Jackson

I have always had an interest in ways of helping people access and learn about themselves and others, whether this be through games, art, or teaching. As a child, I created boardgames that I would play with classmates; which turned into computer games once I was a teen and taught myself to code; then writing once I discovered it in high school and that become a passion. Even in my writing, I focused on leaving possibilities open for the reader such that they could meaningfully interact with the story.

Screen Shot 2019-04-27 at 12.40.12 PMAfter college, I wondered about what to do with my life and made my way into teaching, first as a substitute and coteacher at a high school; then as a teacher in my own right at a community college in Quito, Ecuador (I taught English as a Second Language). From here, I returned to the States and spent two years tutoring college writing, then another year delivering special ed services at a charter school in Denver, Colorado.

While it was clear to me that I was a teacher at heart, something in my experiences in mainstream education also never felt right, which is why I moved around so much: I never felt that I was teaching what I wanted, or that the requirements of grading, behavioral control, and the ultimate aim of teaching—academic performance—engendered the kind of environment that I wanted to create for students. In my ideal environment, vulnerability creates a space for people to share and learn about themselves, and this forum is geared toward self-knowledge, not externally-motivated performance.

Conference presentation photoWith time, spiritual experiences, therapy, and a series of game-changing relationships, I eventually became able to articulate these differences and values, first starting with the system of teaching and studying literature that you see before you on this website. Ideally, I would like to see this system and others like it adopted in mainstream education, fostering an environment that is more hospitable to self and soul. For now, I do this work outside of the mainstream, trusting that my influence on that field is already larger and subtler than I can see.

I am currently at work on a full-length book about my system of teaching literature, which I hope to be shopping to publishers by the end of 2019. I am also enrolled in a graduate program in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.