Alumna Tiffany Kyser shares memories of her early education teacher, how the School of Education impacted her, and encouragement for fellow alumni.
Interview with Dr. Tiffany Kyser
SoE: Who was your most memorable teacher, and what made them memorable?
Tiffany: Ms. Gilman. My 5th and 6th grade teacher who did the following to honor me, my lived experience, and my assets:
1. Considered what was relevant and effective for me and my classmates by sharing responsibility for how the physical environment looked, what would be taught, and how learning will occur and be accessed.
2. Positioned herself as a facilitator of learning rather than the only or primary source of knowledge in the classroom.
3. I and others were centered to explore the social problems that were relevant to our lives and engage in opportunities to take civic action.
4. Surfaced the non perceivable contributions of members of marginalized groups through literature, current events, classroom visitors, and overall curricular and instructional decisions.
5. Facilitated joy, storytelling, celebration, and mistakes or transgressions as developmentally appropriate and opportunity to learn (not to pathologize).
SoE: How did your experience at the IU School of Education at IUPUI shape who you are today?
Tiffany: Continued to cultivate a sense of community, encourage civic engagement, affirmed postures of education, gender, ability, racial, economic, environmental, and social justice.
SoE: What professional accomplishments have you been most proud of and why?
Tiffany: Receiving a Distinguished Level rating on my classroom observation evaluation my first-year teaching middle school language arts.
SoE: What can you share with educators, counselors or fellow alumni?
Tiffany: The Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center (MAP) is one of four regional Equity Assistance Centers, funded by the United States Department of Education under Title IV of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The MAP Center provides technical assistance and training, upon request, in the areas of race, sex, national origin, and religion to public school districts and other responsible governmental agencies to promote equitable educational opportunities and work in the areas of civil rights, equity, and school reform. The Center serves 13 State Educational Agencies, 7,025 Public School Districts, and 11,249,050 Public School Students.
If you are interested in learning more or submitting a request for assistance to leverage free, high quality technical assistance, view our website here: Great Lakes Equity Center Website
SoE: Is there anything else you would like to share with educators?
Tiffany: We, as educators, find ourselves and our school communities in a moment of collective and compounding pain due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, economic recession, race-based violence against BIPOC and religious minoritized communities, and extreme weather catastrophes (Silver et al., 2021). For those closest to issue of oppression, this further exacerbates one's labor to push back. However, I want to center our collective joy in community with one another as sustenance, as fortification. Let's take care of ourselves and take care of our communities. Some resources that may be of interest:
1. Resources for Addressing Violence Against BIPOC, Children, & Other Targeted Communities
2. The 20-Minute Talk: Anti-Racism Vodcast Series
3. That's All Folx Podcast