TEACHING PHILOSOPHY STATEMENT
A combination informs my teaching of experiences: being a Black student and professor in Predominately White Institutions, deciphering cultural misunderstandings, and advocating for myself tirelessly. In addition, I employ the theories of bell hooks, practices of Culturally Responsive Teaching, and ideologies of Hood Feminism. In my classes, my goal is for students to leave with a sense of community and support.
bell hooks wrote, “As a classroom community, our capacity to generate excitement is deeply affected by our interest in one another, in hearing one another’s voices, in recognizing one another’s presence.” In my creative work and teaching, I employ hooks’ pedagogical approach of Engaged Pedagogy by collaborating with dancers and students on designing the subject matter to be presented. In my creative work, I use Kinetic Storytelling to collaborate with my dancers on the choreography, music, costuming, and lighting. In my teaching, I ask my students questions such as, “What are they interested in exploring” and “What do they want to get out of the class.” Engaged Pedagogy in both formats has allowed participants to explore their
individual artistic expression. These explorations have led to students’ curiosities beyond the classroom.
I engage in Culturally Responsive Teaching by employing music, social media, social dances, and current events that reflect my students’ social and cultural makeup. This blended method of Engaged Pedagogy and Culturally Responsive Teaching has allowed me to approach teaching in a way that addresses the needs of the students as well as the needs of the course. An example of this approach is d. Sable grimes’ practice of F.H.A.T. cyphers. I employ F.H.A.T cyphers as a way for each student to explore their individual artistic expression and build community in the classroom.
Applying Hood Feminism brings to light my passion for supporting my students’ growth. At the beginning of my classes, I conduct a “temperature check” to gain a general sense of where students are mentally, physically, and emotionally. I do this by asking students, “What does your body need” and “What does your mind need.” After hearing the students’ responses, I move forward with the course material and make adjustments to address the needs of the students.
My creative work and teaching consistently aim to celebrate and elevate marginalized bodies by encouraging them to embrace their swag, steeze, and steelo. My creative work and teaching support through sicing and hyping. My creative work and teaching encompass my passion for letting individuals know they are seen, heard, and acknowledged.