Teaching in Higher Education
I am honored to be part of the VAPAE faculty at UCLA. I teach a course on social emotional learning and the arts and also teach the arts education teaching sequence. I've taught in person and remotely. Above, my SEL course was highlighted in the Fall of 2019 in the VAPAE newsletter. Below you will find a write-up of one of my workshops I provided at UCLA, along with evaluations from a course I taught.
"Dr. Cameron's knowledgeable and vibrant presence energized our community of teaching artists and undergraduate students. Her professional development workshop on social emotional learning balanced theory and practical strategies that can be applied in classrooms of all arts practices and age groups. All of our teaching artists, students, and staff expressed their gratitude for her contributions to our learning community, and we all look forward to bringing her insights into our work and our own lives"
- From the Director of UCLA's Visual and Performing Arts Education (VAPAE) Program
"Dr. Cameron is an incredible educator, facilitator, and all around human! I have been able to work with Dr. Cameron in a multitude of positions and she continues to be such a pleasure to work with and collaborate with. I am always in awe of the way she is able to capture a room (zoom rooms, too!) to create a community-oriented environment through empathy and honesty. I am thrilled to continue working with her and to learn more from her skills as an educator, and to be in her circle."
- From the Program Coordinator for the VAPAE Program at UCLA.
Prior to UCLA, I taught for the Graduate School of Education (GSEP) at Pepperdine University for five years. I taught a course on how to integrate the visual and performing arts into the history/social studies curriculum for K-6, as well as a course on instructional design for K-12 teaching candidates. Below, please find evaluations from one of my classes, along with a letter from the former program director, Dr. Robert Barner.
"You make me want to be the best teacher I can possibly be! Thank you for proving that classrooms can-and should- be fun, and that teachers can and should shower each and every student with respect and love. I could make a proper "Things Dr. Cameron Taught Me at Pepperdine" list but I don't want to write a novel right now. All I know is that if I can be even 1/10 like you as a teacher, I'll have succeeded in life."
- From a Teacher Candidate at Pepperdine University
"Dr. Cameron was one of my professors at Pepperdine, and I now have a class of my own, teaching 31 first graders. I can't even begin to describe the impact she has had on me and the teacher I am now. Her positive, infectious personality made her class the most captivating, inspiring class I've ever taken. Her arts-based lessons were so engaging, hands on, and applicable to any grade level and content area. Her class deepened my love for teaching and learning. Her teaching style sheds a light on how a classroom should feel and operate. She created a learning environment that made me crave more and more and I didn't want to leave. That's how we should make all our students feel everyday."
- From a Classroom Teacher
"Desi was one of the most motivating and inspiring people I have every met. She made sure that the classes I was taking at NYU were what I wanted and always made time for me to rethink my goals and why it was that I decided to be a Teaching Artist. She was so encouraging! Desi was also a power house in the classroom and was able to show me how to truly engage with everyone while still being able to step back and understand what direction the class needed to go. Her warm and gracious energy always made my day and I feel privileged to have been at NYU while she was there. She is a wonderful and needed addition to any community she steps into." - From a former student at New York University
Prior to Pepperdine, I taught at New York University for three years. I was honored to be what was called a 'super' adjunct. I taught 3-4 courses each term, advised over 200 graduate students, and helped to run successful international arts education conferences for three years in a row. I also supervised 10-12 student teachers per semester in K-12 classroom settings across NYC. I also coordinated our Shakespeare to Go company, which consisted of NYU students performing the bard's plays in NYC schools. Finally, I helped to coordinate and teach as part of the NYU London Study Abroad Educational Theatre program. Courses taught include: Dramatic Activities in the Elementary Classroom, Introduction to Educational Theatre 1 & 2, Drama Across the Curriculum and Beyond, Elementary Student Teaching Seminar, and Social Studying in the Early Childhood Classroom. I was a regular guest lecturer in our research methods course as well. Below is a letter of recommendation from the Program Director in Educational Theatre, Dr. David Montgomery, along with the teaching excellence award I was honored to receive in 2008.
I helped to develop and teach a theatre arts course and an acting class for animators at Ringling College of Art and Design. Students learned about all facets of the theatre as well as focused on creating believable characters for their animation projects. They also wrote and performed their own stage production.