My Teaching Statement

As an educator, trainer, and mentor, I am deeply honored to have a vocation that allows me to enrich the lives and minds of others. As a Theatre professor, I am sincerely grateful for the opportunity to design and support a curriculum that blends critical thinking with psychosocial competencies, such as equanimity, self-love, and vulnerability. By teaching the art of acting and directing, I aim to equip my students with the skills necessary to master their craft and themselves. Each day, I cherish my fiduciary responsibility to cultivate intrinsic qualities in my students that will enhance their personal growth and benefit the wider community. My overarching mission is to foster a mindful, collaborative, and persevering approach among my students, with the ultimate goal of dismantling problematic cultural features such as perfectionism, individualism, and power hoarding, particularly within the entertainment industry. I firmly believe that by challenging artists to critically analyze their dogmatic views on identity and worldview, while guiding them towards the mastery of their art, we can create a more truthful and equitable society. To achieve this mission, I employ a hybrid pedagogy of holistic and practical measures. As a reflective practitioner, I have developed three foundational standpoints that guide my in-class demeanor and the structure of my courses. I view teaching as an ever-evolving practice, and I will continuously strive to improve these approaches to facilitate a transformative learning experience for my students.


At the start of each academic term, I employ an inquiry-based pedagogical approach by encouraging my students to reflect on their learning goals, areas for improvement, and desired outcomes. By creating an atmosphere of autonomy, democracy, and inclusivity from the outset, I foster a mindful learning environment that supports students in their academic and personal growth. Throughout the semester, I prioritize accessibility by inviting students to lead check-ins at the beginning of each lesson, which enables me to assess their cognitive and physical positions. These check-ins encourage creativity and ensemble building, two essential components of a successful classroom culture. Even in cases where time is limited, I make sure ask students, "How are we today?" to ensure that everyone's voice is heard. To promote diversity and equality, I carefully select learning activities, readings, and instructional artifacts that align with the current needs of each class. While I do assign traditional evaluations such as tests and essays, I prioritize minimizing teacher talk to give students opportunities to learn by sharing their discoveries with the class. A prime example of this approach is the "un-essay," which encourages students to present their ideas in creative ways such as through hip-hop songs, devised skits, and paintings. I welcome and celebrate these diverse and imaginative approaches to learning. Additionally, I encourage my students to practice mindfulness through techniques such as meditation, journaling, and active listening. By fostering self-awareness of the mind, body, and soul, students can deepen their learning and enhance their personal growth. Ultimately, my goal as an educator is to create a mindful and inclusive learning environment that empowers students to reach their full potential.


Creating a strong and respectful learning community is at the heart of my teaching philosophy. I prefer to engage my students in collaborative learning activities such as think-pair-shares and group work, rather than relying solely on lectures. Whenever possible, I arrange chairs in a circle to promote equality and minimize the traditional "sage on a stage" approach. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have incorporated gamification into my teaching style. This involves using checklists and step-by-step instructions in assignment sheets and rubrics, assigning team names for group projects, and conducting Jeopardy-style review sessions. By incorporating gamification, I can easily evaluate my students' comprehension of the concepts taught. Moreover, friendly peer competition can motivate even the shyest students to participate in class, feel valued in their group, and confidently retain the material. This approach fosters a collaborative environment where students learn to take risks and appreciate the learning process. While I strive to create an engaging and interactive classroom, I never compromise the value of mutual respect. For me, mutual respect among students is more crucial than their respect for me as an educator. To this end, I encourage all my students to use the framework of "Like, Notice, and Wonder" when discussing their peers' performance. Additionally, I always emphasize the importance of self-respect to my students. When I hear my students engaging in negative self-talk, I challenge them to rephrase or rethink limiting beliefs.


My teaching philosophy emphasizes humor and joy while maintaining clear academic expectations. I hold students accountable by setting high standards, such as rarely accepting late assignments and challenging them to select intimidating scenes or characters to embody. When providing feedback on student's work, I encourage them to reflect on their successes as well as areas for improvement. I also offer individual mid-term meetings to provide tailored notes and ask students to self-assess their progress in class. In addition to my holistic teaching approach, I believe in a practical education that prepares students for post-graduation self-sufficiency, networking skills, and understanding the business aspect of show business. To accomplish this, I stay current with industry trends by incorporating recent articles, books, and interviews into my lessons and assignments. I encourage my students to think like entrepreneurs and explore how formal education is just a part of their journey. Ultimately, my goal here is to develop Savvy Artists who are self-aware, maintain healthy relationships, and are proactive and resourceful. I challenge my students to become independent thinkers who bring confidence and compassion to their work to persevere through rejection.

To summarize my teaching philosophy, I use the three F's: fun, firm, and fair. My approach to teaching involves integrating holistic practices with practical concepts in the classroom. As a proponent of Bell Hook's pedagogy of kindness, I extend this to all my students, treating each group as an extension of my family, guiding them towards mindfulness, community, and grit. By the end of the academic term, my class operates like a small production company, with professional collaborations forming and artistic teamwork becoming second nature. I prioritize deep listening and respect to foster a safe and brave space for all participants, where everyone is both a learner and educator, embarking on a journey of self-discovery towards self-sufficiency, which positively impacts both their future and our community. Thank you for taking the time to read.