World and US History
Venice High School, STEMM Magnet/Los Angeles Unified School District
Local writing project:
UCLA Writing Project (UCLAWP)
Awards & Recognition
- UCLAWP Teacher Consultant
- 2011-2012 LAUSD Teacher of the Year
- 2011 Venice Chamber of Commerce WAVE Education Award
- 2014 United Way Inspirational Teacher Award
- National Board Certified in Social Studies
The UCLA Writing Project has impacted my teaching in myriad ways. It has inspired me to declare to my students that I am a writer and that we will be a community of writers together. It has pushed me to not only challenge my students to think more critically and to express their perspectives through writing, but it has also challenged me to grow as an educator in similar ways.
The UCLA Writing Project helped me to rediscover the writer in me. Since becoming part of the UCLA Writing Project, I have had four essays published in various journals and anthologies. And I’ve written many more that just have not find their right home yet.
The UCLA Writing Project gave me the confidence in myself to realize that I have great ideas that are worth sharing with other teachers. I regularly present workshops for teachers at local conferences and professional development sessions throughout the year. Also, I have had the amazing opportunity to co-direct our local project’s Invitational Leadership Institute in the Teaching of Writing since 2011. In this special role I have the direct opportunity to welcome in the next group of Teacher Consultants and model for them what it means to be an educator, a writer, and a leader.
I believe we all need to write. Teachers. Students. People. We all have stories to share, opinions to present, poetry to sing. To the Greeks, “poetry” was a verb-- an action that transforms and continues the world. I give my students daily opportunities to transform and continue our world.
Though not specifically about the teaching of writing, I’ll recommend Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed. This book made it clear to me that by inspiring our students to write, we are giving them the power to confront oppression. They can become the critical creators of content, rather than passive consumers of content. As Freire puts it, each individual wins back the right to “say his or her own word, to name the world.” Through writing, this is achieved.