Twelve years of college-level teaching and tutoring in the U.S. (Cornell, Harvard), Italy (Johns Hopkins SAIS), and France (Université François Rabelais) inform my teaching philosophy and research projects. My experience instructing classes in multiple disciplines (Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Linguistics, American Art History) and class sizes (200-student lectures to 20-student seminars) in both Italian and English honed my flexibility as a teacher: in all courses, I focus on the specific class context to select teaching methods.
CORNELL TEACHING – Ithaca, NY
Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program
Introduction to Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (FGSS 2010) Teaching Assistant, Fall 2014
Assisted in leading discussions for 31 undergraduates. Shared all grading responsibilities with professor. Taught interactive lessons on “Gender Online” and “Gender, Power, and Self-Presentation” using role-play, debate, and student-as-teacher activities to actively engage students with emerging issues in the field. Created multimedia homework assignments involving Internet ethnography and research. Designed and distributed student survey to assess teaching skills and refine pedagogic techniques.
Food, Gender, Culture (FGSS 3720, cross-listed as ENGL 3720, AMST 3720)
Teaching Assistant, Spring 2013
Taught “Cookbooks” lesson from Material Culture Studies perspective, incorporating key reading concepts into hands-on activities to apply abstract ideas to authentic materials. Homework, a guided exploration of online Barilla Menu Archive, allowed for learner autonomy, while kinesthetic “Gallery Walk” warm-up activity helped students to share their findings. Regularly facilitated small-group discussions for 45 undergraduate students and held office hours. Provided feedback for staged assignments leading up to final paper, including topic selection, prospectus, and bibliography. Graded final papers.
Department of Romance Studies
European Modernisms: Style in Architecture, Literature, and Film (ITAL 1301)
Instructor, Spring 2015
This Freshman Writing Seminar, slated for Spring 2015, examines design in early 20th-century Italy and France to provide a toolkit of stylistic techniques for argumentation. Students analyze a single expression of Modernism across architecture, literature, and film. Perched on the cliffs above the Mediterranean shore, the home of author Curzio Malaparte is a Modernist marvel. Photos, paintings, and plans from this architectural jewel contextualize its role as the setting for Jean-Luc Godard’s sumptuous film Contempt. The dream-like short stories of Malaparte himself round out this visit to the isle of Capri. Weekly role-play and debates connect art, politics, and persuasion. For the final project, students build a multimedia ePortfolio to demonstrate the development of their approach to writing, style, and Modernism.
Italian Intermediate Composition and Conversation (ITAL 2090)
Instructor, Spring 2013
Used Communicative approach in daily activities immerse 9 undergraduates in Italian literature and film. Crafted novel activities with role-play, student board work, and novel room configurations to promote learner-centered discussion and analysis. Designed and implemented bi-weekly blog writing to promote technological and cultural literacy on the Italian Internet. Developed rubric to assess students’ communicative writing skills in connection with blog initiative. Refined rubric on basis of student feedback to highlight importance of register and tone. Requested filmed observations for pedagogic and linguistic critique from both Romance Studies Department and Center for Teaching Excellence. Incorporated pre- and post-course Qualtrics surveys and student focus group to characterize learners’ shifting conceptions of second language writing. Semi-structured interviews evaluated blog writing’s capacity to increase student engagement.
Elementary Italian ( ITAL 1210 and 1220)
Instructor, Fall 2010 – Fall 2012
Led daily class discussions and activities for 8-25 undergraduate students and interested professors. Introduced bi-weekly virtual office hours via Skype while maintaining traditional office hours. Developed and implemented novel course materials to introduce technology into the classroom and to increase racial diversity in class images and texts. Provided interactive lecture for Buongiorno, Notte film night. Worked with Cornell Cinema to produce film series “Food: Italian Style!” and created related homework assignments to help students study Italian-American identity outside of the classroom. Graded homework, quizzes, tests, and language lab projects. Implemented student surveys, visited professor’s sections, and solicited colleague observations to assess teaching effectiveness.
