themselves freely and confidently without fear of judgment, and gain an empathy and understanding not only for themselves but society as a whole. I consider it my duty to encourage, guide, assist and offer possibilities to students, to always be constructive, energetic, supportive and to hold students to the highest level of expectations—and make them believe they are capable of the very best effort in all things.