As a professor in the city of Houston I have worked with students from a variety of cultural backgrounds and with unique educational needs. I know that students learn best when the material they are asked to engage with speaks directly to their experiences and when crafting learning experiences I always keep that in the forefront of my mind. When I teach creative writing courses and craft my syllabi, I ensure that I always include BIPOC, LGBTQI+ and disabled writers whose work reflects the backgrounds of the students I teach.
One of the greatest lessons I learned from my own mentors was understanding that the greatest growth occurs when students are encouraged and inspired to ask questions more than to answer them and for that reason I prefer to use the Liz Lerman critical response process when discussing student work in group settings in order to facilitate discussion and conversation. I believe this feedback process is less intimidating and more inclusive of the ways in which BIPOC students learn and respond to critique and provides a better framework for unpacking and developing a piece of writing. Finally, I believe in meeting students where they are as artists and writers and pushing them forward with enough rigor and compassion to help them reach their personal professional and artistic goals.