In 2000, I began my teaching career in The Gambia, West Africa. It was during my time there as a math and science teacher that my educational platform and pedagogical practices started to develop, along with my ardor for teaching. While teaching, I also collaborated with the Ministry of Education in Girls’ Education programs and conducted teacher trainings on classroom management.

 

After my Peace Corps experience, I had the honor to continue my teaching career on the Zuni Pueblo in New Mexico. Teaching in The Gambia and in Zuni offered a series of unique and common challenges. While teaching in both regions, I witnessed the disconnect between my students’ identities and the educational system; primarily within the context of the national standards. As a teacher in both regions, I felt it was my responsibility to develop curricula that respected and honored the identities of those with whom I worked in order to guide students in a meaningful learning experience. I was able to further explore these ideas and the implications by conducting Participatory Action Research with my Zuni students. The process of this research ultimately led me to CIE!

 

During my time as a high school science teacher in Zuni, I earned a MAT-Secondary Education from Western New Mexico University and a M.S. in International Community Economic Development as a Peace Corps Fellow at Southern New Hampshire University. The two programs, balanced in theory and methods, started my process of critical reflection on my positionalities and the implications of my practice. I came to CIE to continue this reflective process, to bridge my education and development background, and to join this wonderful community of learners and practitioners while I focus on participatory approaches to youth international development.  

 

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