How did you decide to explore education as a career path?
Initially I went to school for musical theatre and I realized that the lifestyle and cutthroat atmosphere was not for me. Since kindergarten, as weird as it is, I've always wanted to be a math teacher. I always thought being a teacher was the greatest job ever. New York University has an educational theatre program which is not only about teaching theatre, but also using theatre as a catalyst in core curriculum as much as possible through process drama.
How did you arrive at your position at CH-CH and why is the Skills and Academic Support department a good fit for you as an educator?
At the school I taught in previously in NY, I was a math teacher but for a small class of about 6 kids on average, all of whom had learning differences in math. I used my creative side in theater arts as much as I possibly could in a core curriculum class. It was a really fun as well as challenging for me. The students responded to it very well because it wasn't a cookie cutter, cut and dry math class. It involved a lot of projects and long-term group work, and it provided the students the steps they needed to succeed in math class, which tends to be a difficult class for most.
At CH-CH, you have also taken on the role of Director of the Drama Performance Program. What do you bring to this role for our students?
First and foremost, I bring a sense of excitement. I love theatre and my biggest wish is that those who come to the drama program understand how easy it is to love theatre. I want to show them how much it can change your person. It can make a person better, more creative, more able to communicate, more open to social situations and more brave. You have to be brave to be onstage and make bold choices.
What have you learned in your teaching that you think of and practice on a daily basis?
As a teacher you need to know how to pose questions. As a director, it’s not about giving answers, it’s about asking questions to guide them and give them the skill they need to then solve the problem on their own. It’s about earning trust so we can communicate and learn together.
Using one word, how would you describe CH-CH?
Synergistic. There are lots of types of people, but we all work well together.