During the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers are displaying an unprecedented level of adeptness at adjusting their work to educate students and support families.
During the 2020 Teacher Appreciation Week, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) and P.S. 305 are hosting a teacher panel to highlight all the wonderful work teachers are doing to meet the needs and demands of a new digital learning environment. We will recognize the outstanding work teachers are doing across the district, learn more about their new role and responsibilities, and share lessons learned, among other things in a distance learning environment.
Darwin Rodriguez is a teaching artist at Pérez Art Museum Miami as well as a co-facilitator of the PAMM Teen Arts Council (PTAC). Darwin is a trained public historian and works to contextualize PAMM’s collection for young learners in ways that are both meaningful and accessible. Darwin is a former high school social studies and art history teacher and also is an adjunct history professor at Florida International University (FIU), focusing on Atlantic history.
Octavia Yearwood is an artist, programmatic curator, and author. Yearwood creates and hosts programs for arts institutions, organizations, and companies nationally. In 2016, Yearwood was named Emerging Arts leader by Americans for the Arts and top 40 black leaders by Legacy Magazine.
Over the last 15 years, aside from being an arts educator, Yearwood was the director of Spinello Projects FREE! noncommercial Art Fair for Art Basel named the best author in Miami and the most interesting person by the Miami New Times in 2018. In 2019, Yearwood was brought on by the City of Miami Beach to curate all the arts and culture activations for Memorial Day weekend, and was awarded an Ellie by oolite Arts. They continue to focus on diversifying creative space by transforming creative spaces and sits on the Board for the Baller Alert Foundation, and the Advisory Board of Power U. Yearwood has written for publications such as Blavity's 21 Ninety, XoNicole, Permission to Write, and Bustle.
Dwanita L. Fields
Dwanita L. Fields, MIBA is by passion and purpose, an educator, coach, mentor, and social entrepreneur. She has more than 10 years of experience working in the field of education. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree of Science at Howard University in 2004 and obtained her Master’s of International Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University in 2009. She currently works at Miami Jackson Senior High School as an Algebra I teacher as well as being the founder of a nonprofit organization called Leading With Love, which is a cultural leadership program designed to empower young women through mentorship, leadership development, and cultural immersion experiences. She believes that all children deserve to reach their full potential and that it is our responsibility to provide them with the tools to be able to achieve them.
Megan Gabelman is a woman whose students have described her in the past as, “tough, ‘go-with-the-flow’... a surprising peacemaker for people.” She believes in asking: what is education supposed to do? Gabelman has seen firsthand how critical stakeholders can be shortchanged by the priorities set before our children. She uses inquiry and action research in the classroom to best bridge the individual needs of her students, and what is being asked of students. Gabelman is am blessed to be a true, lifelong learner and teacher at heart.
Roxana Fleneury graduated from FIU in 2003 with a B.S. in special education and in 2006, earned her Autism Endorsement from FIU. She began her career at Gulfstream Elementary as a teacher of students with autism. For the last 11 years, Fleneury taught in several states and was able to learn how vast and far reaching being a teacher can be. In 2018, she returned to M-DCPS and is fortunate to be a teacher once more at Gulfstream Elementary School. Currently, she is enrolled at FIU as she pursues her Master's in special education.
Tiffany Brave is a Miami native and graduate of M-DCPS. She received her Bachelor of Science in economics from Florida A & M University and a Master's in education from John Hopkins University. Brave served as a corps member for both Teach For America and City Year at her alma mater, North Miami Senior High School, where she currently teaches Algebra 1.