My teaching experience and approach has been intercultural and international throughout my career. I have taught a wide range of students: from introducing college-level literature to classes at Vanier College in Montreal to providing English instruction to Ethiopian continuing education students at the Afrika Beza College in Shashemene, Ethiopia to working with my University of the West Indies students, who bring a very different set of cultural and institutional touchstones to the classroom than do Canadian students. My teaching philosophy views learning as a process that involves multiple moments and meanings. Each class brings forth a different set of individuals who engage with course materials in different ways—bringing in a variety of perspectives that function differently depending on the course and the students involved. I understand how to adapt and evolve alongside my students through using a broad variety of approaches depending on the space and the students. This reflects my research approach, which is multi-sited and multidisciplinary in nature.
Overall, I am an enthusiastic teacher who enjoys the challenge of working with students who have different needs and learning styles. My approach attempts to bring together many different techniques so as to maintain student interest and invite different perspectives. The following are four dimensions that describe this approach and help me to reach my pedagogical goals of developing student ability to a) think through different points of view, b) work together to create, c) understand their own learning style, and d) see how their learning connects to the wider world.
As an instructor in the English department at Vanier College, I designed and taught both Continuing Education and Day courses. In addition, I also worked as the Assistant Coordinator of the English department, where one of my main responsibilities was teacher orientation and training. I acted as a consultant to the International Educational Cooperation committee, the College Diversity committee, and the Strategies for Student Success committee.
At the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, I taught Introduction to the Culture of Rastafari, Caribbean Folk Philosophy, African Religious Retentions and Rastafari in the Global Context, all interdisciplinary courses in the Institute of Caribbean Studies. I made use of varied texts and media in each of these courses, inviting guest speakers and promoting student engagement with local field research. Students were overwhelmingly positive about my teaching, so much so that I had students interested in taking more than one of my courses and tripled the regular enrolment of certain courses (Rastafari in the Global Context and African Religious Retentions).
In addition to mentoring specific graduate students, I also provided mentoring support for the wider cohort of graduate researchers through facilitating the graduate student seminar series and providing support for student presentations.