My approach to teaching is social justice-oriented, collaborative, and grounded in real-life application. I view instruction as an opportunity to examine ourselves and the world around us and to dismantle oppressive systems. My goal is to establish positive relationships with students while viewing them as experts from whom I can learn as well. I firmly believe that an environment that is both nurturing and intellectually challenging will motivate students to continue learning beyond the classroom. My goal is to broaden their perspectives and analytical skills so they may go out and be agents of change in their communities.

As a practioner, I have taught language in many contexts such as: public elementary schools, Spanish immersion schools, English institutions in Argentina, and Montessori schools. What I noticed, however, was that language curricula was often based on grammar and essentialized representations of the target culture. Many times the programs inadvertently perpetuated stereotypes and generalizations. I felt students would learn more if the instruction were connected to real-life issues that carried a social weight. I investigated a critical literacy approach to these stereotypes with elementary students for my M.Ed thesis and the results showed that students learned tools for noticing and addressing stereotypes. I continued this work into my dissertation topic of critical and antiracist approaches to authentic materials in language learning.

Current projects

I am a collaborator for the national newsletter Plurilingual and Pluriculturales: A Newsletter on Critical Language Education. We aim to bridge the gap between research and praxis by providing summaries of current pedagogical research in accessible formats for classroom educators. We also engage with students and the larger community to address current issues in education.

Additionally, as an ongoing project, I am part of a team of scholars and educators who develop open source materials using critical pedagogies. These materials are created for Spanish classes in higher education and are formatted in such a way that they require no prep work in advance for the instructor.

Pedagogical training and awards

In 2011 I completed my post-baccalaureate teaching certificate for Spanish K-12. In 2015 I completed my M.Ed in Elementary Education. My master's thesis examined critical literacy for elementary Spanish programs in order to recognize and counteract stereotypes of Spanish-speakers.

I earned the University Teaching Certificate through UCRs Teaching Assisstant Development Program. This program involves pedagogy workshops and the creation of a teaching portfolio.

I have been nominated for the UCR Distinguished Teaching Award. Graduate student TAs are nominated by students, faculty, or fellow graduate students.