Tonya Monteer

Tonya Monteer

With [journal entries] students learn to better express themselves via words and creativity. Tonya Monteer , Adjunct Faculty , The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University
What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

Since I was a kid I’ve always wanted to help others, but what really inspired me was my Philosophy instructor who became a professor. He said that he became a professor because he hates mornings, likes to wear what he wants, and speak his mind. 

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?

In my classroom, I highlight what I know. Thanks to my English and Creative Writing degrees, I am capable of educating my students on the English language and creative expansion. 

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?

My most effective assignment is journal entries. With this, students learn to better express themselves via words and creativity. Often they suggest having more journal assignments throughout the duration of the class. 

What role does collaboration contribute to students' success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?

Collaboration helps the students understand different approaches to a project and learn from one another. 

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?

I teach my students how to be decent human beings. By having an open curriculum that allows discussions, students are allotted the time to expand their understanding of conflict and successes in the world. My advice to my students is to do what makes you happy and kind. 

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 love to write, draw, play video games, listen to music, and watch movies. I truly love being at this school because I get to teach from a creative perspective, which many of these students have never had before. In addition to having a plethora of poetry online on, I have a short story online with Akashic book.