Hi, I'm Alexis!
Tell us a little about yourself I have been working with at-risk youth in East Harlem, helping them find their creative voice for the last 7 years. It is my mission- as a teaching artist and a holistic arts professional- to help others find their inner strength and uncover their unique power through artistic medium and the creative process. I believe that youth prosper & excel when given the ability to truly express themselves without judgement or shame and I aim to create the sacred space for our children to flourish.
What is your philosophy on and approach to behavioral management? I know that outward behavior is merely a reflection of inner-consciousness. I approach each situation with empathy, respect & understanding. My question is always, "What's going on? Are you ok?". There is always a solution and mostly always a peaceful one. I've rarely had behavioral management issues in my experience. I have attended and been certified in behavior management workshops. I also go in to each class with a set of group agreements and an open & honest attitude, full of mutual respect- and children sense that. They instantly take to me.
Who was your favorite teacher and why? My favorite teacher was my 8th grade catholic school teacher, Ms. Walsh. I went to school at Our Lady Queen of Angels in East Harlem, NYC and she was a teacher who had to deal with a difficult group of teens. I was a student who was going through a culture shock via a move from suburban new jersey to very urban spanish harlem. Even though I am spanish, the transition was extremely difficult. She, just being herself, gave me confidence to be myself. She showed me that no matter how different we are, we can make an impact and can help others around us. No matter what our class put her through she was there for us and cared for us all. She loved us, and it was real and we knew it. We loved her back. Do you have experience working with children with special needs? Only behavioral issues.
What's your philosophy on what it means to be a great teacher? A great teacher is always a great student, always on a constant pursuit of knowledge. To be a great teacher is to share all the knowledge I have obtained with all my fellow students. I aim to guide youth to see their uniqueness as a strength and to help them express their true selves through whatever medium they see fit.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering becoming a teacher? Be honest and real. Young people can sense insincerity from a mile away. If you really want to help, learn how to listen. In your opinion, what is the role of the live teacher in a world where it is becoming increasingly easy to get access to information through the internet and online courses? To be online and in those internet courses, figuring out how to utilize current technologies to continue to share correct information and gear individuals to live sessions or events. Flexibility is everything. And to be exposed to as many youth as I can, in person, just so I can help them decipher fact from fiction. As well as to help them see how many problems can be solved through the process of creative expression and mindfulness. The answer is often within us.
How can we, as teachers of children, work to build a society where people are respectful towards each other and the environment? Simply by being respectful towards our children and the environment, as an everyday practice- a way of life. You cannot teach respect, you are shown respect and you learn how to show respect. The best way I can get this message across to m students is through my own actions as a person.