I believe learning is a communal activity and I make space for every student to engage and participate in a meaningful way. My classroom pedagogy is rooted in shared experiences. In my instruction, I build on students’ previous experiences to link their existing knowledge to new concepts and ideas. I balance instruction time with short readings, reflective writing, partner and group discussions, hands-on activities, exploration, practice, and large group discussions. I know that students are learning when they independently reflect on the “why” behind the lesson, and when they return later to tell me how they applied and reflected on what they learned.
I began teaching in libraries when I was a thirteen-year-old volunteer at Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon. I was a “Homework Helper” who helped patrons use the library catalog (in 1996, this was a Telnet dial-up system, login: fastcat). I continued to volunteer at the public library throughout high school. In college, I worked as a Reserve Room Assistant and Circulation Desk Assistant in Mudd Library at Oberlin (I checked out a lot of movies to then-unknown Lena Dunham).
After college, I worked full-time in Human Resources for a very large company and I taught employees how to understand their benefits. I can think of no more challenging experience than trying to explain the difference between a premium and a deductible over the phone after the caller has been waiting on hold for twenty minutes.
I began working in community college libraries in 2012 with my first position as an adjunct librarian at Lower Columbia College (LCC) in Longview, Washington. While at LCC, I provided research help at the Reference Desk and I taught a few evening information literacy instruction sessions. In fall 2012, I accepted a position as a temporary full-time librarian at Pierce College in Puyallup, Washington. In my first year, I taught over 100 information literacy instruction sessions, answered lots of questions at the Reference Desk (including many questions between eight and nine o’clock in the morning, which I do not remember), and I learned a lot about what it means to support community college learners.
In fall 2013, I accepted a tenure-track position as an Assistant Professor, Reference and Instruction Librarian at Pierce College. Over the next three years, I continued to provide instruction in the library and I also taught classes for credit, including INFO 101: Research Essentials (a two-credit online course taught in Canvas) as well as COLLG 110: College Success, a mandatory three-credit class focusing on academic skills, goal setting, and cognitive psychology. I was trained to incorporate Reading Apprenticeship routines in my teaching and I facilitated workshops for other faculty to help them develop reading comprehension skills in their own classrooms. In March 2016, I was granted tenure by the Board of Trustees and was promoted to Associate Professor.
I was very happy at Pierce and enjoyed my work there immensely, but I also continued to look for opportunities to grow as an educator. In July 2016, I began a new position as Assistant Professor, Pedagogy & Assessment Librarian at Auraria Library in Denver, Colorado, where I continue to provide information literacy instruction and one-on-one research help. My primary responsibility is leading the library’s student learning assessment program and providing internal support to instruction librarians regarding information literacy pedagogy.