Margarita Alix Rodriguez
The Art Institute of Houston
Be active! Use your time and money wisely! Honor who pays for your tuition! Margarita Rodriguez , Spanish Instructor , The Art Institute of Houston
After being a Director for a maritime company in Venezuela, I moved to the United States. That was the defining moment in my life when I was destined to become a creative professional. I had to do the best with what I had—my primary language, Spanish—and adjusting to the society of the United States. Since then, I have worked very hard to be a creative professional as a continuous educator at local colleges. I believe that I am on the right track.
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?
The first thing I tell my students on the first day of class is, “You are never going to regret what you are learning in this class, because you are going to have a vast relationship with Hispanics in your world of work in the future.” I stress that Spanish, as a subject, is not just another subject to comply with curriculum. It is something they are going to use in the future as the society adapts to changes.
Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?
It is the final assignment, a 10-minute video where students work as a team and apply their knowledge of the language and have fun at the same time. I have found that students are very creative with their productions and am pleasantly surprised at how much they have learned in only 10 weeks.
What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?
When my students collaborate on their final assignment, there is a sense of accomplishment from their joint efforts and this leads me to celebrate what they have achieved.
In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?
Be active! Use your time and money wisely! Honor who pays for your tuition!
Is there anything else you'd like us to know about you, your experience, or your role as a faculty member at The Art Institutes?
I am excited to be a part of The Art Institute of Houston and I hope to inspire and transfer that same passion for the Spanish language onto my students.