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  • Writer's pictureSofia Maria Paz

Professor Paz in The Making

I have but two passions: printmaking and teaching. It is safe to say that I love to print just as much as I enjoy teaching. Thanks to ASU, I was able to be an instructor for the 113 Color Theory undergraduate course. In true honesty, it has been the most rewarding experience of my life, since one of my dreams is to someday be a professor at a University.

As I scanned through their syllabus the day before the fall 2016 semester started, I thought "What's new that I can bring to the table that would help my students in the long run?" Pursuing a career in Fine Art is one of the most rewarding and challenging life-defining experiences. For the beginning art student, it is completely uncharted territory. There are no rules and no set guidelines to follow. As an art instructor, how does one prepare students for such an unstructured career path? Although we can teach them how to think, we cannot teach them what to be.

And that's when I decided the best thing I can instill in my students is to be self-motivated, confident, passionate artists. I see the classroom as an environment that can nurture an individual’s self-efficacy. By believing in their own capabilities, these young artists will have the self-motivation to complete tasks and actively pursue professional opportunities outside of the classroom. Such self-discipline can only be adopted in an environment that ensures student wellness, when the instructor allows their classroom to be a place of refuge, creativity, and excitement.

I also believe that learning richness is centralized between the student-teacher relationship. For this reason, I made sure to be myself and get to know each of my students on a personal level... and I am so glad I did! I could never have asked to work beside a more talented fun group of students! From architects, to painters, fashionistas, and graphic designers, they were such a pleasure to work with!

Hopefully they learned as much from me as I did from them. Our last day of class was bittersweet, knowing how much I'd miss them and wondering what they were taking away from their experience learning from me. Based on their comments as I said goodbye to each of them, I think I did something right...

"You made me feel worthwhile"

"I was going to change my major, but you made me love art again!"

"Thanks to you I got As in all my studio classes! It was a team effort!"

"I began seeing things in my art I never thought I could achieve."


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