Ricky strives to create a safe educational environment that is just, equitable, and inclusive. They believe creativity can help promote empathy, critical thinking, and democratic decision making, so that our students can be better equipped to become active members of their communities.
Through their unique curriculum, Ricky strives to help students find their own voice and use art to make a positive impact on society. Having taught at various high schools across the country, including California School of the Arts - San Gabriel Valley and Brooklyn High School of the Arts, Ricky has experienced firsthand the positive changes that can come from giving students the space, autonomy, and tools needed to express themselves.
Pillars of Curriculum
Restorative and Racial Justice
Ricky's curriculum addresses historical injustices and examines systems that keep communities marginalized. Their lessons aim to revitalize the creative process by encouraging risk-taking, difficult conversations, and hands-on exploration of complex social issues.
Ricky believes in responding to the individual needs of each student, allowing them to explore their creativity in a way that resonates with them, and helps them reclaim the cultural creativity that is found in their unique backgrounds.
Ricky offers a unique and creative approach to arts education through collaborative "Community Agreements," in which students work with Ricky to create the ideal classroom environment. Students are then encouraged to use their own stories to reflect their points of view and address the things they care about the most.
Example Exercise & Student Project
Objective: Being creative doesn't always mean you have to perform, write a song, or paint a picture. We have creative thoughts every day. Your story and your point of view are innately creative.
Outcomes: Collaboration, Storytelling, Critical Thinking, Communication
STEP 1: Students respond to four simple prompts on four separate post-its.
STEP 2: Students split into groups of 4 and read their post-its aloud.
STEP 3: Students identify a common theme across the various responses (Ex. Each of the group members wrote about music).
STEP 4: Students have a discussion about why that theme is important to them (Ex. Music is comforting).
STEP 5: Students arrange their post-its in an order that tells a story (Note: the story does not have to make logical sense to us, so long as it makes sense to them).
STEP 6: Students read their post-its aloud in the order they've assigned.
STEP 7 (Optional): Students add physical gesture to their "lines."