I am a doctoral candidate in the Critical and Socio-Cultural Studies in Education Program at the University of Oregon, a highly-competitive program that focuses on qualitative research methods as they are applied to research in the field of education, curriculum, pedagogy, public policy, and other related fields. I am studying posthumanism, pragmatism, critical race theory, afropessimism, Indigenous theories of agency, and theories of teacher knowledge in service of my goal of developing and implementing anti-racist teacher education. It is my wish to become a professor in the field of teacher education, and/or qualitative research methods.
Prior to enrolling in this program, I was a classroom teacher in fifth grade English/Language Arts and Social Studies at Howe School of Excellence, a school of mostly Black and Brown students in the Austin Neighborhood on the west side of Chicago. There I had the privilege of teaching some of the brightest and most engaging students of my life. Because of their abilities and engagement, I was able to modify and enrich the curriculum with more inclusive material that was both relevant to their lived experiences and well above what might be considered their grade level. During the beginning of the Flint water crisis we used a lead water testing kit to test the water in the drinking fountain outside of our classroom (it tested negative) and read the results when they arrived. We also studied the adverse effects of artificial turf fields and wrote letters to the principals asking them to make changes to the recess field. Prior to my work with the 5th graders, I worked at National Teachers Academy (NTA) as an ELA and Social Studies teacher on the near south side of Chicago in the school that formerly served the Harold Ickes Projects. An example of the work that I did at NTA was working with my students to develop, script, film, edit, and produce video content for an assembly focused on the early Civil Rights Movement.