Autobiography by ashrafp


         Since I was young I have been enthusiastic about teaching art. My mother home
schooled my sister and I and she always encouraged us to pursue our artistic abilities. My
mother said that at the age of one I began to color. As a child I spent most of my free time
drawing and coloring. When I grew older I began to construct art assignments for my
younger sister. I would teach her to draw an animal and then proceed to critique her on her
performance. When my cousins moved in with my family, I expanded my “private school
for the arts” and produced coloring competitions for them. Then they would display their
artwork in the hallway with various ribbons for their achievements. When I was nine my
mother enrolled me in a couple of art courses at Hobby Lobby, which increased my skill and
confidence in art.

        In sixth grade I attended a small school in Austin called NYOS Charter School. I
took the required middle school art classes, and was inspired and encouraged by my art
teacher. In high school I took as many art classes as I could fit into my schedule. I even took
a few private lessons from one of my friend’s parents. In my junior year of high school I
attended Austin Community College for the first time and took drawing 1, 2, and painting 1.
In high school I was chosen for many leadership positions including founding president of
the Key Club, and secretary for the Student Council. I was also a TA for art, choir, dance,
and sign language. Things went so well that I was hired to work as one of the after school
care teachers, and I took the initiative to begin giving art classes to the students once a week.
It was during this time that I decided I wanted to become an art teacher.

        As graduation approached, I began to look into universities that had strong art
education programs. I applied to Texas State and The University of Texas at Austin and was
accepted to both. I enrolled as a freshman at UT as a Visual Arts Studies major, and was one
of only two people who decided to choose this career path as a freshman. I asked an advisor
why there were only two people in my degree plan, and she informed me that many studio art
majors switch to art education after a couple of years in college. This first semester I decided
that I wanted to give myself a student teaching experience. I wrote a curriculum for an after
school program and approached NYOS Charter School with my idea. They happily approved
me to teach the class once a week for three hours. I was in charge of writing curriculum,
collecting fees, and buying supplies. I enjoyed working with the students and this experience
confirmed my path as an art educator.

         Throughout college I took on more leadership roles, and teaching opportunities. I
began teaching virtues classes to children, working with them on life skills, the arts, songs,
and games. Then I started to work with youth in middle school, facilitating classes on
virtues, arts, outdoor activities, and games. I have also been involved in planning retreats for
as many as 100 youth. I have been in charge of planning, managing finances, developing
curriculum, teaching, and organizing community support and volunteers. This experience
taught me a lot about my role in education. I am passionate about art and teaching others.
Combining the two into an art education degree was a natural process, and I believe that my
path in life is to share my passion for the arts with others, and inspire them to create art and
find confidence in their abilities.

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