Sasha Roberts-Levi, M.Ed., Ed.S
Artist, Urban Educator, and Curriculum Designer
My focus for teaching and learning is inspired by and grounded in the core practice and design principals of Expeditionary Learning as a model for engaged multi-tiered learning and in critical literacy, hands-on, art-infused, placed-based strategies that meet the needs of all learners regardless of language, learning or behavioral challenges.
I am an artist, constructivist-reading teacher, and special education teacher by training and a social-reconstructivist and bibliophile by nature. I believe that multi-sensory learning and place-based teaching fosters the capacities needed for a successful, purposeful, and joyful life, ignites an intrinsic passion for learning, and inspires responsibility for self, community and the world. My social-reconstructivist pedagogy emphasises and addresses social questions and strives to create a better society and worldwide democracy. Reconstructionist educators focus on curriculum that highlights social reform as the aim of education. I believe that when children get smarter, the world becomes a better place. See my blog, “One Social Re-constructivist’s Journey on the Road to Building a More Just and Ecologically Resilient World” to read more about this.
I have been for a large part of my career a teacher of urban language-minority children with special needs and I am on a mission to change the way “we do” school – one child at a time. Most of my children at PS 270 (where I taught for 17 years) were dual language learners (they were simultaneously learning the language of school – English and their home language – Spanish). See my blog: “Cultural Humility and Creativity and Learning in the years 2017 – 2019” to read more about this.
I believe that students who are lacking executive functioning skills (who have ADHD symptomatology) can be profoundly helped by art and creative activities. See my blog “Art Works!” at to read more about this. These individuals may have fallen through the cracks and often behave in ways that are inflexible and have they have trouble when a familiar routine is disrupted. I am convinced that these children (and adults) can learn to concentrate and focus. Research in educational neuroscience has shown that making art actually grows neurons in the brain which strengthen executive functioning skills and builds resilience, flexibility and nimble thinking.
In my experience, most of us are not in touch with their creativity and somewhere around third grade have decided that “making things” by hand was for “someone else” because they somehow did not “come into the world” with artistic talent. I believe each and every one of us has unlimited potential and that when we tap into and develop our creative expression – things change! If you want to change your life, creativity is at the foundation of that change. As Abraham Maslow pointed out, creative expression is one of the most enlightening experiences we can have as humans.
I believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every individual. I believe that if I am not part of the solution I am part of the problem. I was a traditional public school teacher for 17 years and a charter school administrator for three years and a community art teacher for three decades. I view teaching and inspiring creativity as a political act.
I am building a private practice I call Art Works! Studio with an interdisciplinary arts approach for developing skills in creativity, cognition, communication, and Culture. I offer the following services.
- Educational Therapy (more than just tutoring – individual support which combines educational and therapeutic approaches for evaluation, remediation, case management, and communication/advocacy on behalf of children, adolescents and adults with learning disabilities or learning problems),
- Art Parties (creative and mindful intentional time in your home designed to find “flow” and “Zen moments” to decrease stress and increase well-being)
- English as a Second Language tutoring (and professional development for teachers who want to know more about how to make “content” comprehensible to second language learners),
- Homeschool Enrichment and Curricular design (integrated arts and place-based units of study that emphasise critical pedagogy and higher order thinking aligned with Common Core State Standards, if you desire it)
- Professional Development to Educators, Parent Groups or interested parties on a variety of topics
- Art Event Planning and Facilitation
Thanks for visiting my blog!
If you would like more information about my work and educational experiences, please visit my Linkedin page @ wwwlinkedin.com/in/maestrasasha. Please like my pages and feel free to leave me questions and comments on my articles!