Office: Storm Hall West 142 | Email: [email protected]
What drives Nirmla Flores as an educator is the relentless desire to engage fellow educators in a constant dialogue that creates meaningful changes toward equity and excellence for all students. This drive transformed into reality when she earned her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership for Social Justice with a certificate in Reading Literacy and a master’s degree in Education with a Multicultural emphasis.
These higher educational training and experiences paved the way with opportunities for her to teach courses such as Foundations in Literacies, Critical Pedagogy and Instructional Design, Inquiry-Based Project, and STEM courses for both undergraduate and graduate courses. Over the years, these extensive teaching experiences in higher education have helped her gain knowledge in bilingual education, its history, educational technology, critical pedagogy, English language learning, and best literacy practices in teacher education.
Nirmla has co-edited/co-authored a book on Educational Engagement and Justice for Diverse Learners (2016), has written a book chapter on Critical Empathy (2019), has recently published a journal article on Got Resiliency? English Language Learners’ Perspectives in Online Learning Amidst Systemic Racism (2020) and has co-presented at the California Council on Teacher Education’s Annual Virtual Conference, which raised the issue of educational equity through pedagogical practices. In addition, she has successfully received internal and external grants, one of which focused on Achieving Digital Equity in Teacher Education (2018), where she and her team offered face-to-face onsite and online opportunities for higher education faculty and K-12 classroom teachers in the use of technological tools with an equity-driven lens.
She is currently taking the lead in an international research project with a team of American and Costa Rican University professors on the many aspects of literacy instruction, including comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, phonemic awareness, phonics, and knowledge development, as grounded in the National Reading Panel’s six pillars of instruction. This research project has continuously solidified her knowledge of current educational research and policy which naturally propel her to help students and fellow educators make connections between research and best practices.
Presently, Nirmla is an active board member /secretary/ webmaster of the California Association for Bilingual Teacher Education (CABTE) that curates and provides several linguistically and culturally relevant resources, inclusive to members across the state of California. She is also an active board member/treasurer of the California Association of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CATESOL) that organizes events, budgets funds, and creates professional development training for teachers to support the needs of students who speak a language other than English. As the CATESOL Conference Co-Chair for the Annual Fall 2022 Conference, she is co-directing and coordinating all planning for next year’s annual event. Over the years, Nirmla has gained much appreciation for biliteracy/multiculturalism and has gradually developed her capacity to bring diverse groups together around a common vision.