“The need for groups to creatively reimagine the present, so as to control the future, is essential” - Elsa Noterman

My motivation to teach, simply put, is to affect lifesaving change the way that my teachers did onto me. I choose to be involved with teaching as a way to create radical pedagogical practices that put revolutionary ideology into action. My experience with eduction was one that opened a multitude of doors for me; It brought safety, empowerment and a sense of confidence. Education is the beginning of how we can transform our culture. It ignites passion, curiosity and has the ability to break down barriers of accessibility and incomprehension. 

As I reflect on my beliefs regarding education, I find that my missions as a media based educator is as follows: 
-Learning objectives that are holistic in approach (incorporating the emotional and social) 
-Interdisciplinary in base
-Regular historical and theoretical context and analysis 
-Local community engagement 
-Encouragement of a critical and creative relationship to digital media

I believe that education should be empowering, self-transforming, and interdisciplinary by nature. It should lead to growth, create empathy and support self-discovery. My educational philosophy is one that is grounded in intersectional exploration. I subscribe to a holistic educational approach that seeks for a learning experience that is a comprehensive integration of all the facets that compromise a human being, rather than just the ones of traditional academic subjects. I hope for my courses to be collectively bound and community oriented. Community involvement is crucial as a way to reverse the distance that academy has historically created between them and the very social movements that helped to launch the fields in the first place. I support critical thinking, interrogation of conventional ideals, experimental practices, and all outlets that enable students develop a voice.

I whole heartedly reject the reductionist view that humans are simply a machine with parts that can be modified in isolation to become upstanding members of the economy. That does not help anyone meet their full potential. I fight against a neoliberal education, and reopen the possibility for spaces of education to be a place where students develop their own ideas and thinking, and create new learning opportunities that allow for students to take leadership. 

With the academy being a bounded and a striated space, I find it just as crucial to question the entity as a whole just as it is to question the world around it. I am heavily influenced by revolutionary pedagogies, such as University of Lincoln’s project, “Student as Producer.” This initiative aims to break the logic within higher education that positions students as consumers. Instead, this alternative model positions the student to re-engineer the relationship between student and teacher and to become a more integral part of the research and teaching process. Visualizing the student as producer is not only a crucial way to integrate creative practices into the classroom, but is what leads me to my interest as a media based educator. 

Digital media is my field of focus for a plethora of reasons. I am intrigued by its insidious and elaborate nature and am unabashedly in awe of the artists and activists that have attempted to decode and subvert it. Indisputably, video and new media are at the crux of how our society functions. If we are to understand how our world works,how our communities exist and how we understand ourselves, it is imperative that we learn our digital landscapes. If media is the vessel in which our social norms, histories and identities are transmitted, then it can also be a vessel through which social change can occur. New media holds the potential to generate radically new forms of cultural existence, and I plan to do my best in helping others visualize and create those livelihoods. 

My teaching enacts my beliefs and goals of an inclusive learning environment by socratic learning, experimentation, collaboration, and creative practices. I believe learning works best when a student is not a passive recipient of knowledge transmitted through the teacher, but as an active participant. This includes interactive lectures, collective style artistic activities, and open checkpoints through the semester to assess the direction of the course itself. I hope for my classes to begin with communally decided group agreements and for the course to end with meaningful feedback for myself and others and reflection on the semester. 

The goals I have for my students are for them to experience support, agency, cooperative learning, and to socially and emotionally engage in complex topics. Students’ proficiencies become evident to me when I see the knowledge that they have gained in my class being brought to other spheres of their life. I hope to see the distance between academia and outside communities become lessened through the activities of class participants. 

As I venture through these experiences with my students, I want to be constantly learning alongside them, practicing humility and rejecting unnecessary hierarchical and coercive tactics along the way. I seek to create meaningful relationships that involve authentic communication and earnest vulnerability. To teach, for me, is to contribute to the development of innovative, confident and critically minded students that will actively participate in the development of our [digital] ecology and political landscapes.