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Beam Pedagogy was created by four educators. We know first-hand the challenges of working within a public school district on the one hand, while also being driven by a burning passion for the extraordinary possibilities inherent in a great education for students. In other words, we know what it’s like to be education workers. We know the struggles, the beauty, the despair, the hope, and the ways it impacts our bodies and minds. And through our experiences, we’ve come to believe there’s something valuable in creating a space for educators to meet and process. To do art. To unfold. To be heard. And to learn.



Amy Hirayama is a Hapa writer and educator from Seattle, Washington. She is a National Boards certified teacher who taught Language Arts and Social Studies in Seattle Public Schools for 8 years. 

Amy holds an MFA in Creative Writing and currently works as a writer-in-residence with the Writers in the Schools program through Seattle Arts and Lectures. She is also the residential workshop administrator for Clarion West. She is an Imagining America PAGE Fellow and was awarded a fellowship from the Henry Art Gallery’s Ritual: Form and Function series. 

Prior to her career as a teacher, Amy worked as a massage practitioner. Beam Pedagogy gives Amy the opportunity to bridge her understanding of physical wellness, creative writing, education and social justice. Amy loves spending time in the mountains, reading with her daughters, and watching sumo wrestling.


Emily Lee is a teacher based in Seattle. She taught high school language arts for nine years in the Bay Area and SeaTac, Washington. She currently teaches in Highline College’s high school re-engagement programs.

Emily holds a master’s in education from Stanford University. In 2011, she received the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship, which supported her to pursue a career in teaching. In addition, she is a certified responder and group facilitator with First Aid Arts, which equips trauma care providers with arts-based tools and training.

Her teaching practice and adult facilitation centers around storytelling and bridge building, which are shaped by her upbringing in a big immigrant/refugee family. Her other personal interests include pottery, watercoloring, improv, and long-distance running.



james boutin holds a bachelor’s degree in history, a master’s degree in social studies education, and is currently studying for a master’s degree in Process-Oriented Facilitation and Conflict Studies (otherwise known as Processwork).

For fourteen years, james worked as a high school teacher in public high schools across the United States, earning his National Board teaching certificate in 2014. For most of that time, he served as a union organizer of schools and communities around social justice issues. james also has a background in personal fitness training, bodywork, and nutrition.

In addition to Processwork, james’s work is strongly influenced by the principles of Structural Integration, Nonviolent Communication, Circle Work, and various schools of critical theory.

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