I have been engaged in a rich and exciting career in the field of education for many years. A large part of my professional life was in New York City where I began as a third grade teacher in Spanish Harlem district 4. From there I moved on to higher education, where I taught English-as-a-Second Language, reading, and education methods courses . For the past ten years I have been a teacher educator at Central Connecticut State University.
As a constructivist I am respectful of student diversity and recognize the central role that individual and cultural experiences play in the learning process. However, I also believe that educators must be guided by theory, best practice, excellent interpersonal skills, enthusiasm, and a commitment to quality education underscored by the belief that we are all capable of learning. As an educator, I promote multiculturalism, quality in educational courses and programs, a forward-looking perspective, and always an emphasis on student-centered learning.
In my role as teacher and scholar, I believe teachers have the responsibility to nurture students’ understanding and celebrating of who they are both personally and culturally. Teachers must be willing and skilled in creating instructional contexts where culturally diverse learners can become active partners in the learning process. This implies that in order to teach effectively, teachers should learn about their students’ culture, background, and experience. The two book projects I have been part of Puerto Rico Past and Present: An Encyclopedia (1998) and Notable Caribbeans and Caribbean Americans (2003) propose to provide a resource for this to happen.