Center for Teaching Excellence
Enhancing Teaching with Technology (Workshop Series)
Instructor, Fall 2012
Taught How to use ePortfolios to Enhance and Assess Student Work and How to Lead a Discussion in an Online Classroom workshops. Developed and taught learner-centered ePortfolio and Online Discussion workshops for 25 TA participants. Balanced “Freeware Tour” of Cornell-supported sites (Mahara, Digication) and user-friendly sites (WordPress, Googlesites) with interactive activities to help TAs determine the type of freeware appropriate to their teaching goals. Highlighted importance of LAW Model in structuring online discussion. Organized reflection groups to strategize ePortfolio and online thread assessment methods. Surveyed TAs to evaluate efficacy of workshop and identify areas for improvement. Offered 2 weeks of “Tech Tutoring” via GChat to help TAs apply and adapt workshop lessons to enhance teaching. Having participated in similar workshops these Fall 2011, leading these lessons the following year allowed me to come full circle from learner to teacher.
INTERNATIONAL TEACHING – Italy and France
Associazione Italo-Americana at Johns Hopkins SAIS – Bologna, Italy
American Literature (Introductory-Advanced) Instructor, Fall 2007 – Spring 2009
Designed daily lesson plans to contextualize literature in American cultural history. Wrote all pre- and post-reading discussion and reflection questions. Employed Communicative techniques more commonly associated with language teaching to the study of literature. Created rubric for assessment involving both qualitative and quantitative dimensions. Graded all quizzes and tests, and wrote evaluations of student progress at term’s end.
English Language (TEFL levels 1-6) Instructor, Fall 2007 – Spring 2009
Incorporated Communicative Method teaching techniques, including polls, debates, and modified childhood games, such as Pictionary. Implemented daily study of American slang, and weekly examination of subaltern forms of English, including Ebonics, Cockney Rhyming slang, and regional vocabulary terms. Developed denotation system to alert students as to relative register (formality) and charge (intensity) of slang terms. Created rubric for assessment involving both qualitative and quantitative dimensions. Graded all quizzes and tests, and wrote 3-page evaluations of student progress at term’s end.
Université François Rabelais – Tours, France
American Art History
Lecturer, Spring 2007
Created weekly Powerpoint presentations and discussion questions for 200-student lecture course. Allocated additional class time and study space to elaborate on Pop Art and The Ash Can School, based on overwhelming student enthusiasm. Employed techniques common to smaller courses, such as Think-Pair-Share and group work. Wrote and graded final exam and rubric.
Phonetics in American and British English
Lecturer, Fall 2006
Lead weekly linguistics study using Audio-Lingual method in university Language Lab with cassette tapes and earphones. Employed International Phonetic Alphabet to teach pronunciation through guided repetition. Taped and graded all final exams. An amusing side note: I was contractually required to speak in a British accent for the first two months of this course.
English for Computer Science and Technology
Lecturer, Fall 2006
Targeted computer lab activities to study linguistic conventions of Internet English and vocabulary study of technological terms. Guided students through variant forms English in blogs, social media, technology forums, as well as basic coding through partnered activities and peer- and teacher-assessed participation on English sites. Created progressive grading system to give bi-monthly feedback on student development.
Harvard Tutoring – Cambridge, MA
Harvard Bureau of Study Counsel
Intermediate Italian Language
Tutor, Fall 2004 – Spring 2006
Created personalized Italian language study plans for undergraduate students. Led bi-weekly meetings to incorporate new grammar concepts into existing linguistic framework. Student grades typically rose by a full letter over the course of a year.
Intermediate French Language
Tutor, Fall 2004 – Spring 2006
Developed and delivered supplementary grammar and vocabulary learning plans for students. Worked with tutees to create personalized study guides to continue language learning beyond course framework. Students’ grades rose within a single semester.