Brian Urias


Mr. Brian Urias

Position: Assistant Director
Address: East Hall 215D

I value and aim toward transparency, mutual learning, and connection in my teaching. When teachers are transparent and open to learning from their students, students recognize that and respond to it with increased engagement in their own learning. For these reasons, I try to be humble, respectful, and honest in the classroom. I don't have all of the answers. I'm still looking for them, and in "teaching" my students "to write," they help me on my quest to find them. I enjoy these shared learning experiences, and I think they’re some of the best ways to learn writing.

I don’t think of what I do as teaching in the traditional sense. I'm not very good at filling my students' minds with new knowledge, with giving them the facts and making them learn it all. Believe me: I've  tried. Writing instruction doesn’t work that way, and I just simply don't have much to give them. I find, however, that mutual learning and respect—which includes a willingness to be transparent, to admit my mistakes and shortcomings to my students—make for the best environments in which to teach writing. If my students and I can create that environment together, I can give them what little I have, they can add their own contributions, and we can all learn together.

Some of my favorite moments in teaching are when we—my students and I—are all deeply engaged in class discussion. When students are freely responding to one another and challenging one another to think critically or to consider a new perspective. When, in the midst of this exciting exchange, my students call me out, flipping the questions back on me, magnifying those questions, and challenging me to test my own thinking. It is in these moments that they are combining their agency with critical thinking to take charge of their own education. I seek to learn how to better enable my students to grow more confident in their learning and writing.