Teaching

• Composition & Writing Center Studies

• Technical & Professional Writing

• Cultural Rhetorics

My pedagogy is informed by my wide-ranging experiences and training across multiple—but interrelated—disciplines across writing and rhetoric studies (specifically those listed above). I love talking about teaching and pedagogy, especially using technology in daily activites and major projects. If you ever want to chat about these topics, please reach out. Below, you will my current teaching philosophy, sample syllabi, and teaching materials. For a more comprehensive look at my overall pedagogy, please click this link to see a teaching portfolio, including a sample syllabus, my teaching philosophy, and evaluations of my teaching effectiveness.

Teaching Philosophy

I am a writing and rhetoric educator who teaches from the  pedagogical intersection of composition and writing center studies, technical and professional writing, and cultural rhetorics. My primary goal as an educator is to develop students as rhetors and composers who can deftly use their rhetorical and writerly abilities to succeed in their professional and civic lives. I  work from the following values: 

  • I believe that culture is rhetorical and vice versa, and I operationalize this value within my curriculum so students can hone  their cultural, disciplinary, and rhetorical awareness.

  • I believe that education happens best in community, and my pedagogy includes opportunities for community-building (e.g., groupwork and instructor-student meetings) throughout the semester.  

  • I  believe writing pedagogy should be attuned to students’ professional and personal interests, literacies,  and goals. 

  • I believe students should think ethically about the documents they produce—even the seemingly mundane and innocuous—as well as the social and political implications of their work.

In the early groundwork of my courses, I make apparent these values and explain what my course is not (i.e., a primer on grammar, syntax, and essay writing) and what it is (i.e., refining research skills, multimodal making, rhetorical development, and improving genre awareness). I  work with students to help them outline what academic practices  work best for them, which often takes the form of: 1) a labor-based grading contract informed by anti-racist pedagogy, which emphasizes development and not grades;  2)  class-created assessment rubrics so students get the developmental assistance they specifically request; and 3)  ongoing  reflection  through  writing and group discussions so students further develop  their own learning and goals. My writing center training also informs the developmental feedback I give to students on their projects, activities, and other writings, and I focus more on training students to think as rhetors and writers as opposed to solely offering correctives to their work.

At the practical level, my pedagogy follows a weekly, scaffolded model of interrelated activities that allows students to practice composing for various rhetorical situations and their assigned projects. These activities, often done in groups to  foster collaboration and community, operate with students engaging in popular culture media important to them (i.e., music, television, movies) so they can work through concepts of audience, genre, and rhetoric in fun and applicable ways.  This attunement to my students’ cultural affinities also underpins the research-intensive project sequence I use to structure my courses, with each assignment being capacious enough for students’ interests, majors, and careers.

In my first-year writing class,  for example,  students examine the rhetorical and composing practices of professionals in their disciplines or careers, preparing a rhetorical toolkit (i.e., skills in memo writing, genre adaptability, and ethos-building exercises) for their other courses and future workplaces. This and other projects are informed by my technical and professional writing pedagogy, with which I foreground a close attention to ethics, accessibility, and design. These concerns factor into the remix project I also assign, through which students recreate a prior project through different media with close attention paid to disability and audience, copyright, and accessible design (i.e., captions, text size, color). Students have produced incredibly creative and smart short films, board games, podcasts, and flower arrangements, showcasing their rhetorical savvy in various ways.

Finally, I work from a maxim shared by Dr. Trixie Smith, director of the Writing Center at Michigan State University: “We’re all humans working with other humans.” I take these words to heart and often share them with students, telling them we’re all learning together—indeed, I have learned much from my students—and that we’re likely doing our best to understand the complex and continuous process that is writing.

Sample Syllabi & Teaching Material

Below, you will find some sample syllabi for courses that I have taught or co-taught and others that I have planned. Click or tap on the image or the title to see the syllabus PDF. You will also find sample projects that I assign in my courses. If you have any questions about the projects, syallbi, or readings, feel free to reach out!

This course is rhetorical, inductive, and inquiry based. The goal is to prepare you not only to approach new writing situations with confidence, but also to teach you the uses of rhetorical concepts for making sense of your world—mostimmediately, in the transition to college life and learning. The curriculum invites you to put you prior knowledge in relation to new understandings of rhetoric, literacy, and culture.

This course uses a cultural rhetorics approach to examine how Chicanx Rhetorics contributes to culturally situated meaning-making. We will accomplish this through a sustained interrogation of: the definitions of Chicanx and Chicanx Rhetorics; the role of community engagement; the affordances and limitations of identity-based rhetorics; hybridity/interdisciplinarity; and meaning-making based in making culture and storytelling. This multi-pronged approach will be grounded in such topics as Indigeneity, borders and borderlands, food sovereignty, Chicanx environmentalism, Queer Chicana Feminisms, Border Arte and Visual Rhetorics, and Queer Chicanx Rhetorics.

This course is designed to introduce students to key theories, conversations, methodologies, and practices of digital rhetorics through the key idea that technologies are cultural. We’ll seek to understand where and why digital rhetoric emerged as a loosely defined thread of scholarship, unpacking definitions, boundaries, issues, and ways of knowing in a still very much emerging field of study. In addition to getting a feel for the conversational tenor in digital rhetorics, we will also interrogate means of digital invention and praxis.

In this course, students examine the purposes of medical and scientific writing, specifically focusing on methodologies, genres, and audiences. Through readings and engagement in salient topics (e.g., medical racism, environmental justice), students are offered the chance to critique and imitate scientific writing styles for various audiences. This course is designed as a survey of medical and science writing through two overarching thematics: 1) Science and Technology and 2) Health and Medicine. Though these two themes bifurcate the course, we will quickly learn how intertwined both can be and how compositional practices manifest similarly in both as disciplinary and professional arenas.