My Piece of the Puzzle
- I love thinking about the big picture and planning out meaningful paths to get there most effectively.
- I love learning from others and making connections so that we can use our strengths to build a better world.
- I love puzzles, problem-solving, and challenges. It’s fun thinking about what could be and then going after it!
From kindergarten to 12th grade, I never saw anyone in the school that looked like me – students or adults. I never saw any characters in stories that came even close to reflecting my identity. I never understood the references in stories and tests because it wasn’t anything my family did on the weekend. I never saw myself in the surveys when my only option was to fill out ‘other.’ As a first-generation Filipino American living in the Midwest, I always felt like an ‘other’ at school and I was on the outside looking in. To be successful, I needed to figure out how to get ‘in,’ first I had to understand what they were talking about (especially in reading class), then figure out the actual skill I was supposed to be mastering. It never felt fun to learn. It felt like a job.
It wasn’t till I was a first-year teacher in Charlotte that I realized I could choose to do something different with my students. Learning could be fun. Learning didn’t have to feel like a job. Learning could be designed FOR my students. I looked for texts where my students could see themselves. I searched for experiences that would deepen my students’ interest in school and learning. When we read something they didn’t understand, we explored and made sense of it together. It made a difference in our classroom culture and ultimately made a difference in what we were able to achieve together. This experience shifted how I thought about education – learning can be inclusive and fun. I took that lesson into the rest of my classrooms in North Carolina, China, and Ohio. I kept that philosophy as I coached beginning teachers and it was foundational as I co-authored social-emotional learning curricula. Learning, whether for students or adults, is more meaningful and impactful when you can make a personal connection and have fun along the way. As the Senior Designer of Adult Learning at reDesign, I work to create engaging learning experiences that help to set up classrooms and schools for change so that all learners can thrive.
What Brings Me Joy in the World
I’m happiest when I get a chance to laugh and spend time with the people I love most, especially my two daughters, Layla and Ella, and my husband, Travis. Our family is very student-centered 🙂 so we spend lots of time watching (and sometimes coaching) elementary school sports. To raise two humans who can go out in the world to be kind, be brave, and make a difference is one of the most important things I can do and something I am super passionate about!
What I’ve Been Inspired to Work On
I’ve been inspired to create and be a part of learning experiences where people can be the best version of themselves.
Learning Communities & Credentials
- Studied Advertising and Communication at Xavier University (OH), where I graduated Magna Cum Laude
- Obtained post-bacclaureate certification in Middle School Language Arts from University of North Carolina – Charlotte
- Accredited Real Time Teacher Coach, Center for Transformative Teacher Training
- Co-Author of Thriving Learning Communities(™) Curriculum Guides (Early Childhood, K-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, HS, Afterschool Activity Cards) )
From our reDesign community to yours, we look forward to connecting, co-designing, learning, and sharing with you.