I knew I wanted to be a teacher since kindergarten, when a favorite game was teaching teddy bears to read and designing math problems for them to complete.
Since then my role as an educator has taken many forms, including professional development for student teachers and K-12 classroom teachers, teaching 6th grade Social Studies and English Language Arts as well as First Grade Waiver to Basic in Spanish and English. I have also taught art and culture classes including filmmaking, stop motion animation, blogging, and photography. I hold a Master’s in Education from UCLA as well as a multiple subjects teaching credential and BCLAD Spanish certification. My master’s thesis focused on the experiences of gender variant youth in the Los Angeles Unified School District. This original research informs workshops and trainings I offer to help schools become safe and welcoming places for transgender and gender variant students, with a particular focus on the intersections between gender identity and other identities such as race, class, and sexuality. I have given workshops to students at graduate schools of education, public school K-12 teachers, high school classes, Gay Straight Alliances, and college classes and conferences throughout the United States.
As an activist filmmaker, my four short films have screened hundreds of times worldwide at academic conferences, film festivals and on college campuses. My films have also been incorporated in college curricula. I combined these passions for education and filmmaking as a Media Arts Integration Specialist, serving Title I schools in the Hayward School District. As lead educator designing and implementing a 21st Century Schools grant from the Department of Education, I wrote project-based curriculum for K-8 students using iPads to create multimedia art integrating Common Core standards and 21st Century Skills with CA English Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Math and Visual Arts standards. I also provided on-going pedagogical and technological support for teachers as a coach helping teachers develop their own curricula utilizing the iPad labs.
I currently work with K-12 students one-on-one and in small groups, and write curricula for online Professional Development trainings for teachers in art integration, creative literacy instruction, and using technology for students with special needs.